Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Engaging students from all corners of campus through dynamic opportunities to learn how to apply their passion and skills to change the world. 

About Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

We believe that NCSU will become a vibrant teaching-learning-living laboratory for social entrepreneurship. We strive to achieve this by creating a dynamic institutionally-based and community-engaged program to teach, learn and practice social entrepreneurship. 

These are our goals: 

  • Educate and empower students and faculty in new methodologies to improve the human condition
  • Transform existing organizations, businesses, and structures to be more innovative, sustainable, and effective change agents
  • Link and channel resources of campus and community to create powerful opportunities for learning and social impact
  • Support campus and community social entrepreneurs and the creation of social enterprises 

Interested in learning more about the emerging field of social entrepreneurship and innovation? Here’s how to get involved: 

Pop Up Lunch and Learns are events held for students and community members alike. Typically held around noon, Pop-Ups host local social entrepreneurs and community members, who share their stories and provide insight into the social innovation field. 

Social Venture Development is offered to all NC State students. With many different entrepreneurial competitions throughout the year, the Institute for Nonprofits offers coaching and development planning. We offer meetings for students who have completed business plans to students who just have an idea of a social venture. Check out some of our most popular competitions below!


Lulu eGames

Dinners With Purpose is one of our most popular events! Held once a semester, Dinners With Purpose feature amazing social entrepreneurs, like Mina Girgis of The Nile Project and Robin Emmons of Sow Much Good, who give talks and answer questions from students, community members, and staff. These catered events are always inspiring and exciting for all who attend. Click the links below to read about past Dinners With Purpose events!

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Spring 2016

Social innovation is powered by people with passion and motivation to use their talents to design and implement solutions to our most challenging and systemic social problems. 

Do you want to make a positive social impact with your skills? Become an NC State Social Innovation Fellow!

Under the guidance of Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence Aly Khalifa as well as faculty, business and community leaders, learn adaptive leadership skills to become a successful entrepreneur + technical skills to create and launch an enterprise or project that seeks to achieve positive social impact. 

Social Innovation Fellows

Learn More

The Social Entrepreneurship Newsletter comes out twice a month and informs subscribers about all social entrepreneurship events in the area, as well as opportunities for internships and fellowships, articles about social innovation, and more. Click the link below to subscribe! 

Social Entrepreneurship Newsletter

The Social Entrepreneur In Residence also works with the department to help bring social innovation to NC State. Our current Social Entrepreneur In Residence, Aly Khalifa, has made it his goal to help build out and execute a Social Innovation Fellows Program, while also helping students and the department learn from his experiences. To learn more about Aly Khalifa and past Social Entrepreneur In Residence Melissa Carrier, click the links below!

Aly Khalifa

Melissa Carrier

Be inspired to promote the growing social impact ecosystem at NC State and become a change maker! For more information, contact Elizabeth Benefield at eabenefi@ncsu.edu.

Social Innovation Fellows

Learn adaptive leadership skills to become successful entrepreneurs + technical skills to create and launch an enterprise or project that seeks to achieve positive social impact! 

Learn More Here!

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook- NC State Social Entrepreneurship Initiative

Twitter- @NCStateSocEnt

LinkedIn- NCSU Social Entrepreneurship Initiative

Pinterest – NC State Social Innovation

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive the latest editions of our Social Entrepreneurship Newsletter

Click Here

Student Spotlight

Faith Barnes

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

"I think everyone has a little bit of 'change the world' mentality in them. We all want to make a difference. We all want to feel connected and see the world become a better place. Too many people look at that attitude as if it is naive and childish. Our willingness to effect change in the world, to have compassion, is the greatest asset. Working with the Institute and Social Entrepreneurship has only furthered my opinion."

Watch footage from past COMx events!

COMx: Exploring Innovative Structures for Social Sector Organizations:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

External Activities and Partners

The Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative works with many external community partners to carry out its mission of developing and supporting the next generation of world change makers. Over a two year period the following community sites and organizations have become valuable partners in providing internship opportunities, mentoring, incubation support for social ventures, pitch competition hosts, networking events, and informal connections with Raleigh and the Triangle region. These include:

HQ Raleigh: Through both the e-clinic sponsored by Poole College of Management and office space provided by the Office of Technology Transfer our students and faculty benefit from real life engagement with local start-up ventures. 

B Corps Clinic: In partnership with Poole College, our students are exposed to the B Corp movement and given the opportunity to become B Corp ambassadors to emerging companies seeking certification.

e-51 and AWE (Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs): Students and staff participate in this campus/ community collaborative that offers workshops, mentoring, and events to support female entrepreneurs. 

The Loading Dock Raleigh: The Loading Dock Raleigh is an emerging new membership based co-working space in downtown. This space offers “fishbowl” activities and working space for students seeking to learn about social entrepreneurship and social sector organizations.

Audacity Factory: Several students each academic year intern with Audacity Factory, an incubator for social enterprises that focuses on anti-human trafficking.

Organizations providing/ offering internship opportunities for social entrepreneurship students include:

The Redwoods Foundation


Myriad Productions

Bee Downtown

Murphy’s Naturals

- Wine to Water