Social Entrepreneurship at Cornell

CTA offers curricular and extra-curricular educational opportunities for Cornell University students.

Social Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Problem Solvers

This award-winning, undergraduate course, taught by CTA’s Executive Director Anke Wessels and offered in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, is an academic experience unlike most, in which students discover how they can make a real difference as agents for change. Inspired by stories of successful social entrepreneurs not much older than they are, students begin to explore how they most want to contribute to the well being of others. They practice skills essential to innovative problem solving, project development, and community organizing. Students are asked to reflect on their career paths and what legacy they want to leave with their lives. We encourage them to think globally and locally—to purposefully, creatively, and collaboratively pursue new ideas of what is possible, and to persevere in the face of obstacles. You can download the syllabus from Anke's 2013 class in the right sidebar. 

Changemaker Fellowship

The CTA Changemaker Fellowship program is designed to bring together remarkable undergraduate and graduate students from across disciplines and interests to be part of our team at the Center for Transformative Action. It offers participants real work experience with nonprofit social ventures. We seek positie, innovative, extraordinary thinkers and doers who are passionate about social change and social entrepreneurship.

Fiscal Sponsorship

CTA is the only nonprofit incubator and fiscal sponsor associated with a major university. We offer a unique opportunity for Cornell students to test  their innovative social change projects without having to obtain non profit and tax exempt status first. If accepted, these projects benefit from all the mentorship and business services CTA provides its project partners.

Advisor to Cornell Student Organizations

CTA’s Executive Director currently serves as advisor to Cornell student organizations that focus on social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and social change.


Cornell Design for America

Design for America (DFA) is an award-winning nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. We teach human centered design to young adults and collaborating community partners through extra-curricular, university based, student led design studios tackling national challenges in Education, Health, Economy and Environment.

Cornell GlobeMed

GlobeMed aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. GlobeMed at Cornell University partners with CEPAIPA to provide health care and peer health education to the community of La Libertad, Ecuador.

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 Social Business Consulting Group

The Social Business Consulting Group is an undergraduate student-run organization committed to furthering the causes of a variety of social entrepreneurs. Members are able to gain practical consulting experience while working to ameliorate social injustices. Our group works with numerous clients committed to a wide array of social causes around the world.

Our organization has paired students with social entrepreneurs in eight countries. One team helped a microfinance institution in Senegal secure seed capital and designed a pilot program for a rural village. Another team helped a cooperative of artisans in Paraguay triple their exports. We have also successfully paired student teams with an educational non-profit in Ghana, a microfinance investment fund based in the United States, a water purification effort in Haiti, a group in Cameroon developing a curriculum for homeless children, a non-profit in India combating the effects of urban migration, and an umbrella development organization in Ecuador.

For more information email: