Co-Founder & Director,
PO Box 751 - SBA
Cindy Cooper has been working in the field of social entrepreneurship as an educator, entrepreneur, intrapreneur and consultant since 1999.
She joined PSU in 2008 as an adjunct faculty member teaching global social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. In 2009, she was hired to develop the SBA’s first social innovation programs and launched the SBA’s Social Innovation Incubator (SII), recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of America’s 51 Bold and Brilliant Urban Ideas. Building on the SII, Cindy co-founded Impact Entrepreneurs in 2010, which offers courses, trainings and incubation programs to unleash the promise of business for social impact.
Cindy is an Ashoka U Change Leader overseeing PSU's participation as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus and helping to build the field of social innovation through higher education. Cindy co-authored Grameen Intel Social Business: Technology Solutions at the Base of the Pyramid, 2nd place winner of the 2015 NextBillion Case Competition and wrote “The Co-curricular and applied learning boom: The role of demand, validation and diverse offerings in fueling growth,” a chapter in Ashoka U’s 2014 Trends in Social Innovation Education handbook. Cindy is a Portland Business Journal 40 Under 40 award winner and was named one of the 10 sustainable economy leaders to watch by Sustainable Business Oregon.
Prior to PSU, Cindy co-founded Speak Shop, an award-winning social enterprise that offers live Spanish language classes taught by Guatemalan teachers via online videoconferencing. Previously she delivered programs for Net Impact, ran a social entrepreneurship incubator for the Three Guineas Fund, and worked in marketing at Nike and The Capital Group Companies.
Cindy’s consulting and incubator clients have included Girls for a Change, Upwardly Global, Central City Concern, EcoZoom, My Street Grocery, Nike, Ashoka Changemakers, and Meyer Memorial Trust.
She is passionate about international development and childhood development and serves on the boards of the Construct Foundation and Speak Shop.
Having grown up in the U.S. and Brazil, Cindy developed an interest in international issues and cultures early on and has visited more than 25 countries. She enjoys watching movies, playing indoor and outdoor games, and reading with her husband and daughter.