The Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab (BSEL) is a Center of Excellence at the USC Marshall School of Business that equips students, faculty and staff with the business skills and resources to develop market-based solutions to the wicked problems of the 21st century. Through education, community building, research and professional development, the Lab serves as the hub for social entrepreneurial efforts at the university.
Founded by Professor Adlai Wertman in 2008 and named in 2014 through a gift from the Brittingham Family Foundation, the Lab provides students across the university with a foundation in the context and practice of social entrepreneurship. We offer an undergraduate minor in social entrepreneurship; a graduate certificate in sustainability and business; the MBA concentration in sustainability, society and business; and a Master of Science in social entrepreneurship (MSSE). The one-year MSSE provides students the essential business and entrepreneurship skills to make an impact in issue areas like poverty alleviation, health care, gender equity, education and sustainability.
As part of USC’s extensive startup ecosystem, we have developed a wide range of resources to support students, faculty and alumni in the creation and growth of impactful social enterprises: interdisciplinary partnerships, business plan competitions and a Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Additionally, our research initiative, led by Dr. Jill Kickul, has widely influenced the development and evaluation of the social entrepreneurship field.
Cocurricular programs such as the BSEL Undergraduate Scholars Mentorship Program and MBA Society and Business Fellowship provide focused, cohort-based support for students committed to pursuing careers in social impact. The Lab also engages with the greater community through collaborations with social enterprises across the globe. Our monthly Lunch & Learn lecture series features successful social entrepreneurs and social impact professionals tackling various issues, including homelessness, food insecurity and sustainability, to introduce students to organizations that produce — in addition to economic value — meaningful social value.