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Social Venture Academy

The Social Venture Academy  provides student social entrepreneurs with coaching and resources to make their socially-minded business a reality.

To increase chances of start-up success, student teams are mentored by Navigators and judges. The Academy awards teams funding at three levels—idea validation, product development, and execution—as student teams show that their organization has the potential to be sustainable, replicable, and impactful. 

How Do I Participate?

Are you interested in social entrepreneurship? Would you like the opportunity to apply principles of business to make the world a better place? Would you like support and funding to make your idea a reality? Sign up below to get started. 

Sign Up Here

Don’t have a business idea but would like to still participate? Become a Navigator. As a Navigator you’ll have the opportunity to consult a student run startup that is working to make positive social impact in the world, while also learning key business principles. This is a minimum two hour/week time commitment. This is a limited enrollment program. We will notify you whether or not you have received an interview soon after the application deadline. Contact socialventureacademy@gmail.com with any questions.

Become a Navigator

Meet the Social Venture Academy Students

Ryan McFadyen, Economics

While walking through the crowded streets of Guatemala, I met an elderly man wearing tattered clothing and covered in filth. It was apparent by the way he stumbled and stuttered that he had been drinking alcohol. He seemed eager to speak to someone—anyone—so when I introduced myself as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he had a lot to say. 

Quit Floating Around: Find Your Way to Drive People out of Poverty

During lunch in middle school and high school there was always the gathering of like-minded groups: those that loved to talk about video games, those that were theater fanatics, and those that were athletes. For one who didn’t fit any of those social constructs, I floated for years hoping one day to be surrounded by people that I can relate with.

Societal issues and problems usually induce frustration, not laughter. One Provo duo is trying to help solve some societal problems and alleviate the frustration, all through laughter.

Like many students at BYU, Matthew Liddle wanted to leave his mark on the world. But if you were to ask him, he would actually say that he wanted to remove his mark—by reducing his carbon footprint and improving his care for the environment. Fortunately for Liddle, there was a way to do both.

Cade Dopp is graduating with his master's degree in Instructional Psychology and Technology in BYU’s David O. McKay School of Education and is already teaching teachers—in Ghana. As the founder of Educell, a nonprofit geared toward helping nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in resource-limited areas, Dopp works tirelessly to bring education to those around the world who don’t have access to it.

BYU students are no longer only concerned about starting businesses that are financially strong. Many are focused on solving social problems that will make the world a better place. The Social Venture Academy, a program hosted by the Ballard Center in the Marriott School of Business, helps turn student entrepreneurs’ socially-minded ideas into successful business ventures.

Early Intervention Robotics, or EI Robotics, is a company started by BYU students seeking to make a difference for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families by creating an interactive robot to help children learn foundational skills.

A group of BYU students are sweeping entrepreneur competitions and making life easier for wheelchair users with a new innovative device.

After five missionaries from the Madagascar Mission returned home, they felt compelled to give back. The Malagasy people they met were brilliant and resourceful, but many lacked employment and nutrition.

Every year more than 1.4 million people struggle to complete a US immigration application. Sam Stoddard, realized the need for an online immigration service when he helped is wife file for a green card.