You can learn more at our Youtube channel. Santa Clara University // Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

“Creating transformative learning opportunities that engage students, faculty, and social entrepreneurs.”

Education & Action Research


“Creating transformative learning opportunities that engage students, faculty, and social entrepreneurs.”

Global Social Benefit Fellowship Wins Cordes Innovation Award


AshokaU has awarded the Cordes Innovation Award in Academic Student Learning for 2017 to the Global Social Benefit Fellowship. Each year AshokaU – the higher education initiative of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs -- and the Cordes Foundation recognize leading models of social innovation education, and programmatic innovations that advance university engagement with the social entrepreneurship movement. This is the most prestigious award in social enterprise higher education.

The action research model of the Fellowship simultaneously supports rigorous, transformative undergraduate student learning and the scaling of social enterprises in developing countries that participate in our world-class Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) accelerator programs. Action research is a practice-led approach that emphasizes learning from working with social enterprises. This provides a value exchange between students and social enterprises.




The Global Social Benefit Fellowship provides a comprehensive program of mentored, field-based study and action research within the GSBI® worldwide network of social entrepreneurs. The Fellowship combines a fully funded summer field experience in the developing world with two quarters of academically rigorous research. It is a program of practical social justice, in the Jesuit educational tradition. The fellowship is described in detail in our white paper Action Research for Social Entrepreneurship Education. You can learn more at our Youtube channel.

The Global Social Benefit Fellowship is a richly rewarding yet demanding experience, one that requires a time-intensive, 9-month commitment. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the social enterprise movement. Each Fellow receives a support package to cover all international travel, in-country expenses, and research costs, plus a modest summer stipend. Only Juniors are eligible.

In 2017 Miller Center is piloting the Social Enterprise Practicum. This features action research elements of the GSBF, but with less course-work and only 4 weeks of action research in the field. Sophomores and Juniors are eligible.

Register your interest in the 2018 Global Social Benefit Fellowship and Social Enterprise Practicum

You must be logged into you your gmail account. Once you have registered your interest for 2018 programs, we will hold on to your contact information and update you once details are available.







Roelandts Grant

The Willem P. Roelandts and Maria Constantino-Roelandts Grant Program in Science and Technology for Social Benefit

The Roelandts Grant Program funds faculty and student research projects that use science and technology for social benefit, broadly defined. The program encourages innovative uses of scientific knowledge and technological development to address social needs, locally and globally. The Roelandts Grant Program seeks to fund a diversity of research activity, especially new and innovative projects, and those that serve the social enterprise movement. Deadline for submitting proposals is October 15.

More info: Request for Proposals


Social Entrepreneurship


Social entrepreneurs (SEs) create new organizations, new markets, and new ways of thinking and behaving in solidarity with poor communities to provide basic services such as renewable energy, clean water, health care technologies, education, and access to financial services. SEs devise highly affordable products and services that can be bought by people living on a few dollars a day, and create businesses that can distribute these to poor communities. Many SEs come from the communities that they serve. Some SEs work with women and their specific socio-economic needs.




Miller Center teaches social entrepreneurship in partnership with other campus units. In partnership with the University Honors Program, the Center offers Honors 20:  Technology for Social Justice (fulfills the STS core curriculum requirement) and Honors 120:  Entrepreneurship for Social Justice (fulfills Advanced Writing core curriculum requirement).The Center teaches two courses foundational for the Global Social Benefit Fellowship, ELSJ 134  Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship, and ELSJ 135  Research in Social Entrepreneurship (these fulfill the STS and Experiential Learning for Social Justice core curriculum requirements). In the School of Engineering, in partnership with the Frugal Innovation Lab, Miller Center offers graduate course ENGR 341 Innovation, Design, and Spirituality.

Roundtable Podcasts

Thesis Work

William Swanson, Political Science, 2016
Assessing Social Impact in Base of the Pyramid Markets.  

Caroline de Bie, Public Health Science 2015
Would Paul Farmer like BanaPads? An Assessment of Social Enterprise as a Women’s Health Intervention.  

Monet Gonnerman, Sociology 2015
Women’s Livelihood Creation and the Affiliation Capability: A Critical Programmatic Analysis.  

Jesse Caemmerer, SCU Political Science 2014
Innovative Microfinance, Technology for Social Justice project.  

Phillip T. Cooke SJ, 2014
Social Entrepreneurship and Jesuit Social Ministries: A New Path of Liberation. A thesis in partial fulfillment of a Sacred Theology Licentiate at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University.  

Nikita Agrawal, 2014 Senior Honors Thesis
Cost-effective Health Interventions for Improved Education and Employment: An Integrated Approach to Development  

Jack I. Bird, 2014 Senior Honors Thesis
The Potential of Agroforestry to Reduce Energy Poverty and Environmental Degradation in Rural Zambia  

Ashley Armstrong, 2013 Senior Honors Thesis
The Efficacy of Microfinance in Alleviating Food Insecurity  

Amanda Nelson, 2013 Senior Honors Thesis
Savings and the Poor: A Review of Savings Products Offered by Microfinance Institutions  

Mary Nicole Nienow Birch, 2013 Senior Honors Thesis
Public Health Interventions in the Developing World: An Opportunity for Social Enterprise Involvement