• The Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative (IEI) is a university-wide initiative that supports early-stage entrepreneurial leaders in developing the mindsets, skills, and sense of purpose needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. The initiative aims to catalyze the creation of an inclusive economy by making entrepreneurship education, resources, and networks more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds at different stages of the entrepreneurial journey. We envision a world that works for us all, in which individuals from diverse backgrounds can do well by doing good, using their talents to help shape a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable economy.

    Drawing on The New School's design-infused curriculum, faculty, community of mentors, seed funding, and partnerships with the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem, the IEI provides students with the support needed to transform challenges into opportunities that have economic, social, and environmental impact. Through courses, co-curricular activities, practical training, expert coaching, and funding, we encourage positive risk taking, equipping students for leadership in a range of fields requiring creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills.

    Components of the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative

    Venture Lab

    The Venture Lab is a semester-long course designed to support graduate students and upper-level undergraduates students at The New School in developing financially sustainable ventures with the potential for scalable impact.

    Graduate Fellowship

    TheGraduate Fellowship is a two-year merit-based scholarship and cohort-based experience designed to support high-potential leaders from diverse backgrounds who are committed to creating positive social impact through entrepreneurship.

    Graduate Curricular Pathways

    Curricular Pathways are clusters of graduate-level courses in topics related to impact entrepreneurship that enable students at The New School to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and skills.

    How Do We Define Impact Entrepreneurship?

    The New School defines impact entrepreneurship as an innovative and financially sustainable approach to addressing an unmet social, economic, or environmental need, such as better health care, sanitation, education, and financial security. The innovation may take the form of a new product, service, technological application, or program. The enterprise, or venture, may be structured as a for-profit company, nonprofit, or cooperative enterprise. Regardless of the form it takes, the innovation must improve the quality of life of people in measurable ways and demonstrate the potential for scalable impact.

    Legacy of Social Innovation at The New School

    The IEI builds on a rich history of educational innovation, design thinking, and interdisciplinary collaboration at The New School, which includes New Challenge andParsons ELab. Since its inception in 1919, The New School has been at the forefront of progressive higher education. The university has a long history of supporting students and scholars in thinking about positive social change and challenging the status quo. The IEI represents one aspect of the university's commitment to embracing new systems, organizations, technologies, policies, and forms of interaction that advance the development of multiple bottom lines — people, planet, and profit. While it is housed within the Schools of Public Engagement, the IEI is a collaborative effort across multiple colleges at The New School involving numerous faculty, deans, and administrators. This next phase of our work is generously supported through the Inclusion Challenge grant awarded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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