Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Minor

Build your own path to doing good.

The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation (SEI) Minor exposes undergraduate students to an integrated approach to applying entrepreneurial principles, concepts, and tools to the world’s biggest social problems. Open to all Notre Dame undergraduates, this customizable minor offers a practical and experiential approach to making the world a better place. Students strengthen their entrepreneurial mindset by developing innovative solutions to global social problems such as poverty, clean water, human trafficking, racial and ethnic discrimination, domestic abuse, literacy, and health care.

The SEI Minor consists of 15 credit hours:

  • Two foundational courses (6 hours)
  • Two elective core courses (6 hours)
  • One capstone course (3 hours)

In addition to the competency-based approach offered in the foundational, capstone, and a number of elective courses, students can build their own hands-on learning experience by choosing from various elective courses across campus and participating in experiential opportunities outside of the classroom.  The SEI Minor provides the practical tools to succeed across the nonprofit, private, and government sectors — no matter one's area of interest.

For more information and a course map, DOWNLOAD THE SEI MINOR FLYER.

If you want to learn more about the SEI Minor or would like to register for the program, please get in touch with Sarah Genz or book a time via Google Calendar.

Sarah will walk you through the advantages of being an SEI Minor student, including preferential consideration for Pulte Institute Student Fellowships and access to the Pulte Institute’s extracurricular events centered around learning outcomes through events, panels, workshops, networking, service, and more.


The SEI Minor is jointly housed in the McKenna Center for Human Development & Global Business and the Pulte Institute for Global Development; both are part of the Keough School of Global Affairs. Faculty and staff within the McKenna Center and the Pulte Institute have extensive experience implementing projects, conducting scholarly and applied research, and teaching courses related to social innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Course Contacts

Sarah Genz - Academic Advisor, Pulte Institute for Global Development

Michael Morris, Ph. D. - Academic Director and Professor of the Practice, McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business

Melissa Paulsen - SEI Minor and Integration Lab (i-Lab) Academic Director, Pulte Institute for Global Development Entrepreneurship and Education Program Director, and Professor of the Practice 

Learning Outcomes 

The SEI Minor introduces students to a range of tools, concepts, and approaches that will encourage the entrepreneurial thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are needed to develop creative solutions to challenging social problems around the globe. The SEI Minor’s interdisciplinary design, experiential learning emphasis, and Integral Human Development theme provide students a learning experience based on 12 critical competencies:

1. Social opportunity recognition 5. Guerilla skills 9. Adaptation
2. Social opportunity assessment 6. Risk mitigation when creating social value 10. Building and using networks to affect social outcomes
3. Resource leveraging and bootstrapping when pursuing social initiatives 7. Resilience 11. Social value innovation
4. Learning from trial and error 8. Creative problem solving 12. Planning in unpredictable and uncontrollable circumstances

Career Opportunities

The experiential and applied nature of the SEI Minor helps prepare students for a variety of career paths, including work in: 

  • Non-profit organizations dedicated to addressing social problems
  • Companies involved with corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • Government organizations responsible for policies and programs serving the disadvantaged or addressing inequities and vexing social needs
  • Consulting firms that assist individuals and organizations dedicated to social change

Other Ways to Get Involved with Social Entrepreneurship at Notre Dame

The McKenna Center and the Pulte Institute coordinate a mix of curricular, research, and community engagement initiatives related to social entrepreneurship and innovation, with a core emphasis on poverty alleviation worldwide. Our focus is on the empowering potential of entrepreneurship as a vehicle for addressing social needs and problems in new and exciting ways. Examples of initiatives in our portfolio include: