Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship

Much like the degree granting program, the social entrepreneur aspect is developed from existing resources made available on the Baton Rouge campus. The Southern University Innovation Center (SUIC) is the newest addition to the Southern University System. The SUIC serves as a business incubator for growing businesses focusing on healthcare, education, technology, manufacturing, and the service industry. A Social Entrepreneur Fellowship will provide space and support for local social entrepreneurs in the existing incubator. An open application will be launched and disseminated, encouraging young social entrepreneurs to propose creating initiatives and/or organizations that will be designed to work on issues that are not being adequately addressed by existing nonprofits in the local community.

Over a 24-month period, a cohort of four social entrepreneurs will receive training, coaching, mentorship, and various forms of capital support to help shape their ideas and turn them into viable efforts. This will be known as the pilot cohort. No additional cohorts will be added until lessons and outcomes have been evaluated from the pilot cohort. These fellows will live on campus, attend Valdry Center seminars, take courses, and receive targeted assistance. They will receive a modest stipend in addition to having their living expenses and tuition and fees covered. Eventually, cohorts will grow in size though new cohorts would only be admitted every two years. The Center will also pursue financial capital to invest in those graduating from the program with a viable idea that would live well beyond the experience.

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