Social Entrepreneurship

The RGK Center trains and inspires the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Through expert speakers and applied coursework, students from diverse backgrounds develop their own solutions to the world’s most pressing social problems.



PA388L - Advanced Topics in Management: Social Entrepreneurship


Mark Clayton Hand, RGK Center Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at The LBJ School of Public AffairsMark Clayton Hand
Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship;
Venture Partner, UnLtd USA


As a policymaker, nonprofit professional or business leader, what do you need to know about the growing field of social entrepreneurship? Might you be a social entrepreneur yourself? In the first half of this course offered through the LBJ School of Public Affairs, students build a systems level understanding of social entrepreneurship and innovation. Students learn about the current trends within social entrepreneurship–especially in the public and nonprofit sector–and examine the historical factors that have led to the rise of this multi-billion dollar, cross-sector space. In the second half of the class students put theory to practice, designing an entrepreneurial initiative of their own and evaluating those of their classmates from the standpoint of an investor. The course makes use of class discussions, guest speakers, practical workshops, academic readings, lectures and visits to social enterprises in Austin.

Spring 2015 Guest Speakers

Suzi Sosa, Co-Founder & CEO, VerbSuzi Sosa
Co-Founder & CEO
Erine Gray, Founder, Aunt Bertha, Inc.Erine Gray
Aunt Bertha, Inc.
Zoe Schlag, Executive Director, UnLtd USAZoe Schlag
Executive Director
Phililp Berber, Founder, Enable ImpactPhilip Berber
Enable Impact
Austin, Texas

Events Around Town

The Austin Forum: Transportation, Traffic, and Technology

Tuesdsay, June 2, 2015 | 5:15pm

Transportation is fundamental to enabling our society, from commuting to work or school to obtaining goods & services, from providing access to entertainment & culture to delivering care & protection. Transportation is fundamental to virtually every aspect of our lives, enabling freedom of choice in where we work and live, and how we spend our time. However, that rapid growth of Austin’s population has outpaced our ability to efficiently move people around, causing wasted time, increased costs, and this limiting/influences the freedom transportation provides. So, how can technology help us address the transportation issues such as traffic, air quality, safety, etc? From mobile apps to traffic cameras, from smart signals to traffic modeling, technology can play an important role in reshaping transportation options and choices in Austin. Come hear how, and share your own ideas!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015 | 5:30pm

AustinNext will challenge Austin to expand its thinking on how we address our city's growing divide and our most pressing social problems. In collaboration with Leadership Austin, Greenlights is convening business, philanthropy, civic and nonprofit leaders, for a hands-on, hyper-local discussion on innovative approaches to spark real change in our community.

ATX Hack for Change

Friday, June 5 - Sunday, June 7, 2015

Local civic leaders will present pitches for the tools they need to fulfill their missions as agents of change in Austin. All you have to do is choose a challenge that fits your skill set, passions, and curiosity. Projects will address a wide variety of social and civic issues: anything from public transit to feeding the hungry, from helping protect the environment to promoting government transparency. A list of projects and needed skillsets will be posted in advance of the event.


Monday, October 5 - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

SXSW Eco creates a space for business leaders, investors, innovators and designers to drive economic, environmental and social change.


Social Entrepreneurship Map

Maintained by UnLtd USA, the Austin Social Entrepreneurship network map is aimed at mapping the social entrepreneurs in Austin and the organizations that support them.

Colorful nodes represent social ventures; gray nodes are the organizations that support them.