Best social enterprise program in the U.S. by Net Impact


Number of countries represented by students


Students who create businesses during the program

The Impact MBA, Social Entrepreneurship track at CSU’s College of Business teaches you how to create and manage a team-based startup from the ground up that achieves sustainability with results focused on the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental performance.

The resulting entrepreneurial innovations and solutions you uncover can – and should – be used as powerful forces to solve the most complex global challenges of our time.

Bring startup ideas to life

Every semester, you’ll have an innovative course on social entrepreneurship while learning foundational and transferable business skills in marketing, finance and accounting. The new venture creation process will be integrated into your courses, enhancing your planning, leadership and teamwork abilities along the way.

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“The program helps students create businesses that are renewable, regenerative and that support a better life for people.”

- Mike Callahan, MBA graduate, senior project leader at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Co-founder of PowerMundo

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40-60 Day Field Experience

At the center of the Social Entrepreneurship track is an immersive 40-60 day self-guided field practicum focused on market research and discovery. You will spend your time wherever in the world your “field” is – whether that is in our own backyard in Colorado or in one of the far corners of the globe. 

Your team will be focused on addressing a specific global challenge, and will use the summer to conduct primary market research. Your goal will be to uncover authentic solutions to a global challenge, and develop one solution into a full-fledged business plan.

By the end of the field study, you will have a deep understanding of the realities of entrepreneurship and be able to address practical questions like:

  • What are the needs of this community, and what are the potential impacts from addressing those needs?
  • Who are the key stakeholders with whom the team should consult?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to addressing this global challenge?
  • How much does it cost to build and install necessary products?
  • How does the cost of living in a community factor into the bottom line?
  • Will the market support this venture?

You’ll return to the CSU campus after the field experience for the final semester with three business models that address the global challenge and a new perspective on achieving objectives and solving problems.

The ultimate goal is to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which is valuable within the program and will serve you well into the future.

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Kat Ernst

“All of the things you can’t Google, you figure out in the field.”

– Kat Ernst, Impact MBA program director

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Pitch competition

All of your hard work and team effort culminates in a pitch competition before December graduation. The competition is attended by project partners and the public, members of the faculty, the CSU community and your family and friends.

From legacy program to specialized track

Our legacy Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA lives on in this track which will continue teaching students the entrepreneurial skills to merge their business goals with their desire to make the world a better place.