The Empower Program for Social Entrepreneurship educates, mentors, and motivates aspiring social entrepreneurs at Tufts. Empower provides financial...

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Empower Program for Social Entrepreneurship

The Empower Program for Social Entrepreneurship educates, mentors, and motivates aspiring social entrepreneurs at Tufts. Empower provides financial support to undergraduate and graduate students to gain practical skills through experiential learning in social entrepreneurship. Empower helps students develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary to pursue business ventures that do well and do good through mentorships with alumni and other skill-building opportunities.  

The program also sponsors events, lectures, and workshops that shape discourse on social entrepreneurship. Through our alumni network we aim at forming a mentorship system for developing aspiring social entrepreneurs at Tufts. Please get in touch with us if you have questions or ideas to pursue. Our current and past fellows are an open community.

The Empower Fellowship provides the opportunity for students to launch social enterprises, participate in internships and conduct applied research related to social entrepreneurship in international or local community development. The fellowship offers either a grant or stipend for students to pursue these opportunities and allows students to join the Social Entrepreneurship Network at Tufts, which encourages collaboration, mentorship, and the promotion of social entrepreneurship on campus.

The Empower program offers three types of fellowships:

Empower Fellowship — Social Entrepreneurship Grants
Empower funds students who want to start their own social enterprises or to continue working on their existing social ventures. Social enterprises use market mechanisms to achieve social goals. Empower does not give out seed capital for such ventures; however, it is willing to fund travel, accommodation, and other costs incurred by students developing their ventures.

Empower Fellowship — Internships
Empower funds internship positions with both social enterprises and those in industries in which students may want to start a venture. Grants cover expenses such as airfare, housing, and transportation for internships both inside
and outside of the Greater Boston area.

Empower Fellowship — Research
Empower funds students performing market research and/or impact evaluation for an existing organization or for their own ventures. If research will be conducted for an organization, it must have practical implications dictated by the organization’s needs. At the end of the summer, students must deliver a tangible final product to be sent to Empower and the organization researched.

We will not fund projects that are purely academic in nature. We encourage students to pursue projects with a real-life impact. Examples include working at a socially-minded start-up; a large corporation with a global supply chain; and conducting market research for your venture idea.

Program At-a-Glance


Social Entrepreneurship

Areas of Study

Featured Events

Program Size


Year Founded



EMPOWER in Hargeisa, Somiland

Empower in Nigeria 2014

Empower in Vietnam

EMPOWER Research: Darmaji Village and Karawang, Indonesia

Empower Projects & Events

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Empower: Hannah Freedman and Arts-Based Learning

Hannah Freedman is in the class of 2017 and an Empower fellow.  She interned with the African Youth Leadership Experience in Uganda this past summer.

Empower: Nitya Agrawal Interviews with Locals in Bucerias, Mexico

Nitya Agrawal is in the class of 2017 and is an Empower fellow.  She interned in Mexico this past summer.  

Empower: Steven Koltai Lecture

The Empower Program for Social Entreprenuership and the Tufts Entrepreneurs Society welcomed a lecture from entrepreneur and double-jumbo Steven Koltai.