Certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

The Certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship equips you with the latest tools and approaches for creating positive change. The four courses in this majority-online program will enable you to deeply examine a social or environmental issue of your choice and design a new or improved business, nonprofit, or internal program to address it.

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 in courses that exceed the nationally-recognized Quality Matters rubric for excellence in online education.

Courses can be taken in any sequence, and you can take any of them without completing the certificate.

In the certificate, you will:

  • Refine your purpose through leadership development and individualized feedback
  • Delve into your focus area using Human-Centered Design best practices
  • 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

With a focus on leadership and purpose, this program will guide you through a transformational and personally meaningful learning experience to become a successful social entrepreneur or intrapreneur.


MGMT 423/523s - Storytelling and Impact Measurement
April 1 – June 9
Graduate CRN: 62282
Undergraduate CRN: 62260

Professionals and non-credit students must also become a non-degree PSU student to register.
Email impactentrepreneurs@pdx.edu for more information 

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This was the course I needed to go from "I care" to "I can." - Maria Alvarez, PSU Undergraduate '15.

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)


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

Why Complete the Certificate?

The Business of Social Innovation Certificate was designed by social entrepreneurs, employers, and academics to teach you the skills to become a successful social entrepreneur or intrapreneur. By completing the entire sequence, you will develop some of the most desired skills by employers; create all the elements of a successful business plan; and become eligible for alumni benefits including eligibility for interest-free Kiva Zip business loans, free legal consulting through TrustLaw, and exclusive VIP workshops and event access. 

Undergraduate students: Download the Social Innovation Certificate Sequence Sheet (PDF) for additional details about our pre-requisites, requirements, credits and suggested sequences.Visit Degree Requirements for detailed requirements for your entire degree.


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
  • 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 studentfinancialservices@pdx.edu for pricing and the Financial Aid office for federal loan eligibility

Additional Info

  • Need-based scholarships are available. Contact impactentrepreneurs@pdx.edu 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 accelerated field studies of two or four weeks
  • Online lectures and course content are posted once a week, participation is asynchronous

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