Social enterprise encompasses a broad range of organizations and people dedicated to envisioning and serving their social missions. Social entrepreneurs create and manage private nonprofit organizations funded by philanthropy and government grants; drive businesses that fund the pursuit of social goals with their earnings; innovate to improve government services; or develop hybrids among these areas. Their social goals may relate to social services and advocacy, the arts, education or environmental sustainability, among other purposes. Beyond the more familiar nonprofit organizations and government agencies are many examples of socially driven businesses and nonprofit/business hybrids, such as disability services and homeless shelters that start businesses to train and employ their clients, or community development and microfinance banks.

Students in Ripon’s social enterprise program will build skills in management, entrepreneurial visioning and planning, and servant leadership to contribute effectively to the creation of social value in whichever areas they choose. You will study the history of these areas, their current best practices, and future opportunities and challenges in applying business models and collaborating responsively with the communities served and other stakeholders. You will also reinforce and practice basic skills needed in a changing world: thinking critically, solving problems in creative new ways, communicating clearly and persuasively, and developing sets of values to guide your decisions.

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Soren Hauge

Hauge, Soren

Patricia Parker Francis Professor of Economics, Chair of Economics and Business Management Department

Tom Keuler

Keuler, Thomas

Instructor of Business Management, CPA

Sorenson, Steven

Adjunct Instructor of Political Science and Pre-Law Advisor

Mirachle-Rose Toppar

Toppar, Miracle-Rose

Assistant Professor of Economics and Business Management

Zhang Fan

Zhang, Fan

Assistant Professor of Business Management


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Minor in Social Enterprise 20 credits
Core Courses ECO 211 & 212 Principles of Economics and BSA 309 Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation or 310 Nonprofit Organization Management
Elective Courses 8 elective credits from the following: CMM 115 Public Speaking; PHL 202 Business Ethics; PSC 110 General Psychology; SOC 110 Introduction to Sociological Imagination or 201 Social Problems; BSA 110 Introduction to Management, 208 Introduction to Marketing, 223 Business and Society, 309 Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation or 310 Nonprofit Organization Management, or 315 Strategic Management. Up to four credits of internship (BSA 399 or 499) may be substituted for other elective credits by consent of the department chair.
Additional Criteria No elective course may count toward both a social enterprise minor and a finance major, or toward minors in both social enterprise and entrepreneurship. It is not permitted to combine a major or minor in business management with a minor in social enterprise.

Career Tracks

  • Recent graduates hold such titles as executive director, director of development-head of fundraising, director of marketing/communications, chief financial officer-grant disbursement and broad accounting functions, program director, human resources director and manager of special projects.

Unique Opportunities

  • Ripon College has a tradition of student-community partnerships, and there are opportunities for real-world learning as part of team-based and live consulting projects with existing local businesses, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and nonprofits. Services provide real-world learning in team-based and live consulting projects, including business planning, feasibility studies, marketing plans, financials and budgets, and market research.