The Center proudly supports the broader landscape around social entrepreneurship on campus, regionally, and beyond. We sponsor or are involved in a number of initiatives and encourage you to get involved and/or develop your own paths as well!
The Center for Social Impact co-hosts the Impact Track as part of the campus-wide Michigan Business Challenge, in partnership with the Zell Lurie and Erb Institutes. The competition awards a $26,000 prize pool to the most compelling business plans that deliver social or environmental impact, and the top impact team could win more than $50,000 in total prizes!
The Center is a founding partner of the original MBAs Across America (MBAx) and has been a sponsor of the Ross Open Road initiative. Open Road is a student-led program that sends groups of MBAs on a five-week road trip across the country, spending each week addressing issues for a different social entrepreneur.
Through our annual Summer Fund, we support social entrepreneurs who are actively running their businesses through funding, coaching, and networks. Successful fellows have gone on to grow ventures such as OptiMize, Kulisha, InFusion Tech, and CARt.
The Social Innovation Series brings social innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders in change to campus who cut across boundaries to advance innovative, practical solutions to society’s toughest social challenges. Speakers address issues and offer insights to students here.
The U-M Social Innovation Summit explores emerging topics in social innovation and entrepreneurship with faculty, multi-sector practitioners, and community leaders. Keynotes and guest speakers have represented a cross section of national and Detroit area social entrepreneurs, municipal leaders, authors, and nonprofits addressing core issues central to delivering meaningful impact.
There are many efforts to promote entrepreneurship on the Michigan campus, and the Center actively works along side other units through the all-campus portal at Innovate Blue. Explore the different ways you can be involved with any of the sponsoring organizations!
Our students and staff have been involved in many efforts over the years to develop social innovation concepts and strengthen student social entrepreneurs. OptiMize, Edupreneurship, Innovation in Action, 1,000 pitches, and the Hult Prize are just a few of the great opportunities that exist!
In partnership with the U-M Alumni Association, the Center has sponsored a number of events, including the New Face of Entrepreneurship. Profiling young alums from diverse background and interests as well as supporting current student efforts remains a priority!
Sponsored Programs & Events
The Center has been integrally involved in this program as it seeks to bring community, business, and other sector leaders together to address urban topics through entrepreneurship. Finding cross-sector solutions has been critical whether in Detroit or Flint, Michigan.
The SEA is a national organization that supports the pursuit of social enterprises. The Center’s founder Rishi Moudgil was a charter founding member of the local chapter of SEA, and co-founder Cat Johnson had helped build their initial committee work regionally.
The Center helped shape and sponsor this statewide challenge that supported social entrepreneurs with cash and further investment deals. In 2014 the focus was in Detroit with urban entrepreneurs sharing their stories and competing.
Building a broader ecosystem for entrepreneurs with a social focus is the focus with startup weekend. This intense 2.5 day weekend in Detroit brings together many partners and investors.
Build Social trains, develops, and coaches social entrepreneurs in Detroit’s small business community. The Center sponsored supported the initial cohorts with coaching, judging, and training.