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The Business of Social Innovation online certificate

The Business of Social Innovation certificate equips you with the latest tools and approaches to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Together, the four courses in this majority-online program will enable you to deeply examine a social or environmental problem of your choice and design a new business, nonprofit organization, or internal program to address that problem.

Throughout the program, you’ll be mentored by experienced PSU faculty, learn from practicing social entrepreneurs, work with peer mentors, and interact with leading experts. Courses can be taken in any sequence, with permission. With a focus on leadership and purpose, Impact Entrepreneurs will guide you through a transformational learning experience.

In the certificate, you will:

  • Refine your purpose through leadership development
  • Delve into your focus area using Human-Centered Design
  • Create a solution with the Business Model Canvas
  • Learn about funding for social ventures 
  • Use approachable financial modeling tools
  • Develop a plan for measuring your impact
  • Practice storytelling techniques to effectively promote your work and share your ideas

Upcoming Course:
Money Matters for Social Innovation
March 30 - June 7, 2015
Spring Term | MGMT 422/522 | Undergrad CRN 64780 | Graduate CRN 64785


The certificate was an inspiring, positively challenging, practical experience that provided tools, insights and resources to convert ideas to sustainable actions that drive change. - Rhian Rotz, Director of Corporate Citizenship, Waggener Edstrom.

The program not only taught me how to start a business with a social mission, it also changed my ideology about the business world and gave me direction for after graduation. — Patrick Ditty, PSU Undergraduate '15.

I have a family full of entrepreneurs and I always knew starting a business was doable, but this course helped me to see a way that it could be doable for me. — Kyna Alders, PSU MBA '14.


COURSES (click for more information)

design thinking

money matters

impact measurement



Who Should Attend

  • Undergraduate and graduate students at PSU
  • Entrepreneurs aspiring to launch a new social venture
  • Social enterprise managers and employees seeking to expand their skill-set
  • Mid-career professionals looking to transition into social entrepreneurship
  • Late-career professionals who want to create real impact in their encore career


Tuition varies depending on whether you are a student seeking a degree at PSU, a student not seeking a degree at PSU, a graduate or undergraduate, and whether you are an Oregon resident or taking the course from out-of-state or out-of-country. Please contact PSU admissions for more information. 

  • PSU grads and undergrads enrolled and working towards a degree: cost is based on PSU's School of Business per-unit tuition (see page 3 here)
  • PSU students not seeking a degree (Oregon residents)
    ~$908/course undergrad
    ~$1,708/course grad
  • PSU students not seeking a degree (out of state or country)
    Please contact for pricing
  • Non-credit: $995 (or get 10% off w/ early bird discout) | travel costs for optional international practicum not included 

Additional Info

  • Need-based scholarships are available. Contact for information. 
  • Accredited academic certificate available to students enrolled at university
  • Professional certificate available to non-credit students
  • Those taking courses not-for-credit will receive Continuing Education Units 
  • Course length: 10-week courses, except for two-week field studies
  • Online lectures and course content are posted once a week, participation is asynchronous

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