Undergraduate Online Certificate Program Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

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Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Online Certificate Overview

Want to make a difference? Our social innovation and social entrepreneurship certificate will show you how.

Portland State University’s social innovation and social entrepreneurship certificate equips you to bring meaning and purpose to your career in business or nonprofit leadership. Offered by PSU’s award-winning and accredited School of Business, the social innovation and social entrepreneurship certificate trains you to create practical, effective solutions to social and environmental challenges.

Whether you’re a social entrepreneur starting something new, or an intrapreneur inside a mission-driven organization, this program can prepare you with the experience and skills to innovate. You can either design a complete social venture—nonprofit, business, government program or advocacy campaign—to address an issue that matters to you, or evaluate and suggest improvements to an existing organization of your choice. 

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
100% online
Combination of online and on campus
  • C
    Certificate Program
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Online Certificate: Why PSU?

Results-oriented skills. Our social innovation and social entrepreneurship certificate equips you with the practical know-how to get a new social venture or internal program past the idea stage. It’s not merely an academic exercise—numerous graduates have successfully launched initiatives they designed in the program. It also teaches some of the most highly-demanded skills by employers worldwide. 

  • Strong faculty mentoring. You’ll receive personalized guidance from experienced faculty every step of the way. They’ll help you avoid common mistakes, push you to take risks, and encourage you to persevere through disappointments and challenges.
  • Interaction with experts. Some of the nation’s most innovative, successful social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs live and work in Portland. You’ll hear directly from change agents who’ve faced the same obstacles you’re up against and discovered—or invented—the tools to overcome those challenges.
  • Change happens here. As one of fewer than 50 institutions worldwide to hold Ashoka U’s “Changemaker Campus” designation, Portland State is the ideal place to acquire social innovation skills. We’ve also been named one of America’s “Most Innovative Universities” four consecutive years by U.S News & World Report.

Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Highlights

  • Entirely online program that exceeds the nationally-recognized Quality Matters rubric for excellence in online education
  • Accelerated two- and four-week field studies that augment classwork with real-world experience
  • Work on your own idea, in your own areas of interest and passion, while learning top skills demanded by employers
  • Open to students from all majors, inside or outside The School of Business, as well as non-degree seeking working professionals

What can I do with a certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship?

Graduates have used the social innovation and social entrepreneurship certificate to design and launch new nonprofits and businesses, advance careers in nonprofit leadership and corporate social responsibility, or find jobs at B Corps and sustainable businesses. Graduates of the social innovation and social entrepreneurship certificate program commonly go into fields such as:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Intrapreneurship
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Nonprofit leadership
  • Civic engagement and outreach
  • Government administration
  • Community programming


The social innovation and social entrepreneurship certificate consist of four courses. By the end of the sequence, you will refine a leadership and career purpose, apply Human-Centered Design best practices, use the Business Model Canvas to map out a venture, learn about funding sources, create a financial forecast, develop a plan for measuring and reporting impact, and practice effective storytelling and presentation. 

Download the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Sequence Sheet (PDF)


  • MGMT 421 Design Thinking for Social Innovation
  • MGMT 422 Money Matters for Social Innovation
  • MGMT 423 Storytelling and Impact Measurement
  • MGMT 409 Social Innovation Practicum or MGMT 310 Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

One of less than 200 business schools worldwide — top 1% — to be accredited in both business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB is the elite business school accreditation known internationally.

Ashoka Changemaker Campus Designation