social entrepreneurshiP:



This introductory course gives students a comprehensive overview of social innovation, social enterprise, corporate social responsibility programs, and the use of entrepreneurship and market-based approaches to address social problems at the base of the pyramid.  The field is the classroom where students take a deep dive into poverty, examining its causes, effects and social, environmental and financial costs. They then survey a range of social innovations and entrepreneurship models that help break the cycle of poverty.

Following course, student have the option conduct a supervised and supported internship with a social enterprise or local NGO. 


For: undergraduate students & recent college graduates



Duration: 13 days / 14 nights

CosTs:Based on enrollment - average $3000 per person for course 

+ $ 1000 for 2 week Internship

+ $1,600 for 4 week internship


Available through local university partner.


Students can intern for 2-6 weeks for a social enterprise or NGO 

A social entrepreneurship course with a grassroots perspective. Learning occurs in rural and urban communities where students gain a first-hand understanding of the on-the-ground realities of social problems and the challenges of solving them.  Using a "field as classroom" experiential learning approach, students learn how social entrepreneurship is used to address social and economic injustices at the base of the pyramid.


Throughout this course, students work in teams with Indian counterparts from local urban universities and rural colleges. Mixed cohorts of students visit and work with social enterprises, nonprofit organizations and corporate social responsibility programs and their different approaches to tackle social, cultural and environmental issues in across sectors: health, water, sanitation, education, employment, etc.

rural Immersion


In rural areas, students take a deep dive into poverty, learning to use best practice frameworks and expert tools to examine its causes, effects and costs. Students on this course study with “lower” and “backward” caste Indian students. Together, they conduct primary research in order to deconstruct problems related to poverty such as the lack of potable water, disease, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment, and discrimination. 

Students learn DesignThinking, Human Centered Design and other methods as a foundation for crafting social solutions.  


While in the village, students live with their classmates’ families and experience daily rural life. This profound and intimate view of living and working in poor communities enables students to understand social problems caused and perpetuated by poverty as well as gain empathy for people, who through no fault of their own, were born poor. 



  • Rural immersion

  • Village Homestays

  • Classes with Indian students in 

  • Primary market research

  • Social problem analysis

  • A wide variety of social entrepreneurial models

  • Solutions prototyping using expert techniques

  • Real client-driven projects

  • Essential frameworks used in social entrepreneurship 

  • Live cases

  • Interactions with many types of social entrepreneurs

  • Grassroots perspective

  • Indian university experience

  • Personal reflection, visioning and life mapping

  • Cultural activities

  • Empathy building

  • Yoga 

  • Academic credits** (ask us)

  • Optional Internship 

Featured Internship

Urban program


In the second part of the course, students go to Hyderabad City, where they are joined by Indian university students and experience campus life. Through site visits, workshops, guest speakers and field exercises, students  investigate a range of anti-poverty products and services, social enterprises, innovative processes processes, social marketing campaigns, and corporate social responsibility programs and study their efficacy and impact at the level of the grassroots.  .


Students apply field work and research in urban slum and nearby peri-urban communities.  As well, they experiment with innovating solutions to social problems through rapid prototyping, and design projects. Field exercises, assignments and interactions with social entrepreneurs, policy makers and CSR professionals help students connect

entrepreneurial solutions to problems they experienced personally.

  impact project


In the final part of the course, students take on a project for a social enterprise, CSR program, or NGO. Student projects aim to address a real need, question or challenge faced by a host organization. Students work in small groups with social entrepreneurs. they receive mentoring and technical backstopping from Grassroots U faculty and advisers.



Students enjoy the option to stay longer and gain credible work experience in a 2-6 week post-course internship. During the internship, students receive support from faculty and advisers while working with local organizations. They live in shared housing,  participate in regular activities -- training, visits, speakers, etc. -- and benefit from ongoing mentoring. 


practical skills


real work experience in international development


cultural immersion


meaningful projects 

strenthen your resume

Networks &mixed cohorts

expert leadership

Life Long


What costs are included


Grassroots U program fees cover the following expenses: 

  • Professionally led workshops, lectures and training 

  • Site visits to social ventures and feild projects

  • Faculty, subject matter experts and social entrepreneurs

  • Project placement and mentoring support 

  • In-country travel - all transportation including airport pickup and drop off, field visits and excursions. 

  • All lodging - guesthouses, hotels, homestays, dorms, etc

  • Meals - all, except 1-2 free nights out

  • Cultural events 

  • All educational materials and supplies

  • INTERNSHIP OPTION: shared housing, regular learning events, faculty and expert assistance and mentoring

What's NOT  includeD


Grassroots U fees DO NOT cover: 

  • International airfare to and from India

  • Visas

  • Souvenirs, gifts and personal items  

  • 1-2 non-program meals and entertainment on free nights

  • Tourism and travel outside of regular program  

  • Indian mobile phone/cell charges in India

  • **Academic credit supplement charged by host university in India ( ** contact us to find out more)
    - students to do due diligence on tuition fees  

  • INTERNSHIP OPTION: food, entertainment and transportation outside expenses speficied for internship. 

entrepeneurial india!!

India boasts the perfect alchemy for social entreprepreneurship to thrive. A highly entrepreneurial country, India has world class learning institutions, cutting edge technology, a culture of innovation, and excellent human resource capacity.  Home to the world’s largest middle class, the Indian economy is booming and its legal environment is enabling for social enterprise. The country boasts at once a rich history of social and economic justice, massive intractable poverty and other deeply rooted social problems. 

Kailash Satyarthi, 2014 Nobel Prize winner Founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan and GoodWeave 

Mallika Dutt & sonali khan of breakthrough 

Amitabha Sadangi of IDE India 

Dr. Venkataswamy of Aravind

Neelam Chhiber of Mother Earth

Bunker Roy of Barefoot College

Inderjit Kaurana of Train platform schools