Chicago Booth


A traditional economics textbook view of society is that profit-maximizing firms generally lead to efficient outcomes, leaving governments and philanthropic organizations to deal with externalities and social welfare provision. While society has never been organized so simply, this model seems particularly stale in today’s world of increasing overlaps between the for-profit, governmental, and nonprofit spheres.  

Understanding the changing role of institutions in helping solve social problems presents a compelling research opportunity. Building on the University of Chicago Booth School of Business’s mission to create knowledge with enduring impact and to influence and educate current and future leaders, the Social Enterprise Initiative at Chicago Booth strives to expand this field of research and disseminate findings.

Numerous Booth faculty members and PhD students are already working in areas where social issues play a critical role. SEI seeks to amplify such research and foster inquiry both within the school and beyond.

  • Research Blog: Explores faculty research related to social impact and provides updates on SEI’s research initiatives
  • Faculty Profiles: Introduces some of the Booth faculty whose academic interests intersect with those of SEI
  • Research Papers: Offers access to a sample of Booth faculty research papers on topics ranging from volunteer retention strategies to the gender wage gap

SEI supports ongoing research and encourages new academic projects with the following resources and programs:

  • Data: Provides access to data sets and database administrative support to Booth faculty and PhD students
  • Funding: Offers funding for research to Booth faculty and PhD students
  • Conferences: Showcases ongoing research and connects faculty with social sector practitioners, business leaders, policy makers, and other academics
  • Visiting Fellows: Hosts faculty from peer institutions on campus and facilitates workshops, creating opportunities for collaboration

Understanding social sector dynamics. Educating leaders. Supporting social impact.

The Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business supports the aspirations of students and alumni to impact societal issues and furthers research on how institutions help solve social problems. Through ongoing curricular development, alumni and student programming, and support of faculty pursuits, SEI builds on Chicago Booth's commitment to rigorous analysis and its discipline-based approach to understanding organizations, markets, and policy.

© 2017 Chicago Booth: Social Enterprise Initiative