Discover. Design.
Do Good.

Grow empowered to find and pursue your passion. Make a difference while cultivating valuable relationships with mentors + content experts. Become an innovative problem solver to tackle the grand challenges in our state and the world!

What does it mean to be
a Social Innovation Fellow?

Do you...

  • Have a passion to change the world and want to explore deeply a great social challenge related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Currently work on a social venture, product or project solo or with a team, and/or want to join an existing venture team; OR have a social impact idea but don’t know where to go to develop this idea?
  • Want to work on an interdisciplinary team outside of your undergraduate major or graduate program?

    If so, you may be a great Social Innovation Fellow!

What is the program about?

A year-long team-based learning experience, the Social Innovation Fellows enables NC State’s young social entrepreneurs and innovators to consider more fully their impact on humanity and our planet.

Fellows explore issues of ethics and sustainability at the intersection of social sector and responsible business practice. They also grow in understanding of themselves and the positive impact they can make in their communities and the world.

To be a Fellow is to become a keen thinker and problem solver sensitive to knowledge and cultural differences who is prepared to become an engaged and responsible global citizen at NC State and beyond.

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

Learn more about the 2019-20 Fellows' Projects

Haiti Goat Project

A social enterprise led by Professor Char Farin from the NC State Department of Animal Science, this project helps support the Haitian agricultural community and provide nutritious school lunches to children from rural Haiti in grades pre-K through 6th. The Fellows will be working to prepare the organization to serve more areas and broaden fundraising.

Reborn Clothing Co.

A startup created by NC State student Emily Neville, Reborn Clothing Co. reduces textile waste by upcycling unused garments into new products  The Fellows will be helping them to manage growth while still being an ethically-sourced and mission-driven business.

700 Rivers

700 Rivers is a startup founded by NC State alum Catherina Gomes to employ women who have escaped sex trafficking in Bangladesh. To support its mission, the company intends to create handmade artisan soaps using sustainable materials and packaging. Their Fellows plan to assist with business development and branding in order to help launch the startup.

Our Wave

Our Wave, a nonprofit founded by NC State alum Kyle Linton, provides an anonymous online platform for survivors of sexual assault to share their stories and support one another. The Fellows team will be assisting them with outreach and spreading awareness.

Water in the Fields

Part of a health program run by the NC Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry, the Water in the Fields project has the mission of alleviating the challenges of NC Farmworkers who work long hours in the sun with limited access to water. Their Fellows team will help test the efficacy of their water bottle program while offering ideas and planning for next steps.

Haiti Goat Project

Haiti Goat Project

A venture returning for its second year, the Haiti Goat Project trains Haitian farmers to breed more robust goats in order to provide nutritious local school lunches. The Fellows helped them raise $6,500+ and diversify their funding as a nonprofit.

Root Bioscience

Root Bioscience

Root Bioscience transforms phytocannabinoids into health and wellness products. The Fellows team studied the perception and policy implications of this emerging field, focusing on the challenge of plant waste. They produced a prototype of cat litter and are studying market opportunities.

Sandhills Region Farming Initiative

Sandhills Region Farming Initiative

In partnership with NC State Extension and the Sandhills AGinnovation Center, the Fellows worked to connect more markets and vendors to local farmers in the Sandhills area by partnering with Freshspire, an online produce marketplace, and Vacation Vittles, an NC State social enterprise.

Farmworker’s Garment Project

Farmworker’s Garment Project

The Farmworker's Garment Project partnered with Wilson College of Textiles researchers to explore the sustainable and cultural challenges in creating a protective garment for migrant farmers suffering from pesticide exposure in rural North Carolina.



NC State researchers and the Global WASH Cluster invented the Flexcrevator, a machine for emptying pit latrines. The Fellows team helped refine this technology and developed a trade show marketing strategy and 2D visual tools.