Social Entrepreneurship: Top Schools and Programs in India

Top 10 schools for social entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurship is the career du-jour of the twenty-first century. We at Impactpreneurs have compiled a list of the top schools and programs to study Social Entrepreneurship as a course in India.  These courses can go a long way in training the social entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

1) Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)- M.A in Social Entrepreneurship

Tata Institute of Social Sciences is prima facie the most renowned institute for higher studies in the social sciences sector. Perhaps the only full-fledged degree course in the country on social entrepreneurship, TISS offers a two-year, full time, M.A. Social Entrepreneurship (MASE) programme. The programme aims at fostering growth and innovation in the social and development sectors.

Famous Alumni- Apni Shala works with schools to build life skills in children through storytelling. Members of Apni Shala include Amrita Nair, Anukriti Goyal and Swetha Ranganathan who are all from TISS.

2)  NMIMS, Mumbai- MBA in Social Entrepreneurship

One of the most prestigious B-Schools in India, The Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Mumbai, is considered extremely difficult to crack. It offers a part-time MBA in Social Entrepreneurship at the the Centre for Sustainability Management and Social Entrepreneurship. Intriguingly many of the students include- social sector volunteers and social work professionals who need professional insight into the management of the social sector, as well as managers from the corporate world who deal with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Famous Alumni- Harish Iyer, an activist for a number of socio-cultural and environmental issues. Vijay Chandok, Senior General Manager & Global Head, ICICI Bank’s SME Banking division

3) Deshpande Foundation, Hubli – Masters of Social Entrepreneurship

Deshpande Foundation India’s Master of Social Entrepreneurship is a 2-year residential program  packaged with 25 different courses that blend cutting edge practical experience with personal mentorship. Course topics include innovation and entrepreneurship, financial skills, media for entrepreneurs and fundraising and the course is taught by expert and experienced faculty members.

With an aim to demystify social entrepreneurship for young and creative minds, this residential program is carefully designed from a practitioner’s perspective. MSE is hosted by the Deshpande Centre for Social Entrepreneurship that has been a breeding ground of several start-ups, an international network of enterprises and concrete partnerships with over 100 for profits and not –for profits who are all engaged in solving social issues with a compassionate heart and entrepreneurial mindset.

4) Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (Gandhinagar) – Specialization in Development Sector and Social Entrepreneurship

Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Development Studies is designed as a broad and multi-disciplinary programme to equip students with knowledge, analytical and conceptual skills of social and economic development. The programme not only gives the students an insight into the social sector, but also prepares students with ability to provide entrepreneurial solutions to social problems, livelihoods for rural and urban poor, corporate social responsibility initiatives and creating social enterprises.

5) Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Chennai- Distance Learning Diploma in Social Entrepreneurship

The Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & CSR at Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) has launched its unique program for training and developing social entrepreneurs. EDI offers this course twice in a year in every October and April. It is aimed at bringing about a social upheaval by creating numerous social entrepreneurs who can understand social problems and address the needs of the society. There are many business entrepreneurs who start and manage their business for profiteering and personal gain. This course aims at creating social businesses which have a positive impact on all stakeholders- be it the government, businesses, customers or society.

6) School for Social Entrepreneurs, India- Fellowship Program in Social Entrepreneurship

The Fellowship is a 9 month course that will help you start a social enterprise, community project or charity. Successful applicants are required to pay nothing. Their partners, PwC India and British Council India are supporting the SSE India Fellowship programme. The Fellowship course is for entrepreneurial people with an idea that will make a positive difference in their community or beyond. The people they are looking for need to have enthusiasm, drive and commitment necessary to get a project off the ground. There is also a need for the idea for an organisation and be able to explain the positive social impact that you will have.

7) The Entrepreneurship School, Gurgaon- Postgraduate Entrepreneurship Program (PEP)

Entrepreneurship courses are booming around in the Indian Education Market, seeing the rising trend of start-ups in the 21st century. The Entrepreneurship School, Gurgaon is one such institution catering to the demands of the modern day dynamic entrepreneurial environment. Their mentorship and guidance provided start right from ideation to market positioning and investment support as well.  Postgraduate Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is the flagship program of TES. PEP is a fast track entrepreneurship course, for aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs to nurture their entrepreneurial ambitions and enable them launch new ventures.

8) TiE Social Enterprise Special Interest Group- Short term Program

The Indus Entrepreneurs, TiE, Chapters across India and the Special Interest Groups provide various short term programs catering to the demands of the wanna-preneurs. There are several interesting panel discussions and workshops that facilitate learning and networking across a series of themes from scaling-up to efficiency building for social enterprises. It is useful to either get a full-time chapter membership or pick and choose events to go to that only require a Rs.500 registration fee. It is primarily a short time programme requiring a maximum of three-five hours a week.

9) Emergent Institute/Indian Institute for Sustainable Enterprise (IISE), Bangalore- Program in Sustainable Enterprise

The relatively newer Emergent Institute or Indian Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Bangalore‘s flagship offering is its Program in Sustainable Enterprise which focuses on interactive, engaging experiences to launch and build sustainable enterprises. The training programs include training in leadership, entrepreneurship (especially for bootstrap entrepreneurs), team building, communication skills, sales and marketing skills, innovation and sustainability. The institute also offers training in business management and entrepreneurship for small businesses and micro enterprises in urban and rural areas. Another service offered is mentoring services for start ups and for sustainable social enterprises in India.

As a conclusion, one can say that there may certainly be a dearth of formal graduate and post-graduate education to become an entrepreneur, as it is a profession full of risks and heavy failure rates. Yet, India is progressing at a lightning-fast pace in the area of social entrepreneurship and building programs to train the leaders of change. There is also an emerging ecosystem to support and fund social entrepreneurs once they get started. Impactpreneurs compiled a list of such social business incubators in India in an earlier post.

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