The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship is Finding a Home at Dartmouth

At a recent Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors meeting, four students who completed PBPL 43/ECON 77 Social Entrepreneurship,  Hoi Wong '17, Elijah Moreno '15, Avery Feingold '17, and Katherine McAvoy '17 talked abut their course experience and the resulting project. Photo by Hung Nguyen '18.

The Rockefeller Center bids farewell to team member, Thanh Nguyen.

Thanh Nguyen joined the Center in 2011 as the Program Coordinator for the Co-Curricular Internships Program and the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) and more recently served as the Center’s first Design and Entrepreneurship Officer. In this role, he continued to facilitate MLDP into the sixth year of the program and assisted Professor Samwick as a Teaching Fellow to develop the PBPL 43/ECON 77: Social Entrepreneurship course which launched this past summer. His passion for leadership development, technology, and innovation will be sorely missed, not to mention the generosity in which he shared with the Center and colleagues his talents for photography, his knack with any kind of software or technology, and playful sense of humor.

Winter 2015 Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Experiential Learning

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term. 

Inauguration of Philip J. Hanlon '77

In his inauguration address, President Hanlon issued a call-to-action to build Dartmouth’s academic enterprise around four themes: experiential learning, learning technologies, research impact, and affordability. The programs at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center incorporate all of these themes—most prominently experiential learning—in the realms of public policy and leadership development.

Notes from the Field: Sarah Alexander ’14 and Meegan Daigler D’14, Th’15

Sarah Alexander ’14 and Meegan Daigler D’14, Th’15 are the founders of Street Food Biodiesel (SFB), a social enterprise based in New Delhi, India. A grant from the Rockefeller Center contributed in part to the funding needed to conduct a feasibility study and pilot of the project. Here are their Notes from the Field on how the start-up is progressing.

Summer 2014 Recap: Kicking it Off with The Startup Experience

This week, the Rockefeller Center looks back at the events that defined Summer 2014.

In case you missed it, this summer kicked off with entrepreneurship at the new DEN Innovation Center @ 4Currier through The Startup Experience workshop.

Notes from the Field: Arjun Sachdeva '17

Rockefeller Center-funded interns reflect on their experiences as part of our Notes from the Field series. The Rockefeller Center helps students find, fund, and prepare for a leave-term internship experience in public policy research, public policy analysis, issue evaluation, or activities which help shape and determine public policy. 

Student Intern: Arjun Sachdeva '17

Internship Organization:
Ashoka U - Arlington, VA
How would you describe your employer in one paragraph? What’s the elevator pitch?
Ashoka U transforms universities across the world into hubs of social innovation. This global network of leading universities in the field of social innovation strives to expose students to the concept of social entrepreneurship in hopes that everyone can become a "changemaker."

Kicking off Sophomore Summer 2014 with The Startup Experience

As Dartmouth continues to strengthen its eco-system for entrepreneurship, there was no better way than to kick off the Summer at the new DEN Innovation Center @ 4Currier with The Startup Experience workshop this past weekend.

On Friday June 21st and Saturday June 22nd, Dartmouth students, staff, and faculty as well as residents of the Upper Valley participated in The Startup Experience, an experiential crash course on high-impact entrepreneurship and social innovation led by serial entrepreneur Henrik Scheel. Participants sought to tackle difficult social issues in the areas of health, education, and poverty, and they generated ideas for social-oriented businesses to address these specific challenges. After creating ideas for products and/or services and a business model concept, teams entered into a pitch contest where a panel of judges determined winners based upon five criteria: understanding of the problem, understanding of the market, value proposition of the new idea, feasibility, and uniqueness of the idea.

Can entrepreneurs make social impact?

This Thursday, June 19th, at 7pm, the Rockefeller Center will host “Using an Entrepreneurial Mindset to Make Social Impact" in Rocky 003 featuring panelists Jamie Coughlin, Director of New Venture Incubator Programs in the Dartmouth Office of Entrepreneurship & Technology Transfer; Grace Teo, Founder and Co-Chair of Open Style Lab; and Henrik Scheel, Founder and CEO of The Startup Experience, Inc. This panel will discuss how growing emphasis on entrepreneurship around the globe is a promising approach to empower and enable small groups of individuals to make positive social impact. Students and the public are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served at 6:45pm.

Register Now for The Startup Experience on June 20-21 with CEO and Entrepreneur Henrik Scheel!

Make a Social Impact: Explore. Innovate. Prototype. Present. Following a successful workshop last year, Rocky is bringing back The Startup Experience with serial entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of the Startup Experience Henrik Scheel this summer.

During this 1.5 day crash course on high-impact entrepreneurship and social innovation, participants will learn how to use design thinking and develop an entrepreneurial mindset to solve real social problems. Participants will go through a multi-stage process that begins with identifying and understanding big social problems and the people affected by those issues, and ends with teams pitching their innovative solutions and business models to a judging committee. Through this experience, students will improve their creative capacity, find inspiration, learn how to identify problems, understand users, and build ideas into tangible concepts, prototypes, and ventures.

Financial Inclusion and Women Empowerment with Chetna Sinha, Founder of the Mann Deshi Mahila Bank

What does it take to change the lives of 1 million low-income women? Chetna Sinha, the founder and president of the Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, aims to find out. With a goal of impacting 1 million female entrepreneurs by 2020, the Mann Deshi bank is a micro-enterprise development bank that operates in some of the poorest and most drought-stricken areas of rural India. The bank currently has seven branches, more than 185,000 clients, and conducts over 10,000 transactions daily, impacting the lives of women and their families all over India.

“I found that the low-income women weren’t asking for subsidies from the government – they just wanted to save for themselves and their families,” Sinha remarked.

Sinha founded the bank as a way to help illiterate low-income women understand financial planning. She cited a memorable anecdote about a girl in high school who wanted to save up money for university.

“Financial literacy is a sort of a freedom right for young women. We can help young girls open the roads to education, especially higher education,” Sinha said.


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences