Summer Program

We are offering a four-week intensive Social Entrepreneurship Practicum at Skidmore College in June 2017.

  • Are you driven by interest in a social problem and do you have an idea to help solve it?
  • Have you been imagining a social enterprise and wondering how to make your concept come to life?
  • Do you have a social entrepreneurship project in mind and need help designing a model to implement it?

The goal of this program is to make you a more informed and effective agent of social innovation, using the skills, tools and knowledge of entrepreneurship. It is structured on the Novamaya Approach. Benefits include

college or university students

  • Learning from leading innovators and change creators
  • Learning key competencies such as critical thinking, communication and collaboration, business modeling, capital raising, and design thinking
  • Networking with like-minded peers
  • Opportunity for post-program funding and internships
  • Developing greater self-awareness
  • Mentorship regarding college and career
  • Understanding your passion and purpose within the evolving paradigm
  • Living and learning at a leading liberal arts institution, in one of the finest college towns in the United States
  • Leaving with a tangible résumé-building product

 Social Entrepreneurship Practicum  (May 30 – June 23, 2017)

We are living at an exciting period in human history, when scientific and technological breakthroughs continue to revolutionize every aspect of our existence. But these same forces of progress have also brought new challenges at the personal, community and global levels. Many of society’s most pressing problems are successfully addressed not by governments or large corporations, but by entrepreneurs who have the advantages of agility, fresh thinking, and a lack of institutional baggage.

This highly interactive and in-depth course is taught and facilitated by practicing social entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers. We will use a modified version of the popular Lean Startup® canvas to collaboratively design a venture that addresses a real-world social challenge.

The course is broken down into three broad segments:

1. Entrepreneurship and social change. We will look at how innovative entrepreneurs are developing new ways of thinking about and solving some of society’s biggest challenges, and contrast them with earlier forms of activism. We will examine what drives innovation and social entrepreneurship, how entrepreneurial ecosystems are created and sustained, what constitutes sustainable change, and how one can best effect such change. We will also explore the role of the financial markets to help understand the context in which entrepreneurial and social decisions are made.

2. Creating an entrepreneurial venture. We will examine the process of creating an entrepreneurial venture from start to finish. You will learn essential business skills and tools, such as

  • using design thinking in generating ideas and identifying opportunities,
  • entrepreneurial finance, including valuation techniques, capital raising, and financial analysis,
  • marketing, prototyping and testing your product or service,
  • growing the venture,
  • working in resource-constrained environments.

3. The entrepreneurial mindset. With the increasingly rapid pace of change the world over, learning to think like an entrepreneur has become one of the most crucial and necessary skills demanded by organizations and communities. The  entrepreneur has evolved into a creator of social transformation, and with this leadership role comes responsibilities to oneself, one’s community and to the world at large. We will learn about the skills and practices essential to successful entrepreneurs, including financial literacy, critical thinking, creativity, and attention to personal well-being.

We will also explore entrepreneurship as a viable and sustainable career option, and hear directly from social entrepreneurs on the benefits and challenges of their career choice.

College Credit

Skidmore1Students who successfully complete the course (ID235 in Skidmore’s Summer catalogue) are eligible for 3 credits from Skidmore College.  Non-Skidmore students should check with their home institution regarding transferability of credit.

Accommodation & Location

Skidmore1Skidmore College is a private liberal arts college situated in upstate New York, just north of Albany, in the picturesque town of Saratoga Springs. Within a 2-3 hours’ drive from Skidmore are the cities of Boston, New York City, Montreal, Albany, Springfield, New Haven, Providence and Hartford. The nearby Adirondacks, Berkshires and Green Mountains provide additional recreational opportunities.

All participants are housed on the Skidmore College campus, dine in the college dining hall, and have access to the gym facilities. Students with dietary restrictions or food allergies can be accommodated with sufficient advance notice.

Schedule & Activities

While the program has a daily structure and rhythm, there is also ample opportunity to individually and collectively explore topics and areas of interest. No two days are exactly alike; participants can expect a mix of in-class instruction, outdoor discussion and dialogue, evening activities and weekend events. Generally, the first part of the day is spent on core material, while the afternoons and evenings provide space for enrichment sessions, group activities and personal time.

Mentorship and one-on-one meetings with course facilitators form a large part of the overall learning experience, and students are encouraged to make the most of these opportunities.

Application Process

This is a selective course with limited space and rolling admissions. Interested students are advised to apply as soon as possible. Application deadline is April 30 2017.

Costs & Other Requirements


Skidmore charges $2,355 for tuition for this 3-credit course. Room and board costs will vary depending on the meal plan chosen. More details may be found at the Skidmore Summer Programs website.