student entrepreneur talks about her business at a fair
Undergraduate | In-Person

Social Entrepreneurship, BA/BS

Our social entrepreneurs are individuals who take on society’s most pressing problems, seeking innovative and sustainable solutions.

Why Major in Social Entrepreneurship? 

In 2008, Belmont University became the first institution of higher education in the United States to offer an undergraduate major in Social Entrepreneurship. The program prepares students to make the world a better place through the formation or expansion of ventures that will create social change. A Social Entrepreneurship major grounds you in faith and values, provides educational and practical experience and informs you through knowledge and skills drawn from diverse academic areas of study.

To do this, social entrepreneurs need understanding and judgment, skills and stamina and imagination and critical reflection. These qualities are fostered through study in the basics of entrepreneurship, study of an issue through multiple disciplinary perspectives and extended personal reflection on goals and opportunities.

The major's curriculum combines business courses and issue-focused tracks in the liberal arts. As part of the curriculum, Social Entrepreneurship students participate in service-learning, an internship and an extended capstone project in the senior year. Through these components, the liberal arts and entrepreneurship content is integrated with the experience and service that characterizes the practicing social entrepreneur.

What You'll Learn 

  • Understanding of the entrepreneurial process
  • Sociological ways of seeing the world
  • Complexities of institutions, society and culture and individual and group behavior
  • Background and context of proposed social entrepreneurship ventures
  • Practical skills of preparing competitive grant proposals
  • Financial forecasting for a new venture

Career Possibilities

  • Program Service Coordinator
  • Director of Donor Engagement
  • Communications Director
  • Volunteer and Events Coordinator
  • Media Relations and Marketing Specialist

Program Details


The social entrepreneurship major leads to either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. It requires a total of 128 credit hours of coursework:

  • BELL core requirements: 53 hours
  • Core technical requirements: 6 hours
  • Major requirements: 45 hours
  • General electives: 30 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

  • PSC 1210: American Government

An introductory course covering the federal government in the United States. This course may not count toward a major or minor in Political Science or Political Economy.

  • SOC 1010: Introduction to Sociology

Sociology is the study of human groups, organizations and societies and the patterns of similarity and difference among them. It includes but is not limited to the study of culture, inequality, gender, race, religion, the economy, sexuality and family life. This course will explore sociological ways of seeing the world, provide you with tools for understanding your own social position and the context in which you live and fuel your passion for a just, peaceful and diverse society.

  • SET 2100: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

This course introduces you to social entrepreneurship through case studies, key readings and primary information resources. Students will become familiar with organizations and social entrepreneurs through service-learning projects, and will begin to develop skills demonstrated by successful social entrepreneurs, including team building and leadership, negotiation and working in complex social and cultural environments. You explore the sources of funding for social enterprises, including philanthropy, governmental funding and income generating, self-sustaining social enterprises. You also plan your course of study in the major, including the identification of a track and an initial proposal for a project.

  • SET 3100: Junior Internship in Social Entrepreneurship

Students complete a 225-hour non-paid internship with a nonprofit, social enterprise, a social entrepreneur or for-profit organization that is of interest to the student. Students are required to attend seminars for reflection on the internship and complete their agreed upon internship goals.

  • SET 3895: Leading Change for Social Impact

To lead Social Change, leaders must understand the complexities of institutions, society and culture, individual and group behavior and develop a collaborative planned approach to transform systems and the social structure This course examines the concepts, methods and practices of leadership within communities and organizations through the lens of service, servant leadership and the Social Change Model of Leadership development. It examines the theoretical and practical approaches leaders can use to help organizations, companies and communities navigate the challenges and barriers to social improvement and impact.

  • SET 4015: Senior Capstone in Social Entrepreneurship

This course draws together the experiential, curricular and individual components of social entrepreneurship that includes a culminating group/individual project. These projects have included: recommending the accreditation for a dental service's social enterprise, serving as part of an impact team for organizations participating in the I-CAP (social innovation catalyst) program offered by the Center for Nonprofit Management and conducting an organizational assessment of a social enterprise to determine if it was adhering to their mission. Students complete a study of the background and context of their proposed social entrepreneurship venture, reflect on the civic, vocational, spiritual and personal dimensions of their roles as social entrepreneurs and complete the BELL Core capstone requirements, including reflection on their educational experience and transition from the university.

  • SET 4150: Grant Writing

The course is open to any major on campus and provides the practical skills of preparing competitive grant proposals for submission to private foundations and possibly other funding sources such as corporations and Local Education Associations. Students apply skills learned by working directly with a local nonprofit to develop a template based on the Middle Tennessee Common Grant Application. Identification of five potential funding sources, and a template for letter of inquiry for submission to funding source, as needed.

  • ACC 2430: Integrated Accounting Principles

This course is an introduction to financial and managerial accounting concepts. The course emphasizes the role of accounting in a business organization.

  • ETP 3000: Foundations in Entrepreneurship

This course provides a basic understanding of the entrepreneurial process. Students examine entrepreneurship as a career. A comprehensive self-assessment helps you better understand your own personal aspirations and assess your unique skills and competencies. Students learn about opportunity assessment for new venture ideas. An overview of business plans is presented.

  • ETP 3700: Entrepreneurial Financial Management

This course examines the process of financial forecasting for a new venture, effective financial management of an emerging business, sources of financing, bootstrapping and exit planning.

  • ETP 4500: Venture Planning

This course serves as the culminating experience for Entrepreneurship majors and minors and for Social Entrepreneurship majors. Students participate in the development of a business plan for an actual venture they intend to start. If they do not intend to start a venture, students are teamed up with those who have a legitimate idea for a new business. Students examine the growth process and learn how to effectively manage the growth phase of a business.

  • MGT 3230: Business Ethics

This course presents a practical approach that examines ethical issues faced in the contemporary business environment. A comprehensive body of information about business and managerial ethics is presented. This course uses real-world case studies to enable students to make responsible business ethics decisions.

The Jack C. Massey College of Business offers a variety of co-curricular leadership and learning opportunities to qualifying students in the form of student organizations and honors societies. Each organization has a faculty advisor, if not multiple, therefore, our students are able to network and collaborate with faculty both in and out of the classroom.

Student Organizations

  • Association for Information Systems
  • American Marketing Association
  • Business Student Advisory Board
  • Collegiate DECA
  • Enactus
  • Equity Trading Club
  • International Business Society
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Student Center for the Public Trust

Honor Societies

  • Beta Alpha Psi
  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon
  • Sigma Nu Tau

A Global Perspective

As the workplace becomes more international in scope, a successful manager needs knowledge and skills that extend beyond the traditional business disciplines. Thus, Belmont’s Jack C. Massey College of Business places a strong emphasis on the global business community and requires all BBA degree-seeking students to complete an international business course. Global issues are also interwoven throughout other courses in the business curriculum.

In addition to classroom learning, all students in The Jack C. Massey College of Business are encouraged to participate in Belmont’s Study Abroad program. Business study abroad programs and exchange opportunities are available in numerous countries. Our students travel to six of the seven continents, immersing themselves in the language, culture and business of each country they visit.

Earn credit towards:

  • Major
  • Minor
  • General Education

Program length:

  • Academic Year
  • Semester
  • Summer
  • Maymester

Maymester is a 2-3 week study abroad experience during the month of May where Belmont students take advantage of tuition discounts and can sometimes earn up to nine credit hours. Maymester trips are led by Belmont faculty members, so students are able to further connect with their faculty in a meaningful way.

Immerse yourself in language, culture and business on a global scale by studying abroad. For additional information on Belmont’s study abroad programs, please visit our Center for International Business or Office of Study Abroad.


We are an innovative, student-centered learning community that prepares entrepreneurially, ethical and socially responsible future business leaders for the dynamic global economy.

We are committed to:

  • Relevant, interactive and experiential academic programs provided by faculty with diverse and extensive academic qualifications and professional experience;
  • Advising and mentoring students for career growth and development;
  • Impactful scholarship that advances the practice, knowledge and teaching of business and management;
  • Engaging the communities we serve through value-added relationships.

Organized in 1916, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the premier agency for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.

Fewer than 5 percent of the world’s business schools are able to adhere to standards that result in AACSB accreditation of their business education programs. A much smaller group, fewer than 2 percent of business schools (185) worldwide, have earned the separate, specialized accreditation for their accounting program.

Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey College of Business is the only private college or university in Tennessee that is accredited by AACSB International for our BBA and MBA programs, as well as our Accounting major and Master of Accountancy degree.

Joanna Richt

Alumni Testimonial

"In my time at Belmont, I worked with four nonprofits and was able to experience the start-up phase of a business, as well."

Joanna Richt, Class of 2017

Grants Specialist, Habitat for Humanity

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Jack C. Massey College of Business

Amy Bennett
Assistant Director of Admissions
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