Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

Degree Details


DEGREE TYPECertificate
LOCATION75% Online



Practice social entrepreneurship to make a real difference in the world—and in your career.

Portland State University's online Certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship provides you the opportunity—and the tools—to create social change.


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What You'll Learn

In this four-course social entrepreneurship and social innovation program, you'll deeply analyze a social or environmental challenge, then design a business, nonprofit organization, or internal program that offers real solutions. Each class provides four elective credits. On completing the online program, you'll earn an academic or professional certificate from Portland State's nationally-ranked business school.


One of just 42 campuses worldwide to hold the "Ashoka U Changemaker Campus" designation, Portland State University in Portland, Oregon is a global hub of social entrepreneurship. Our online certificate in social innovation will enable you to:

Pursue your social change passion and inspire others to join.

  • Hone your abilities. You'll design a social or environmental venture that strengthens your creativity, leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop practical skills. You'll build a business model, work with financial modeling tools, practice human-centered design, and learn to measure outcomes and impacts.
  • Learn from successful social entrepreneurs. Faculty and guest lecturers in the social innovation program are practitioners who bring real-world experience to the curriculum. You'll also work with peer mentors and leading social entrepreneurs from around the globe.
  • Gain field experience. The online Certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship includes in-person field study. You'll have the chance to meet leading social entrepreneurs during a visit to Portland or a trip overseas.

Online Certificate: Business of Social Innovation Curriculum

You can complete the online social entrepreneurship certificate program in less than a year. The program consists of four courses:

Explore: Business of Social Innovation FAQs

  • Design Thinking for Social Innovation. Learn human-centered design, stakeholder management, and lean startup best practices and apply them to develop your own plan for a social venture.
  • Money Matters for Social Innovation. Learn the legal entity forms of social entrepreneurship (including nonprofits and benefit corporations), examine multiple ways to attract financing, and practice using financial planning and management tools.
  • Storytelling and Impact Measurement. Create narratives that inspire support for your social impact venture, and learn to measure impacts and use reporting frameworks.
  • Field Study. Meet social change leaders during a field study exercise in Oregon or overseas while studying operational excellence and leadership.

Portland State's Certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship provides a flexible framework that you can customize to your own interests and background. Whether you're just starting your career or are an experienced professional who wants to effect social change, our online social entrepreneurship program can help you follow your passion and work toward a better world.

For more information visit the Certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship program website. 

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Degree seeking students are eligible for financial aid.
  • Non-credit students are not eligible for financial aid.
  • Need-based scholarships are available for credit and non-credit students. Contact for information.


Portland State's School of Business holds a rare dual accreditation in accounting and general business from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

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


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