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Social Impact

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At Ross, social and environmental responsibility is a cornerstone of broad-based management education. From your earliest days on campus, you will explore these topics as part of the Ross Leadership Initiative’s Foundation Session. As you continue your studies, you will find social impact interwoven throughout your coursework, including the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) course. A Ross MBA prepares students to address fundamental issues of social responsibility and environmentally sustainable business whether they work in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors — or all three.

Social impact is essential to what we do at Ross.

The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is the largest and best integrated dual-degree program of its kind in the world. Committed to creating a socially and environmentally sustainable society through the power of business, the Erb Institute has been named one of the world’s top sustainability programs by the Aspen Institute’s “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” report in each of the past six years.

The Center for Positive Organizations brings transformational research to students and leaders through articles, books, events, tools, teaching, and organizational partnerships.


The William Davidson Institute (WDI) is dedicated to developing and disseminating expertise on issues affecting business in emerging-market economies. The institute organizes its activities into five broad areas — research, development consulting services, executive education, educators’ outreach, and supporting international activities at the University of Michigan. WDI sources internships and student projects, including international MAP opportunities.

The Nonprofit and Public Management Center (NPM) equips future leaders in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors with interdisciplinary insight to help them operate more effectively when working for or collaborating with nonprofit and public institutions. NPM supports the development of Ross students by connecting them with not-for-profit organizations that would benefit from business expertise through its Board Fellows program and renowned Domestic Corps internship program.

Ross is a leader in base of the pyramid (BoP) research. The C.K. Prahalad Initiative, named in honor of the late Ross professor and one of the world’s most prescient business thinkers, examines fundamental questions about the role of business in global society and the ways innovation can shape the relationship between profit generation and social value creation.

The Social Venture Fund (SvF) is the country’s first student-run, socially focused venture capital fund. Currently, the SvF invests primarily in southeast Michigan-based impact-related ventures in six categories: education, environment, finance, food and nutrition, and health and urban revitalization.

Ross Student Clubs

Net Impact is an international network of business leaders committed to responsible business models, policies, and practices. Ross boasts one of the country’s largest Net Impact chapters, and since its inception at Ross in 2005, the chapter has been recognized as a Gold Chapter every year, and was named Chapter of the Year four times. Ross Net Impact offers resources and skill-building opportunities relating to organizational change, social enterprise, and sustainability to equip students to make an impact — regardless of industry, seniority, or function.

The Revitalization & Business Club (R&B) was launched by Ross MBA students in 2010 to connect University of Michigan students with Detroit’s evolving business landscape. R&B promotes Detroit’s assets and encourages students to explore opportunities in the Motor City.

Each year, the Community Consulting Club oversees 20-25 consulting projects that allow Ross students to use their business skills to help area nonprofits struggling with strategic planning, marketing, operations, financial management, and human resources. Students gain invaluable experience while local nonprofits receive expert business advice that they would otherwise be unable to afford.

Community Action at Ross promotes a culture of active community engagement by offering students regular service opportunities and strategies to incorporate volunteering into their busy schedules.

The Emerging Markets Club seeks to educate, equip, and send Ross students into emerging markets with the ability to evoke positive change and address the most critical issues facing emerging economies today.

The Ross Energy Club aims to educate students and provide structured career support and employment opportunities within both the traditional and alternative energy sectors.