Explore what “social entrepreneurship” means around the world, drawing on the disciplines of anthropology, management, economics, technology, and design.

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    Examine how various forms of entrepreneurship are being employed to address some of today’s most pressing social challenges.

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    Learn to listen, observe, and engage in collaborative analysis and work with social entrepreneurs in the field to translate your research into practical applications.

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    Investigate case studies and meet with social entrepreneurs, activists, and local individuals seeking change.

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    Discover how technology and digital tools can be used to further social change and entrepreneurship.

Critical Global Issue of Study

Development | Economy | Inequality

Development | Economy | Inequality

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None, but previous college-level coursework and/or other preparation in economics, anthropology, business studies, entrepreneurship, design, or other related fields is strongly recommended.

Key Topics of Study


Key Topics of Study

  • Best practices and criticisms relating to social entrepreneurship
  • How and why social enterprise and innovation emerge, develop, and evolve in different contexts
  • Innovative approaches and strategies that have evolved to address critical issues relating to education, agriculture, environment, health, and social and financial inclusion to further positive social change
  • How technology and digital tools can be used in furthering social innovation and entrepreneurship
  • What design thinking entails and how might it be used in furthering social innovation
  • The social, technological, design, cultural, and political elements that create the most fertile conditions for entrepreneurship and social change




Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Anthropology and Social Change – syllabus
(ANTH3500 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
This course introduces students to applied, cultural and design anthropology through an in-depth and experience-based exploration of social change and social entrepreneurship across four countries. Applied anthropology centers on the close study of a local community, culture, group, or activity. Both cultural and applied anthropologists use ethnography to uncover how cultural practices take shape and draw from an interdisciplinary array of qualitative fieldwork and/or primary research methods including participatory involvement, observation, photography, mapping exercises, depth interviews, and note taking and then move on to analysis, interpretation, and triangulation. Through comparative methods, cultural anthropology looks primarily to cultural expression and articulation to understand humans, and places a particular focus on the tensions between the local and the global and between nature and culture. Key questions to be explored include the following: What cultural conditions enable the development of social enterprises? How can anthropological methods and lenses allow us to better historicize, contextualize, and make sense of these conditions? How can anthropology help us understand the practice of design and social entrepreneurship as social phenomena? What kinds of assumptions about human needs, practices, and processes inform social entrepreneurs/enterprises? How are key concepts of social change and social impact understood and articulated in various cultural contexts? How do history, geography, culture, and power relations play a role in defining these concepts?
Design Thinking and Development – syllabus
(DVST3500 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
In a globalized world, the challenges and opportunities facing societies grow more complex and interconnected and stakeholders grow more diverse. In this context, approaches known as “design thinking” and “human centered design” are increasingly defining challenges and articulating practical ideas to improve the world. Design thinking is a process of discovery, ideation, and experimentation that employs design-based techniques to gain insight and yield practical and implementable ideas for virtually any type of organizational or business challenge, prominently including those within public service. Human-centered design requires a deep understanding of people, technology, and society. In this course, students will learn each step of the design thinking process and become familiar with the design thinker's toolkit. The course provides a practical, experience-based overview and introduction to both concepts and how they may be applied to social innovation and entrepreneurship. Design as a discipline is evolving, responsive, and above all practice based. Sensitivity to local context, to cultural difference, to a diversity of modes of social, cultural, and human expression and rigorous self-reflection are key traits of a designer. Students will develop skills as ethnographers, visual thinkers, strategists, and storytellers through a hybrid of seminar discussions, site visits, and collaborative projects.
Technology, Change, and Innovation – syllabus
(IDST3005 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
In this course, students will learn about technology and how digital tools may be used in furthering social innovation and entrepreneurship. The course will provide students with an overview of many available digital resources and social entrepreneurs who are successfully using technology to further their enterprises and causes. Students will engage in a series of skills developing assignments (including a simulation) that build upon each other throughout the duration of the course. The class will culminate in a final project that will allow students to apply what they have learned to a specific social and policy challenge they are passionate about.
Social Entrepreneurship – syllabus
(MGMT3000 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
This course highlights a number of innovative approaches and strategies that have evolved to addresses and advance global social and economic development. The course introduces students to the concept of social entrepreneurship and how it is expanding globally across sectors and organizations. Students will examine the ever-changing demands and contexts in a globalizing world and learn to identify and evaluate the elements required to build and operate effective and scalable social enterprises. Students will be introduced to corporate strategies and challenges in aiding the poor in underdeveloped and underserved markets. Aspects of economic development and how those aspects relate to social progress and issues of sustainable development are highlighted. The course also addresses the challenges and opportunities social entrepreneurship offers corporations through partnerships. Students will learn how companies and social entrepreneurs may create new and innovative sustainable business models that provide social value and also generate financial returns to both build and serve new markets at the bottom of the pyramid.




Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

United States: San Francisco, Bay Area, California

(2 weeks)
San FranciscoThe Bay Area is home to scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities, legendary cuisine, and game-changing entrepreneurship. Here, you’ll receive orientation to the program and conduct on-site study of a variety of social entrepreneurship and design models such as the Delancey Street Foundation, Precitas Eyes, Impact Hub, Tech Shop, Google, IDEO, Old Skool Café. You’ll also meet with one of the founders of Thumbtack, Inc., who is also an IHP alum.

Starting with this hotbed of social innovation in the US will give you a solid introduction to the many challenges and facets of social entrepreneurship and will lay the foundation for comparative study in Uganda, India, and Brazil.

Uganda: Kampala

(4 weeks)
UgandaSocial entrepreneurship and innovation have been emerging in numerous ways in Uganda, a country historically served by the international aid community and private charities, as it has become recognized that individuals with knowledge of local problems and challenges are key to effective and sustainable development. Uganda has been ranked as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world and Ugandans are increasingly founding social ventures.

Your time in Uganda will give you the opportunity to see firsthand the kinds of challenges faced by social entrepreneurs in developing countries with a history of unrest and how social innovation can bring positive and transformational societal change. 

Learn about challenges and successes with leaders at organizations such as Yunus Social Business and explore topics related to solar energy, microfinance, and mobile money. You will also have an opportunity to participate in an excursion to Mbarara in Western Uganda and visit social venture projects such as BRAC and the Millennium Village in Ruhiira.  

India: Delhi

(5 weeks)
indiaDelhi is a sprawling metropolis home to 18 million of the 1.2 billion people that inhabit India, where almost 40 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day. Reports show that between four and eight million inhabitants of Delhi live in slums and lack adequate access to education, health, financial, and social services. Such conditions have led to the emergence of numerous social enterprises, developing an ecosystem that is supporting social entrepreneurs with incubators, mentoring, and financing. India has been called a laboratory for testing new ideas for social change at the bottom of the pyramid and is home to more than 350 Ashoka Fellows, who are coming up with unique models to tackle pressing problems.

In India, you will visit initiatives and meet with social entrepreneurs developing mobile apps for health, transforming waste into products, creating employment opportunities, and providing microfinance services for agriculture and food initiatives, among other things.

Brazil: São Paulo

(5 weeks)
BrazilSão Paulo is an ethnically and culturally diverse cosmopolitan city of 11 million people. The city has a vibrant cultural life and outstanding music, art, architecture, and food. Here, you will find many examples of established and emerging entrepreneurship. Brazil’s unique blend of abundant natural resources, creativity, cultural openness, flexibility, and collective action contribute to the success of its social entrepreneurs. Not surprisingly, Brazil has one of the largest Ashoka programs with 200 active fellows.

The impact-investing sector in Brazil has shown significant market growth over the past ten years. Leading Brazilian-based organizations including Artemisia Social Business, the Avina Foundation, Potencia Ventures, and Vox Capital have been cultivating social or inclusive business models and the Brazilian social enterprise ecosystem also includes foundations, universities, accelerators, incubators, investment funds, researchers, government agencies, environmentalists, and corporations supporting small and growing enterprises.

In Brazil, you’ll learn how social innovation and entrepreneurship have been widely embraced and integrated in the country and have created many new models by and for people across socioeconomic backgrounds, sectors, and industries. 

Faculty and Staff


Faculty and Staff

The faculty/staff team shown on this page is a sample of the individuals who may lead your specific program. Faculty and coordinators are subject to change to accommodate each program’s unique schedule and locations.

Katy de la Garza, EdD, Program Director

Katy de la GarzaKaty holds a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University; a master’s in international development management from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; and a bachelor of science from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Her intellectual interests focus on social entrepreneurship, rural education, microfinance, bilingual and intercultural education, indigenous peoples and development, teacher education, technology and innovation, social movements, and migration. Katy has worked with international development, social justice, and education quality issues in Latin America for more than 15 years. Previously, she was the strategy and innovation officer for Televisa Foundation, country director for The Nature Conservancy Costa Rica, the program manager for the US Peace Corps Rural and Community Development Program in Costa Rica, and the client services manager for the international microcredit organization Pro Mujer, providing programs for women in Mexico.

Anna Gail Caunca, MA, Program Manager

Anna Gail CauncaAnna Gail holds a BS in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in intercultural service, leadership, and management from SIT Graduate Institute. She also received her licensure in secondary education (social studies), incorporating social justice in the classroom. Anna Gail's work experience has focused on youth and young adult leadership development, community building, residential life and student welfare, international education, and human rights education. Building on her graduate studies in social justice and international education, Anna Gail worked with World Learning’s Youth Leadership and Peacebuilding Programs, facilitating workshops on current issues and youth activism with the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont and traveling with and supporting students through the LondonX and Iraqi Youth Leadership Program for two years. In 2013, she was the Trustees’ Fellow for the inaugural year of the IHP: Human Rights program. After four adventurous years living in Wellington, New Zealand, she became the IHP program manager in 2015.

Jack Beck, Launch Coordinator

Jack BeckJack has worked in international health and human rights for the past 10 years. After completing a degree in international development and global health, he worked in China for several years supporting grassroots groups to prevent HIV among local LGBT communities. He then served as director of communications for the Global Forum on MSM & HIV, where he led the development of a global network of LGBT activists and organizations across more than 160 countries. Jack left the Global Forum in 2015 to found a new startup nonprofit called TurnOut. Using a novel web and mobile platform, TurnOut connects volunteers with LGBT nonprofits, supporting the LGBT nonprofit infrastructure and promoting civic engagement within the LGBT community.

Gabriel Lima, Country Coordinator, Brazil

Gabriel LimaGabriel holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Schumacher College, UK. He is a Reos Partners associate, a member of the Art of Hosting global community, a Slow Food Brazil activist, and an Outward Bound Brazil wilderness instructor. He was guest faculty for Fundação Getúlio Vargas, a worldwide initiative that encourages business schools to integrate corporate social responsibility and sustainability into their curricula and institutional strategies, where he applied UN principles for responsible management education. Gabriel works with a variety of national and international clients, including social business, corporate, civil society and government organizations, to create learning spaces for collective awareness. He has lived and worked in South Africa, the United States, the Netherlands, and Brazil.

Abid Siraj, MA, Country Coordinator, India

Abid SirajAbid holds a master's degree in social work, with a specialization in reproductive and child health. He has more than 12 years of experience in public health in India. Previously, he worked for a USAID-funded project on the role of local self-government in the promotion of reproductive and child health. He also served as project coordinator of the USAID-funded Community-Based Distribution Project of Family Planning Methods. He was part of a pioneering team that implemented a flagship public health program for the government of India's National Rural Health Mission in Rajasthan. Abid was also involved with one of UNICEF's largest communication and social mobilization initiatives, the intensive immunization of pulse polio in Uttar Pradesh. He was a visiting faculty for SIT before joining SIT full-time in India in 2011.

Martha Nalubega Wandera, MA, Country Coordinator, Uganda

Martha Nalubega WanderaMartha holds an MA in peace and conflict studies and a BA in social sciences from Makerere University; a diploma in business education from Kyambogo University; and a postgraduate certificate in entrepreneurship, innovation, and social change at the UPEACE Center for Executive Education in Costa Rica. She has designed curricula, facilitated cross-cultural learning, and conducted program review and evaluation. As a Ugandan, Martha has a personal understanding of the country’s society, politics, and economy and has developed professional relationships with university professors, nongovernmental organizations, homestay families, and service providers. As a member of the Uganda Women’s Entrepreneurship Association Limited, she has strong connections with Uganda’s business sector. She has worked for SIT since 2002, serving as academic director of three programs in Uganda.

Sophia Sanan, MA, Traveling Faculty

Sophia SananSophia holds a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Freiburg in Germany, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She has developed and run community-based art and design projects focused on social justice. She has taught and developed courses on visual culture, arts education, and globalization and design for social change. Sophia worked for the African Arts Institute, where she focused on cultural policy in diverse African contexts, social and cultural entrepreneurship training, and public participation through the arts. Her research has focused on art and design education, race and institutional transformation, cultural policy development in Africa, and socio-cultural dimensions of African diasporic communities. She has spent extensive time in North India, which has become a second home.

Kempie Blythe, MA, Trustees’ Fellow

Kempie BlytheKempie earned her master’s degree in international educational development with a concentration in peace and human rights education from Teachers College at Columbia University and a BA in religion with an emphasis on Eastern philosophy from Colorado College. She has learned from every community she has lived with—from farmers in Senegal and musicians in Morocco to internally displaced people in Uganda and students in Micronesia. Through her personal interactions, she seeks to understand the rich diversity of human experience and the ways in which each person and community defines wellbeing. She is a 2003 IHP alumna.




The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.

You will live with a host family for between two and four weeks at each program site except the US. Homestays are the primary form of accommodation on the program; other accommodations can include guest houses, hostels, dormitories, and/or small hotels.

Homestay families provide you with the opportunity to live as an integrated member of the host communities. In sharing daily life, conversations, family stories, celebrations, and community events, you will not only learn a tremendous amount, but also develop lasting friendships.

Family structures vary in every place. For example, the host family may include a single mother of two small children or a large extended family with many people coming and going all the time. Please bear in mind that the idea of what constitutes a “home” (i.e., the physical nature of the house) may be different from what you expect. You will need to be prepared to adapt to a new life with a new diet, a new schedule, new people, and possibly new priorities and expectations.

Country coordinators in each location arrange homestay placements. In most cases, students will be placed in homestays in pairs, with placements made to best accommodate health concerns, including allergies or dietary needs. You will not receive information about homestay families until you arrive in each country.

Cost and Scholarships


Cost and Scholarships

SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students. 

SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.

Tuition: $17,500

The tuition fee covers the following program components:

  • Content and logistics for field programs in San Francisco, Brazil, India, and Uganda
  • Cost of all lecturers who provide instruction to students in the following courses:
    • Anthropology and Social Change
    • Design Thinking and Human Centered Design
    • Social Entrepreneurship
    • Technology, Change, and Innovation
  • Guest lectures and panel discussions
  • Site visit hosts and facilitators
  • Transportation to classroom spaces and daily program activities
  • All educational excursions to locations, including all related travel costs
  • Traveler’s health insurance throughout the entire program period 
  • Instructional materials
  • Other direct program costs

Note: Break costs are not covered by program fees; students are responsible for this.

Airfare: $4,500

  • Group airfare during the program
  • Airfare includes a flight back to a city in the US at the conclusion of the program.

Room & Board: $4,500

The room and board fee covers the following program components:


  • All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in all four countries, urban and rural stays, all excursions, and the final retreat. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay. 
  • All homestays in Brazil, India, and Uganda
  • All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.  

Estimated Additional Costs:

Domestic Airfare to Program Launch Site

Domestic airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.

Visa Expenses: $275

Immunizations: Varies

Books & Supplies: $150

International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.

Break: $400 - $800

Please note: This is an estimated range based on student surveys from past semesters. Students' individual needs for their breaks will vary. For the entirety of the break period, students will be responsible for all of their expenses, including travel and room and board.

Discretionary Expenses

Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.

Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.

Career Paths


Career Paths

Relevant career paths:

  • Nonprofit management
  • Social enterprise
  • Venture philanthropy
  • Government
  • International development

Contact A Former Student

contact a former student