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Social Impact Fellowship

Social Impact Fellows 2017 Cody Barber and Asta Padervinskaite at GoBike Buffalo

The Social Impact Fellowship (SIF) is a partnership between UB’s School of Management and School of Social Work in collaboration with Blackstone LaunchPad. This fellowship connects 16 entrepreneurially and socially minded students to local organizations where they are encouraged to develop innovative solutions to issues affecting our community.

SIF prepares students to address societal issues using principles of entrepreneurship and sustainable social innovation. The program includes guest speakers whose lectures will focus on local economic development and social justice issues in addition to site visits at local organizations that have a social good/social impact emphasis woven into their work.

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Fellowship Overview

  • The fellowship is an eight-week summer internship.
  • Students will explore and implement innovative solutions in one of eight nonprofits or socially-minded businesses that are working to address a variety of social issues troubling our region, including affordable housing, youth unemployment, chronic truancy, school suspensions, food scarcity and legal assistance for the disadvantaged.
  • Students will attend a weeklong orientation prior to the internship and weekly facilitated group discussions throughout the summer.

More information about the 2018 fellowship will be available in the Fall.

Program Benefits

  • Learn about issues affecting Western New York residents and meet with stakeholders who are working on these problems.
  • Work with local organizations to tackle social problems using an outside-the-box approach.
  • Learn the basic skills to start your own venture.
  • Participate in a United Way of Buffalo and Erie County poverty simulation.
  • Receive compensation for tuition and fees with a modest stipend.

How It Works

  • One student from the School of Management and one student from the School of Social Work will be placed at each organization.
  • Fellows will conduct their internship with their nonprofit Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays, they will participate in a Friday Startup Experience session.
  • Students will attend orientation prior to internship placement to learn about the opportunities and challenges of community nonprofits working to advance social justice, cultural, health care and educational initiatives. 

This experience provides students with a comprehensive introduction to entrepreneurial principles and innovation, including attending forums with guest speakers on specific local economic development and social justice issues, sharing of students’ project experiences and participating in field trips throughout the City of Buffalo to highlight social enterprises.

This opportunity, with its focus on guiding students through strategic planning and creative problem-solving, will make participants marketable to prospective employers and further distinguish them from their peers.

In the News


UB's Social Impact Fellows are addressing the needs of foster youth and other critical issues.


Management and social work students collaborate on ideas to tackle a social issue facing the community as part of a new fellowship program.


Contact Maureen Hammett, vice dean and chief of staff, for more information.