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
2018-19 Social Enterprise Academy

The UCLA Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) is a two-quarter experiential learning course. Over Winter and Spring quarters, students work directly with nonprofit organizations to develop earned income opportunities for the organization. Teams of five students are assigned to each nonprofit. Students will work closely with the leadership of one organization as consultants to develop the best enterprise idea, conduct market research, create a business plan, and pitch the venture to compete for cash and pro bono prizes.

The official course number is Economics 173A/173B: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (Winter and Spring 2018). This course counts as two Economics Electives towards the majors in Economics and Business Economics and can be counted toward the Minor in Entrepreneurship (consult with the counselor for the Minor). It is open to students in all majors.

The application for the 2019 Social Enterprise Academy is now closed.


  • Junior or senior standing at UCLA.
  • Mandatory attendance at all class meetings during Winter and Spring quarter (Tuesdays, 6:15 – 9:30 p.m.)
  • Mandatory enrollment and completion in Econ 173A and Econ 173B.


  • Submit resume and cover letter with application. Include UID on each page and combine submission as a single file with resume first and cover letter second.
  • Application deadline is November 25 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Decisions will be announced by Friday, December 7.

The 7th Annual Venture Showcase & Symposium took place on Friday, June 8, 2018. Three teams representing local community organizations pitched their business ventures for to panel of expert judges for the chance to win up to $30,000 towards their business venture.

Congratulations to this year’s winners.

1st place: $20,000 – Maternal Mental Health NOW

2nd place: $5,000 – Segue Career Mentors

2nd place: $5,000 – Cardborigami

Audience Favorite Award: $3,500 – 2nd Call


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