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 through providing opportunities – both inside and outside of the classroom – for students to cultivate the critical competencies needed to contribute to lasting social change.

CASE believes that certain competencies – the specific mindsets, skills, and habits – are key to success in both social enterprise leadership and impact investing. The CASE social impact program equips students with:

  • Mindsets – Foundational thought patterns that propel social impact leaders forward, or hold them back.
  • Skills – The abilities that social impact leaders must master to achieve lasting impact. These include foundational skills any effective leader needs (e.g. analytical skills, effective communication, strategic thinking), as well as the unique skills needed when balancing mission and multiple bottom lines.
  • Habits – The repetitive actions that will sustain social impact leaders and enable effective implementation of core skills and mindsets.

Classroom-based Learning

Classroom-based opportunities to develop these critical social impact competencies include:

Social Entrepreneurship Concentration

The Concentration in Social Entrepreneurship is designed for students interested in using their MBA skills in the entrepreneurial pursuit of social impact, who aspire at some point in their lives to be social entrepreneurs, executives in social-purpose organizations, social impact consultants, philanthropists, board members, or leading volunteers in their communities and the social sector. Courses in this concentration will also appeal to students interested in incorporating strategies for social impact into their business and entrepreneurial careers.

Featured Academic Courses: At Fuqua, impact-motivated students can choose from a wide variety of courses, including:

Social Entrepreneurship

Through case discussions, frameworks, and guest speakers, students learn how to answer a number of questions, including: How do successful social entrepreneurs use organizations to achieve sustainable change and impact? How do impact investors pick the best to invest in? What are the advantages and challenges of growing a company vs. a nonprofit? How can larger institutions help bring the best ideas to scale?

Advanced Social Entrepreneurship 

A seminar style course which provides students an opportunity for deeper exploration of the practice of social entrepreneurship, set within the context of global poverty.

Impact Investing

Explores the emerging marketplace of impact investing. Through a series of case studies and guests, students learn the perspective of the entrepreneur seeking capital as well as the perspective of the investor and lender adapting traditional forms of financing to support enterprises seeking both profit and mission.

CASE Pop-Up Workshops

Through these half-day workshops led by industry experts, students take a practical deep dive into an area critical to social impact leadership.   Topics often include:

  • Launching a Social Venture
  • Design Thinking
  • Risk Taking & Failure
  • Designing a Presentation Your Brain Will Love

Outside of Fuqua

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:

Outside the Classroom Learning

At CASE, we know that some of the most valuable learnings take place outside of the classroom.  In order to gain practical and relevant hands on skills and experience, students have the opportunity to develop their social impact competencies through participating in practicum-based courses and co-curricular leadership & reflection opportunities, such as:

  • Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum – Gain hands on social impact consulting experience in a range of business functions and industries in markets all across the globe.
  • CASEi3 Consulting Practicum – Work together in teams comprised of first year and second year students to complete impact investing consulting projects for clients around the globe.
  • Fuqua on Board – Gain valuable insight into the governance and inner workings of nonprofit organizations while providing the nonprofits with fresh perspectives and critical business skills.
  • CASE Launchpad – Receive $10,000 and one-one coaching from CASE Senior Fellow and NY Times Bestselling Author Dan Heath to help vault a social impact idea forward.
  • Mentored Study– Spend time on-site and offsite working on projects for an entrepreneurial venture, including local start-up and early stage companies, non-profit organizations, real estate developers, and venture capital firms.
  • Independent Study– Work closely with a faculty member to pursue a project of interest to you.
  • Fuqua Summer Internship Fund– Learn about the rewards and challenges of social sector management without making a significant financial sacrifice