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Social Impact

As a leader in the fields of social innovation and social entrepreneurship, Duke connects future change-makers across schools and disciplines to the resources, mentorship, and community they need to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. 

Innovate for Impact

Duke is a leader in educating the next generation of entrepreneurial change-makers and supporting the development and delivery of innovations to solve problems that matter.

Recognized as an Ashoka-changemaker campus,  Duke is committed to making social innovation and change-making a new norm in higher education. Building on foundational efforts by Duke faculty like the late Greg Dees who blazed the trail for social entrepreneurship education, Duke offers a robust set of courses, conversations/convenings and programs that inspire, prepare, and support entrepreneurial action that can change the world.

Partnerships & Programs

From global partnerships like the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator and Innovations in Healthcare to programs like Fuqua’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) the I&E Certificate and I&E Student Founders programs, Duke is investing in people to help bring the best and boldest ideas to the marketplace where they can do the most good.

Courses & Co-Curricular Activities

Duke offers a robust set of courses for both undergrads and grads that inspire, prepare, and support entrepreneurial action that can help positively impact the world. We aim for I&E courses to  build creativity, problem-solving skills, leadership abilities, entrepreneurship skills, empathy, and a sense of self-efficacy for a life of innovating and leading social change, regardless of profession or career. As a leader in experiential education, Duke offers students hands-on learning opportunities ranging from courses like  “Social Innovation Practicum (SIP)” and “Designing Ethical Tech” to immersive civic engagement programs like the Hart Leadership Program.

Student Organizations & Competitions

The I&E team supports annual social innovation teams with mentorship and resources as they compete in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge, Hult Prize and other exciting challenges. There are also a variety of student-led organizations for students to get involved with on campus, which center on creating positive social impact in the world, such as NetImpact, DISI, and Design for America. 

Join the I&E Impact Community

I&E is here to serve all members of the Duke community with the education and resources they need to innovate for impact. Sign up for our newsletter (offering the latest on events, programs, job opportunities, and access to a robust set of social innovation & entrepreneurship resources) and/or set up a virtual meeting today.


Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator

A partnership that supports social innovation entrepreneurs in identifying, assessing, developing, building, and scaling sustainable solutions to the most pressing challenges facing children and youth around the world

Read more about duke-unicef innovation accelerator

Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship

A research and education center based at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business to prepare leaders and organizations with the business skills needed to achieve lasting social change

Read more about center for the advancement of social entrepreneurship


Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators brings together interdisciplinary graduate student teams that provide pro bono consulting services to social organizations in Durham and beyond, providing students with opportunities to gain collaborative experience while strengthening the work of change makers in technology, business, and public policy

Read more about disi

Duke Law Start-up Ventures Clinic

Student-attorneys and supervising professors provide legal advice and assistance to Duke and community entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures that haven’t yet raised significant amounts of outside capital

Read more about duke law start-up ventures clinic

The Cube

An entrepreneurial co-ed selective living group that aims to lower the barriers of entry to entrepreneurship and provides members with the skills and resources to pursue their own ventures

Read more about the cube

Net Impact Club

The local Net Impact chapter aims to provide resources, foster relationships, and expand opportunities for students interested in building careers in the impact sector

Read more about net impact club

Duke EngEn

Duke Engineering Entrepreneurship integrates needs-driven design experiences, entrepreneurial education, startup resources, and a leadership team of successful entrepreneurs to deliver technological solutions to societal needs in health, defense, climate change, and beyond

Read more about duke engen

Duke eNable

A student-run organization that aims to connect amputees in the Durham area with 3D printed adaptive devices, free of cost

Read more about duke enable

Hult Prize

Students compete in teams to tackle a pressing global issue on an annual theme, vying for spots in prestigious Hult accelerators that provide mentorship, funding, and business support

Read more about hult prize

Global Social Innovation Challenge

A social venture pitch competition that recognizes, resources, and rewards student-led social ventures focused on sustainable change

Read more about global social innovation challenge

Open Design Studio

The Open Design Studio at Duke is a collective of educators, students, and community partners who are learning, researching, and practicing an equity-focused design methodology. ODS is openly designing a world that is actively inclusive, transparent, and collaborative.

Read more about open design studio
Contact Us

I&E staff are available to answer your questions, give advice, and connect you to people, resources, and programs across Duke

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Stay Informed

Sign up for I&E’s social innovation newsletter to hear more about upcoming events and opportunities, along with access to a robust set of social entrepreneurship resources

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