Venture Lab’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiative was launched in 2022 to support the social enterprise and mission-driven venture ecosystem at Penn.

Initiative Offerings

The social entrepreneurship programming is available to all of the Penn community, inclusive of undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni. Financial award opportunities are open to all students who are enrolled full time in a University of Pennsylvania academic program.

Inaugural Salon Sprint:
Climate Change and the Future of Food
September 18th - 22nd

Participate in a week of programming that includes a salon event at the start of the week, and mid-week workshop sessions held in quick succession to support ideation and the design of business models that directly address the challenge prompt from the salon.

Join an interdisciplinary panel of subject-material experts to discuss a social topic and its intersections with potential business solutions.

(Applications Opened August 30th)

The VIP Incubator is an educational incubator on Penn's Philadelphia campus that offers dedicated guidance and resources to help promising social ventures achieve critical milestones and prepare for subsequent accelerator supports.

(Applications Opened September 5th)

Support for Penn student founders based in the Philadelphia area who are looking to scale their social enterprises.

(Applications Open TBA)

Stratified funding awards for Penn students in various stages of building social enterprises.

Jonathan Muruako, CAS'17 SPP'24

Founder of Fitalyst: Empowering First-Gen Students with Self-Regulation Tools for Success

Previous Programming & Relevant Resources

See below for Social Entrepreneurship Initiative events and related resources for the Penn community.

Design Thinking Links & Resources for Social Entrepreneurs.

Learn about social entrepreneurship pathways from experienced industry leaders.

Funding and other supports are available for student organizations at Penn who endeavor to support social entrepreneurship.

Fund your mission-driven venture using the opportunities available for the Penn community.

Workshops designed to support members of the Penn Community interested in Social Entrepreneurship

This program delivers experiential learning that complements Wharton's existing social impact curriculum, providing hands-on opportunities for budding social entrepreneurs to build new ventures that change the world.
Lori Rosenkopf, Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship
The fundamental purpose of the social enterprise is to address a social problem and generate revenue in doing so.
The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook; Ian C. MacMillan & James D. Thompson
Our new social entrepreneurship program puts Wharton and Penn’s institutional power into educating the next generation of leaders to solve the world’s most pressing social problems.
Trang Pham, Executive Director, Venture Lab
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Contact Julia Middleton
Senior Associate Director, Social Entrepreneurship
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