• Social Sector Management

    The Social Sector Management Program at Schulich provides world-class teaching and research with respect to organizations that exist at the intersection of social and financial purpose. For almost 40 years now, our program has been actively working to train students and industry professionals who are passionate to work for organizations that operate outside of the traditional for-profit sphere. These increasingly ‘blended’ or ‘hybrid’ types of organizations exist along a highly diverse continuum – from nonprofit organizations seeking to leverage earned income strategies (often termed ‘enterprising nonprofits’), to for-profit organizations who primarily seek to achieve social goals, but do so by engaging in business activities (often termed ‘social enterprises’ or ‘social entrepreneurs’). Residing at other points along the continuum are community and corporate foundations engaged in impact investing, development organizations seeking to leverage market-based solutions to solving social ills, and government agencies and consulting firms supporting initiatives in social innovation and impact measurement. The number of organizations that fall under this ‘hybrid’ umbrella has grown exponentially over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow substantially in the coming years.

    Operating at the intersection of social and financial purpose requires a unique set of knowledge and skills. While traditional business disciplines (i.e. finance, marketing, accounting) continue to form the base of knowledge required for operating in the ‘blended’ sector, significant augmentation is required with respect to a more diverse set of business models, resource-acquisition strategies, governance structures, and performance valuation and impact metrics. Through a combination of elective courses, networking opportunities, and internships, Schulich students specializing in ‘Social Innovation and Impact’ will both learn and apply the tools necessary to navigate the new challenges and opportunities faced by hybrid organizations. Additionally, through the work undertaken in our Social Innovation Research Lab, and the workshops/seminars offered to alumni and industry partners, we continue to provide theoretically grounded but practical guidance to help individuals and organizations navigate this new hybrid space.

  • Why should I consider a specialization in Social Sector Management? Why should I consider a specialization in Social Sector Management?

    Our specialization provides students with the opportunity to match their passion for social change with their career ambitions. Traditionally, social problems such as mental health, global poverty or civil rights were thought to fall solely under the purview of governments and charitable organizations. However, the new millennium has seen the rise of social enterprises, impact investors, and social entrepreneurs who are using the tools of business and markets to effectively tackle such issues. This shift has created a number of unique opportunities for MBA graduates trained to manage and lead organizations that holistically combine profit with purpose.

    How do the courses offered prepare me to be successful in this industry? How do the courses offered prepare me to be successful in this industry?

    While traditional disciplinary skills (e.g. strategy, finance, marketing) form a strong foundation for a career in social innovation, the simultaneous pursuit of money with mission requires expanding upon this conventional toolkit.  For instance, managing newly create governance structures (e.g. Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies, Community Interest Companies, and Benefit Corporations) requires a detailed understanding of hybrid business models and associated leadership strategies. Similarly, new financial vehicles incorporating social objectives (e.g. Social Impact Bonds, ESG Mutual Funds, Social Crowdfunding) creates the need for specialized skills with regards to measuring and communicating social impact. Our suite of elective courses not only provide the necessary academic content to develop these skills, but also the direct interaction with distinguished alumni, expert speakers, and project partners to truly build expertise and networks within the industry.

    What type of careers are available to me with this specialization? What type of careers are available to me with this specialization?

    There are several options to develop a career within social innovation. Students may choose to gain employment with a host of social enterprises (locally or globally) that are actively working to create social impact in a financially sustainable manner. Students may also elect to join a rapidly expanding group of ‘support’ organizations that provide consulting, investment, and other ancillary services to aid social enterprises in the pursuit of their mission. Alternatively, our graduates can decide to become ‘social entrepreneurs’ by designing and launching new products and services that deliver significant social value.  Our student association affiliate (Social Impact Management Association) engages in a number of events and activities throughout the year to give students exposure to these different career paths.

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