Institute for Entrepreneurship

Certificate in Social Innovation

The concept of social innovation is gaining momentum among academics and practitioners, becoming the new frontier of social and community development. This movement entails building and strengthening ecosystem interactions and relationships, moving towards an integrated approach to the economic, technological, social and environmental aspects of development. Ultimately, it aims to create sustainability and deliver a sense of equal prosperity. This mindset contributes to the university’s service spirit, promotes an understanding of how everyone can contribute towards a better society, and prepares students for a life of civic engagement.

In light of JCU’s mission to encourage responsible leadership and positive contributions to the world, the JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship, the Center for Professional Education and the JCU Community Service Program have partnered to offer students the possibility of observing social change through a holistic and academically transversal approach, while acquiring an entrepreneurial mindset and applying entrepreneurial skills.

The Certificate is open to all students, from any major, whether they already have a business/entrepreneurial/political science background or not. The Certificate is also open to students from the MA in Art History program and from the Continuing Education programs.


The Certificate in Social Innovation provides students with an understanding of frameworks, tools and methods to advance social innovation. To earn the Certificate students will have to satisfactorily complete the following:

Academics - A 3-credit course to be chosen from:

  • BUS 345   Social Entrepreneurship
  • BUS 398   For-credit internship in a social innovation setting
  • MKT 350   Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations
  • MKT 355   Social Marketing and Fundraising

Community Service:
Volunteer 10 hours through the Community Service Program with any of the affiliated associations to cultivate a better understanding of the implications of fieldwork, and further develop practical skills while nurturing social responsibility.

Experiential Learning – any of the following:

  • Social Change Day (Spring)
  • 3 Speakers or events relating to social change and social innovation, organized or supported by IFE and selected Clubs with the official IFE Social Innovation Badge (learn about it in the dedicated section below)
  • Volunteer for the JCUMUN conference
  • Participate in an Enactus project
  • Participate in the JCU Weekend of Startups working on a social venture idea (Fall)


Students that successfully complete the certificate will:

  • Acquire a good understanding of how to identify and evaluate social issues
  • Meet entrepreneurs, professionals and scholars in the discipline
  • Apply their new knowledge to a real project or situation
  • Understand the importance of an integrated approach to the economic, technological, social and environmental aspects of development
  • Gain a tangible way to signal their interest in social innovation in their resume

How to Participate

The Certificate is designed to be accessible to all majors and to be flexible enough to fit in with students’ current academic path.

Interested students should fill out the online application form. Please send any questions to [email protected]. Upon registration, students should join our Facebook social media group for regular news on our Institute, and to join our international community.

In order to record participation to the events, students will send a 2-paragraph (300-500 words) email to [email protected] after each event, using the first paragraph to summarize it, and the second paragraph to show how it has improved their knowledge of entrepreneurship.


The Institute for Entrepreneurship is now offering Clubs the opportunity to be part of the Certificate in Social Innovation. They can now propose club events and activities that qualify for the Experiential Learning part of the requirements, by going through a simple application process: to apply for the Social Innovation Club Badge clubs must submit a request to [email protected] with a 300-word explanation of how the Club’s event aligns with the Certificate in Social Innovation. The Institute for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to judge each proposed event on a case-by-case basis. Once approved, the club will be notified by email, and the Institute will issue an official “Social Innovation Badge” to be added to the club’s promotional materials.