Search Google Appliance

Field Studies

Social enterprise is best experienced in the field, and our Social Enterprise Field Studies take you there.

Portland Field Study - Summer 2015:

Online: July 20-August 14, 2015
In-person, Portland, OR: July 31, August 1 

Location: Portland Metro

Format: Online with 2 consecutive, in-person days in Portland, Oregon 

This hybrid course immerses students in the real world of social innovation and social enterprise. Practicum students will participate in an intensive four-week online course, and meet in person for two days in Portland, OR: Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1.  With guidance from your instructors, guest speakers and peers, you will apply your own concept for a social venture, learning the best practices in operations and leadership.

By successfully completing this course, you will gain the following learning outcomes: 

  • Students will craft hypotheses for operational elements of a social venture 
  • Students will reflect on the role of leadership in personal and professional 
  • Students will interact with and learn from successful social entrepreneurs and 
  • Students will develop a plan for their careers using the Business Model You 

Sample Organizations Visited:

  • Central City Concern
  • DePaul Industries
  • Forge
  • Grameen Intel
  • Hatch
  • Lemelson Foundation
  • Mercy Corps and Mercy Corps NW
  • My Street Grocery
  • Sseko Designs
  • Sustainable Harvest International

Program Costs: program fee + $175.00 field trip fee
Students are responsible for travel arrangements to Portland and accommodation.

Registration Information 

Register: MGMT 409/509 SIP | Undergrad CRN 80756 | Grad CRN 80767| Non-PSU students register here | Undergrads who have not taken MGMT 421 or MGMT 422 must meet with an instructor before being admitted to the practicum. Email to arrange a meeting. 

Credits: 4 academic credits for enrolled students, or 12 Continuing Education Units for non-enrolled community members.


Cindy Cooper, Co-Founder and Director, Impact Entrepreneurs at Portland State University

 Jacen Greene, Program Manager, Social Enterprise Initiatives at Portland State University 


India Field Study - Winter 2015:

Dates: December 10 - December 22, 2015 
Primary location: Hyderabad, India

Led by: Kim Alter, Virtue Ventures & Jacen Greene, Portland State University
Apply: Applications available now through July 31st, 2015.

While exploring the rich culture of India, students will examine several social enterprise models with leading entrepreneurs in issues such as sanitation, solar energy, and education. During their time in country, students will work directly with local social entrepreneurs, including opportunities for students to test research methodologies and contribute to current initiatives in a practical, hands-on manner. We will spend time in village as well as urban settings, becoming familiar with social problems and the design of responses that are informed by principles of Human Centered Design. Our focus will be on the application of business models in the design of these solutions. 

This program is open to undergraduate seniors, graduate students and community members with applicable backgrounds. Interviews will be required for applicants. 

Fees and tuition: 

SBA Graduate Students:

Tuition $2,320 - $2,796
Program Fee $2,750
Additional Estimated Costs $2,700

Non-SBA Graduate Students:

Tuition $2,000
Program Fee $2,750
Additional Estimated Costs $2,700

SBA Undergraduates:

Tuition $1,250
Program Fee $2,750
Additional Estimated Costs $2,700

 Credits, Continuing Education Units, and Certificate:

  • Students taking the course for university credit earn 4 credits. Individuals not seeking a degree at PSU can also earn academic credits.
  • Alternatively, the course may be taken for 12 Continuing Education Units.
  • Required course in the Business of Social Innovation Certificate

About the Cambodia Field Study (offered in past years):

The program exposes students to the application of entrepreneurial approaches to issues as varied as clean water, sanitation, education and youth employment. Students engage in mini-research/consulting projects on behalf of host organizations. In addition, students come away with deeper appreciation for the rich history and culture of Cambodia and the beauty of resilience of its people.

 Participants spend one week in and outside of Siem Reap familiarizing themselves with Cambodian history and culture, meeting with two partner NGO’s and visiting their enterprise development projects in the field. During the second week, the program moves to Phnom Penh and participants become engaged in more intensive field-based work with partner NGO’s providing the opportunity to apply social enterprise theory on mini-consulting projects regarding issues spanning water, sanitation, agriculture and youth employment.

Read the student blog for our 2013 & 2014 field studies in CAMBODIA >>

Read the student blog for our 2012 field study in INDIA >>


*click the image above to download the full 2014 report

"The most incredible part of the journey was being in the field with the people of India and seeing social impact take shape. No classroom alone could offer this kind of inspiring and humbling experience."

--Amelia Pape, 2009 India SEFS, co-founder of My Street Grocery.