Mini Grants - Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Courses

The office of the Dean of the Faculty of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, in collaboration with the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (I&E), solicits proposals for small grants between the amounts of $500 and $5,000 for the development of new courses and for course enhancements that address and integrate social innovation and/or social entrepreneurship into existing courses in each academic department. 

Courses should be offered during the 2015-2016 academic year and will be considered for renewal.  Salary supplements and course buy-outs will not be considered in this program. Work on a project related to the grant should, however, be considered a key part of departmental and college-wide service.

New Course Proposals

New courses could take a variety of forms, such as a new introductory course; an introductory course revised for another level; thematic “gateway” courses for sophomore students; a service learning course that engages students in the community; an interdisciplinary seminar that engages students in critically examining models of social change; collaborative courses for the Focus Program; a culminating course that pulls together majors in new ways; courses that include social innovation as a key part of understanding the discipline.

Topics for New courses could encompass: innovation and entrepreneurship in poverty alleviation, health, renewable energy, the environment, education, international development, urban economic development, the arts, etc.; human centered design for social impact; nonprofit boards, governance, and leadership; managing social purpose organizations; strategic philanthropy; impact investing; corporate sustainability and social impact; evaluation of social impact; social innovation and enabling policy environments; and other courses that aim to engage students as active learners translating knowledge into effective action, and to awaken their awareness of opportunities to address critical social and environmental problems through innovative, sustainable, systems-changing solutions.

Course Enhancements

Course enhancements could be made to a wide variety of courses across TCA&S and may include case studies and readings on themes of social innovation and entrepreneurship; guest speakers; field trips; simulations; practicum projects; problem sets incorporating relevant examples; profiles of social entrepreneurs; and critical analyses of social enterprises and other written assignments.

Submission Process

Please submit a one-page description of your course development or course enhancement project and its rationale, the faculty involved in the project, a basic budget, and a budget rationale, as well as a one paragraph statement of curricular impact to I&E program coordinator Katherine Black ( Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with initial consideration of all submissions received by 5PM on Friday April 17, 2015. Summer submissions are encouraged by 5PM on Friday, June 19, 2015.  Fall submissions are encouraged by 5PM on Friday, October 2, 2015.  Submissions received outside of these deadlines will be reviewed as time permits. 

The I&E team is available to advise and consult on course enhancements and new course design upon request, and will assist in promotion of all courses receiving awards; such promotion may include announcements via email and social media, course videos, and special features on Duke websites and blogs.  Please direct questions to Katherine Black.  

Faculty Learning Institute, May 6

Any faculty interested in learning more about the fields of social innovation and entrepreneurship, relevant pedagogical tools, and efforts underway across the university and beyond are invited to participate in a faculty learning institute sponsored by the I&E Initiative on Wednesday, May 6, 9:30am-1:30pm in Gross Hall Room 270 (lunch and morning refreshments and lunch provided).  Register online: .  Attendance at this institute is encouraged but not required. Another institute will be held in the fall.

Grants made possible through a generous gift by Audrey T’82 and Ken E’82 Weil.