Social Enterprise Academy


In today’s economy almost every nonprofit organization is looking for new ways to increase their income and their impact.  Since 2011, the UCLA Social Enterprise Academy has helped over 40 local nonprofits develop social enterprises.  In partnership with the Department of Economics, the Academies of Social Entrepreneurship, and Partnership UCLA / Alumni Career Programs, this six-month, award-winning program connects undergraduate students with nonprofit organizations to identify earned income opportunities for each of their nonprofit organization. The program combines teamwork, expert training and individualized coaching in a comprehensive approach to help develop successful social enterprises.

Training is led by UCLA faculty, alumni, and industry professionals from the Academies of Social Entrepreneurship. Throughout the course of the program, students and local community organizations gain insight into:

  • Idea Generation
  • Market Research
  • Financial Planning
  • Business Planning

The Social Enterprise Academy is funded by the Nicholas Endowment and the William E. Simon Foundation and is made possible through the philanthropic support of the UCLA community.


Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.


Applications for the Social Enterprise Academy are now closed.

If you are a nonprofit organization interested in participating, you may find more information on how to apply at Academies for Social Entrepreneurship.


The sixth annual competition took place on Friday, June 9th where three student teams representing local community organizations competitively pitched their business ventures for up to $30,000 and an audience favorite prize of $5,000.

2017’s showcase and symposium also featured a keynote presentation by Robert Egger, founder and president of L.A. Kitchen.  For a recap of previous years, visit the following webpage: Past Programs.

Student Stories

The Social Enterprise Academy gave me exposure to all the stages of launching a social enterprise. From brainstorming business ideas and conducting market research to building financial projections, I have gained an invaluable set of transferrable skills. Through this six-month process, I learned where my strengths and weaknesses lie in a real business setting. I thrive and enjoy in data collection, analysis, and presentation. I like to see tangible outcomes. And learning these aspects about my skillsets and work preferences helped me refine my professional goals and aspirations to incorporate more of these aspects.

This program offers a unique opportunity to pursue a venture in the most creative and realistic sense. It equips students with the tools and resources to put together a revenue-generating business for a mission-minded purpose. It was both challenging and rewarding to accomplish this task. Partnering with a nonprofit client gave me a taste of what a real-world professional relationship would be like. By working with my four team members, I got to collaborate with some of the brightest Bruins. The practical applications and the direct social impact makes the Social Enterprise Academy truly one of a kind and I would highly recommend this to my peers.

Lily Hajin Yi ’17 


If you have questions about the Social Enterprise Academy, please contact Partnership UCLA / Alumni Career Programs by submitting a message through our contact form, emailing our office at or contacting our office at (310) 825-5242. We look forward to hearing from you.