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February 5, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

Top MBA and Business Schools for Social Entrepreneurship

Best Social Entrepreneurship Business School Programs: Ranking Beyond Penstripes B-School Programs

Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking of management and business school programs. These MBA programs collectively have an emphasis on environment, business ethics, and social entrepreneurship. (VERY IMPORTANT: Check out the profiles of each school by following the link to Grey Pinstripes. Those profiles provide a short snippet of what the program is about. The links in my articles go to the actual schools social entrepreneurship or business school website.) Enjoy!

1 Stanford
2 Michigan (Ross)
3 York (Schulich) CAN
4 UC Berkeley (Haas)
5 Notre Dame (Mendoza)
6 Columbia
7 Cornell (Johnson)
8 Duquesne (Donahue)
9 Yale
10 IE Business School ESP (?)
11 NYU (Stern)
12 UNC (Kenan-Flagler)
13 The George Washington University
14 ESADE Business School ESP
16 Calgary (Haskayne) CAN
17 ITESM (EGADE Monterrey) MEX
18 New Mexico (Anderson)
19 *Brandeis (Heller)
20 Colorado, Boulder (Leeds)
21 Western Ontario (Ivey) CAN
22 Portland State
23 British Columbia (Sauder) CAN
24 Virginia (Darden)
25 Dartmouth (Tuck)
26 Duke (Fuqua)
27 Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
28 The University of Nottingham UK
29 UC Davis
30 Wake Forest (Babcock)
31 Babson
32 *Simmons
33 Wisconsin-Madison
34 South Florida, St. Petersburg
35 Jyväskylä FIN
36 University of San Diego
37 San Francisco State
38 Emory (Goizueta)
39 Dalhousie CAN
40 Monterey Institute of International Studies
41 Copenhagen Business School DEN
42 Asian Institute of Management PHI
44 Thunderbird
45 McGill CAN
46 Boston College
47 Denver (Daniels)
48 IIT (Stuart)
49 Vanderbilt (Owen)
50 Pepperdine (Graziadio)

You can find the rest of the top 100 at Beyond Penstripes. You may also want to check out what programs the Skoll Foundation suggests. In addition, US News and World Reports has rankings for best Non-profit Management MBA programs as well as top Public Administration programs. Finally, this Business school ranking tool may be helpful as well as the Top 100 Socially Responsible Grad programs list prepared by Net Impact (which requires an email registration). The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs is moderately recommended and $15 for the PDF download and includes coverage of CSR issues.

I’m not sure where you would find programs in international development, agriculture, or top design schools.



Leave a Comment
  1. AJ / Jul 28 2009 12:32 am

    NetImpact has a good list as well.

  2. J Gartens / Dec 16 2009 10:26 pm

    what about the Oxford, Saiid MBA?

  3. D / Dec 28 2009 8:38 am

    Any idea how much does it cost to MBA in Social Entrepreneurship in Stanford?

    • Nathan Ketsdever / Nov 21 2011 9:37 pm

      According to US News and World Report, Full-time: $53,118 per year (for a 2 year program)

      However, this doesn’t take into account scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid.

  4. A. Budisusila / Jan 6 2010 8:11 pm

    i have concern on social entrepreneurship. it is important thinking to social change in developing countries. Where i can take PHD program in this subject?

    • Nathan Ketsdever / Nov 21 2011 9:37 pm

      I’m honestly not sure. Hopefully one of the readers can provide a good answer.

  5. compassioninpolitics / Jan 6 2010 10:47 pm

    I believe you are correct to suggest that the field is limited. However, I think you have to take a slightly broader view.

    I assume if you want a PhD in the area you would pick something related like International Development perhaps even Business/Organizational Development or Education as your field of study.

    The second way to evaluate this question is to reverse engineer what job descriptions in this area talk about (for instance at Higher or other higher education job portals). Additionally, you could look to the actual qualifications of existing professors in this area (this is probably most effective with recent hires by the department).

  6. compassioninpolitics / Apr 14 2010 10:13 pm

    The other thread on Compassion in Politics includes mention of various international programs in social entrerprise/development which may prove helpful.

    Additionally, this listing includes some more international programs:

  7. compassioninpolitics / Apr 15 2010 5:19 pm

    I should point out that Santa Clara University has launched a robust SE program

    More info here about the 23 SE startups awarded funding:,1240160.shtml

    Also, Tulane has made big strides in this area by providing experience oriented forms of education for students.

  8. MBA Jobs / Apr 20 2010 2:12 pm

    Thank you for providing Top 50 colleges for MBA,

  9. Nathan Ketsdever / May 12 2010 9:52 pm

    Initially these 15 areas described by Columbia as a breakdown of social entrepreneurship and related fields is important in thinking about your career goals and career trajectory in social enterprise:

    Additionally, the public policy program at Carnegie Melon University (CMU) has a social enterprise focus–but falls outside the purview of the above focus on MBA studies.

    If you wanted an MBA in addition to an MPP this might be a decent place to get that

  10. compassioninpolitics / May 19 2010 1:53 am

    I know I included the Net Impact rankings list of top social innovation MBA programs in the post, but I decided to include it again here. The guide is from 2009, but is still very onpoint covering this space:

    I like how it seems to unpack 3 programs strengths–so you can tell what their academic/professional focus is. And its incredibly comprehensive–I think even more so than the Graypinstripes (it just doesn’t have a ranking). Very, very comprehensive.

  11. Nathan Ketsdever / May 26 2010 4:33 am

    Beyond the suggestions above (Carnegie Mellon, Tulane, and checking out the Net Impact rankings)–if you are thinking about social enterprise in the developing world Sloan at MIT has a unique offering because of its Legatum Center along with the D-Lab:

  12. Nathan Ketsdever / Jun 7 2010 5:14 pm

    The social venture program at Maryland looks to be fairly impressive.

    Its an experiential based program as delineated here:

    Here are its overall rankings via Financial Times:

  13. compassioninpolitics / Jul 20 2010 9:29 pm

    This is likely an undergraduate program at the University of Michigan–but you can check out their class website here:

  14. Andrea @ Consultant Blog / Jul 27 2010 9:11 pm

    I did the SFU Executive MBA. It allowed me to keep working while I was in school. That meant my work served as a test lab for everything I was learning and I could chuck out ideas I didn’t like! SFU as an institution long has had a social entrepreneurism bent and it used to be seen as a radical school. It’s still very innovative, but the business faculty is still pro-business, of course. I really enjoyed the policy, economics and organizational behaviour and knowledge management courses for their explorations of social entrepreneur concepts.

  15. compassioninpolitics / Jul 28 2010 6:58 am


    What did SFU offer in the area of social entrepreneurship for MBAs?

    What are the options for social entrepreneurship MBAs in Canada?
    McGill, Calgary, Ontario, and BC??? Anything else??? I noticed Rotman has an interesting program given that Skoll is I believe one of the teachers.

  16. compassioninpolitics / Jul 28 2010 6:59 am

    >>>>Any idea how much does it cost to MBA in Social Entrepreneurship in Stanford?

    The US News and World Report rankings I believe have this data on each university.

  17. compassioninpolitics / Jul 31 2010 10:21 pm

    One source of info on social entrepreneurs would be looking where the fellows of top programs attended. For instance here are the 2010 fellows from the Acumen Fund–along with I believe all of their MBA schools:

    It features Stanford University, Colorado State University, Columbia University, Brandeis among others.

  18. Anagha / Aug 31 2010 12:54 pm

    Hey, this is an excellent resource…
    I was looking for B school rankings in non-profits and social entreprenuership.. This gave me more than I asked for..

  19. compassioninpolitics / Sep 22 2010 10:29 pm

    Its worth noting that Texas A&M and Michigan State, both of which have top rate MBA programs also have development programs (via USAID and the SPREAD program) which partners in the agricultural programs (I don’t know which departments the programs are managed from). I’m also not sure how much flexibility, innovation, and entrepreneurship goes on.

  20. compassioninpolitics / Nov 13 2010 8:47 am

    In addition, schools like Tuck at Dartmouth and the University of Illinois Business school also have interesting social entrepreneurship components in terms of international business with bottom of the pyramid customers:

  21. compassioninpolitics / Jan 6 2011 6:08 am

    According to a recent article by BNET the following are major MBA recruiters for social entrepreneurs:

    Skoll Foundation: EBay founder Jeff Skoll chairs the foundation, which awards more than $40 million in grants to social entrepreneurs each year.

    Acumen Fund: The investment firm backs socially responsible ventures that find new ways to provide poor communities in Kenya, India, and other countries with healthcare, housing, energy, and water.

    Ashoka: Founded in 1980, Ashoka gives up-and-coming social entrepreneurs a living stipend for three years as they launch ventures to address societal needs in developing countries.

    Teach for America: The teachers come out of undergrad programs, but TFA values innovative MBA students who can help the organization recruit and retain top talent for the classroom.

    Bridgespan and FSG Social Impact Advisors: The leading consulting firms for nonprofit organizations.

    The article also mentions Common Good Careers as a recruiter as well. Read the full article here:

    This list of course excludes the opportunity to be an
    intra-praneur in a mainstream organization (ie sustainabillity, decreasing waste via lean organizational principles, CSR, or working for transformation in education, health care, or government)

    If you’re interested in a health care MBA, this article may be of help:;toc-drawer

  22. Peter Hackbert / Jan 31 2011 1:46 pm

    It appears that you have a “traditional mindset” as it relates to the types of college within universities and college programs that can support the emergence of social entrepreneurship. You might look at four: Duke University, University of Portland, UIUC and Berea College.

  23. compassioninpolitics / Feb 13 2011 7:11 am

    Here are two other considerations worth checking out:

    Markets & Human Hope program at Darden is interesting (University of Virginia is #24 above)

    U Penn (aka Wharton) is also making big strides in this area with their Social Wealth Program:
    This might provide further insight on their support of social entrepreneurship:

  24. Nathan Kets / Jul 8 2013 9:12 pm

    I’m not sure how my assessment of this area would change over time. However, this consortium seems like an advantage to folks in the field (ie you might want to think about schools in the consortium more seriously than those out of it).

    Although, if you are really dead set on a school or teacher this probably isn’t for you as a decision making method–but if you have narrowed your search and need a way to filter or rank–this list of 18 schools may in fact help:

    Our 2012-13 member schools include:

    University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
    University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA Anderson School of Management
    Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business
    Cornell University, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
    Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business
    Emory University, Goizueta Business School
    Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
    Indiana University-Bloomington, Kelley School of Business
    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
    New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School
    University of Rochester, Simon School of Business
    University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
    The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business
    University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
    Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
    Yale University, Yale School of Management

    And I’m not entirely what it is–it just seems targeted at connecting the institution with the SE community. Its also obvious that SE can be defined in multiple ways so these schools may not reflect what you have in mind when you think of the term in terms of future career prospects:

    1) Base of the pyramid (for profit & non for profit)
    2) US & UK, etc… (for profit & non for profit)
    3) Double bottom line, triple bottom line type focus
    4) Impact investment/Venture philanthrophy
    5) Corporate social responsibility (or the more modern versions of this term)

    In fact these categories can probably further be broken down.


  1. List of Schools Offering Social Entrepreneurship Programs | Rebel For A Cause
  2. Is Now the Time for University Programs in Social Entrepreneurship « Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Education Innovation, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions

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