The demand for MBA skills in the social sector is increasing dramatically. The breadth of courses in the core MBA program at Fuqua provides a strong foundation for any student looking to become a successful social impact leader. CASE’s social impact program builds off of this core curriculum by providing opportunities for students to cultivate the additional competencies needed to drive social impact. At Fuqua, impact-motivated students can choose from a wide variety of courses, including:
From Social Entrepreneurship to Business for Good: Is about creating and leading organizations and initiatives that strive to advance the well-being of people and planet. Social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs use innovations and new practices to accomplish some very long-term and ambitious social and environmental challenges: end inner-city poverty, improve public education, reduce global warming, and improve healthcare around the world, to name a few. The class is designed to arm students with current skills, tools, and frameworks used by social entrepreneurs, their C-Suite teams, investors, funders, advisors and professional impact consultants working to support innovative solutions to global problems at scale. Whatever kind of organization you work within or create, the course will professionalize your skill sets so you can bring the full suite of disciplined thinking and professional lessons to the hard work of improving impact on people and planet through business.
Impact Investing: Impact investors seek to generate environmental and social impacts in addition to financial returns through their investments. This emerging investment strategy is developing around the globe as a way to expand the ability of investors to use their dollars to promote changes they care about and to invest in vehicles to achieve a great variety of impact— for example the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, or impact related to energy, water, climate change, community development, health, sustainable development, and education. The emerging field of impact investing includes both private market instruments, like venture capital, private equity, and debt, and public market strategies including divestment, negative screening, and investing for positive factors such as environmental, social and governance (ESG). Students develop contextual understanding in areas including financial instruments, fund structures, investment strategy and impact measurement and management.
Social Venture Capital: Students learn about seed, early stage, or growth private capital that seeks to achieve market based financial returns while making a positive social impact. In each case, students look at the deal from the lens of both the fund investing in the deal as well as the entrepreneur creating the business. The course focuses on deal, investment and growth strategy, managerial choices in creating and building businesses as well as the unique challenges of creating and running a social venture business or creating a social venture fund. The course also covers current methods of evaluating ESG considerations in private capital investing.
CASE i3 Consulting Practicum: Is a track within the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum designed to assist students in developing business consulting skills through the application of content learned in other graduate course work to actual problems facing businesses and community organizations working in the impact investing field. Students work in a team with one of several client organizations selected each year from a global application pool. Students gain experience with all aspects of client consulting, including scoping work, regular interim check-ins with client, and producing a final set of deliverables to move the client organization forward in their work, as well as a deep-dive experience with the specific aspect of the impact investing sector the project focuses on.
Fuqua Sustainable Impact Student Investment Fund: Student-run fund seeking to responsibly invest in long-hold public equities that further issues of integrity, equity, environmental stewardship, social awareness, ethics, and good governance. This for-credit experience gives students experience developing ESG and sustainable investment strategies, actively investing funds in public equities, and utilizing capital allocation and impact measurement and management frameworks.
Kirby Prize Lab: Funding Impact at Scale: We speak in impact classes of the concepts of scale readiness, impact business models, impact evidence, and pathways to achieve scale – but there is nothing like the opportunity to look across hundreds of social enterprises around the world to solidify your understanding of the range of strategies and approaches. The Kirby Prize Lab provides the opportunity for MBA students to serve on the Selection Committee for the annual $150,000 F.M. Kirby Prize for Scaling Impact, assessing how key impact concepts are translated through a variety of business models, gaining the perspective of a funder (including how to be a responsible, equity-oriented funder), and identifying ways to add value to the whole pool of applicants, while narrowing it down to one prize winner.
Climate Change, Sustainability & Corporate Governance: Global challenges such as urbanization, food security, water crises, inequality, natural resource degradation, and climate change increasingly present material risks to corporations. Yet these same trends can create profitable opportunities for companies if innovation is harnessed to create products and business models that provide solutions for growing global markets. As these challenges grow, companies are increasingly integrating sustainability as a business imperative and a key to competitive advantage. In the course, students examine how businesses assess their risks and opportunities, and how they develop strategies to promote more sustainable practices.
Seminar on Energy & Environment: Gives students a unique opportunity to learn about today’s most important energy and environment industry issues directly from senior business executives. Students have a chance to engage in candid conversations in a small-group setting with influential industry leaders. The seminars are designed to present a variety of energy and environment perspectives and cover topics ranging from global energy market economics and finance, to corporate sustainability, energy system transformation, and cleantech commercialization and entrepreneurship
Students who want to demonstrate a focus in social impact through their MBA studies can apply for the Social Entrepreneurship Concentration. The Concentration in Social Entrepreneurship is designed for students interested in using their MBA skills in the pursuit of social impact, who aspire at some point in their lives to be managers in social impact enterprises, social impact consultants, philanthropists, board members, or leading volunteers in their local impact communities. Courses in this concentration will also appeal to students interested in incorporating strategies for social impact into their business and entrepreneurial careers.
Other curricular offerings at Duke:
One of the benefits of studying at a world-class university is the ability to select courses outside of Fuqua to compliment your educational goals. From public policy to human-centered design, Fuqua students have taken advantage of a variety of courses during their time at Duke University. Some commonly utilized campus resources by our students include: