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Impact Entrepreneurs at Portland State University

Impact Entrepreneurs unleashes the promise of business for social impact. We do this by inspiring, incubating, and accelerating social entrepreneurs of all ages, across sectors, and from around the world, with a vision of creating a more just world where all life flourishes.

A program of Portland State University's (PSU) School of Business Administration, with strategic partnership and support from PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Impact Entrepreneurs has been recognized in Fast Company and Forbes and was central to the selection of PSU as an Ashoka U Changemakers Campus. 


Carolyn McKnight, Ph.D.

Co-founder & Executive Director Emeritus

Jacen Greene


Abby Chroman

Project Manager

Carolyn Niehaus

Student Employee

In addition to our core staff, Impact Entrepreneurs is made up of an extended team of Portland State University faculty and staff, who are driven to advance social change using tools and expertise from business and from across disciplines. 


Sutia "Kim" Alter, Managing Director, Virtue Ventures
Stephanie Fowler, Psychotherapist, counselor, and Co-founder, Renaissance Foundation
Irving Levin, CEO, Genesis Financial Solutions and Co-founder, Renaissance Foundation
David Pollock, Entrepreneur and Senior Advisor, Ashoka 
Amelia Pape, Founder, My Street Grocery
Dr. Judith A. Ramaley, President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Public Service, PSU
David Sawyer, President, Context
Mike Winslow, Senior legal and business executive

"I'm committed to working with Impact Entrepreneurs because Cindy and Carolyn are not just dreaming about social change - they are true practitioners who are moving ideas into action."

-- David Sawyer


2015/16 Impact Report >>
014 Impact Report >> 
2013 Impact Report >>
2012 Impact Report >>


Impact Entrepreneurs has been featured by Forbes, Fast Company, Sustainable Business Oregon, Oregon Business Journal, and many more. Find us in the news here

Changemaker Campus

Portland State University is honored to be part of the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus consortium, a select group ofinstitutions of higher education that demonstrate commitment and cutting edge approaches to galvanizing solutions to major human and environmental challenges. Ashoka U is an initiative of Ashoka, a renowned global association of leading social entrepreneurs founded in 1980. In partnership with universities, Ashoka U seeks to develop educational experiences that can be world changing. Ashoka believes in an “Everyone a Changemaker” world. At PSU we are fortunate to have tens of thousands of budding Changemakers descending upon our campus each year.

This world-class partnership and lifelong distinction from Ashoka U celebrates the significant contributions PSU is already making through initiatives such as the Institute for Sustainable SolutionsNet ImpactSWEETLab, Impact Entrepreneurs and many others. 

Sponsors and Donors

Our sponsors' and donors' contributions are critical to our ability to conduct and grow our programs. We thank them for their generous support and vision.

PSU School of Business Administration
PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions
The Lemelson Foundation
Ater Wynne
The Renaissance Foundation  

To support the promise of business for social impact, please contact us or donate online.

University Collaborators

Community partners