Entrepreneurship & 
Social Responsibility

The entrepreneurship and social responsibility area offers students an education in business, focused on launching new ventures and fostering innovation and social impact within a corporate setting.

The curriculum is designed to develop students’ entrepreneurial perspectives by

  • cultivating creative-thinking and decision-making skills
  • developing entrepreneurial practices for new and established organizations
  • advancing skills to develop and launch entrepreneurial and social ventures
Management Competencies

Program highlights:

  • Excellence. NIU was a finalist in the International Council for Small Business Award in Entrepreneurship Education Excellence for its program in social entrepreneurship (2016)
  • Experienced Faculty. All of our faculty have experience as entrepreneurs, and they bring that experience to their teaching to create engaging and relevant learning experiences.
  • Hands On Experience. Entrepreneurship students start their own businesses as part of class to learn what it takes to launch and grow a business.
  • Internships. Students gain valuable work experience through internships in start-ups and social ventures, in the summer and during the academic year.
  • Study Abroad Opportunities. The department supports study abroad in classes and over the summer.
  • Alumni Support and Networking. Over 800 alumni serve as mentors and coaches for every student, providing career guidance and support. In each entrepreneurship courses, guest entrepreneurs and coaches come to campus each semester to meet with students.
  • Student Organizations. The Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (link) and Collegiate Association for Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs (link) are student organizations focused on entrepreneurship led by students passionate about entrepreneurship and social responsibility.


Graduates pursue a variety of career options, including business development, small business or franchise owner, and management within a start-up or growing new ventures in established organizations, as well as leadership and consulting roles. Graduates also pursue opportunities in non-profit organizations and social ventures where they apply their management skills to important social issues.

What do our alumni say?

“The Management Program provided the perfect framework to develop my entrepreneurial interests, and it creates opportunities that may have not otherwise been available in my life and career.” (JD, Director of Strategic Partnerships)

“As a transfer student, the department was extremely welcoming. The professors were always there to help me when I needed it and offered any guidance they could. They were approachable and truly cared about the students!” (SO, Consultant)