Our philosophy

Social entrepreneurs need their own space to make targeted solutions
To cultivate successful student social entrepreneurs, UT Austin needs a different environment than usual entrepreneurship spaces. Social entrepreneurs rely on outside institutions and target communities as a more central part of their work than many technologies or industry-specific enterprises who can afford to focus efforts in a product. If a product fails, entrepreneurs can analyze what happened and try again. Social entrepreneurs cannot because failure affects our most vulnerable populations.

To address this disparity, the SELL Fellowship is equipping students to learn, think and act on the knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship specific to societal consequences.

LEARN ELEMENTS

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LEARN

SPEAKER SEMINARS

  • Speakers, ranging from social entrepreneurs to experts in various fields, will speak on behalf of a specific core topic area or vertical.
  • Many social entrepreneurship topics are difficult to learn other than hearing about them first hand from experienced veterans in the field.
  • No prep work is needed for this LEARN Element on behalf of the student fellows.
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LEARN

BOOK & RESOURCES

  • All books and resources are preselected to follow the programming. Fellows are expected to purchase the book.
  • Because it is difficult to expect fellows to learn everything from just listening, some time will be spent outside absorbing relevant material that can help with discussing crucial Core Topics and Verticals.  
  • Little prep work is needed outside of the workshops in terms of some reading and watching a couple videos.
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LEARN

VERTICAL TRACK

  • To understand impact areas better, fellows will discuss top issues about their respective verticals to better understand big problems, with the assistance of program mentors.
  • The goal is to work together to find meaningful information on vertical issues and bridge knowledge gaps.
  • Little prep work will be needed to research beforehand to produce better discussions. 

THINK ELEMENTS

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THINK

INDIVIDUAL PROJECT

  • To enable student fellows to practice social entrepreneurship, each participant will solve for a specific solution throughout the program. A co-founder is optional. 
  • This gives students an opportunity to practice skills learned as well as experience the difficulty of solutions engineering.
  • Some prep work will be needed outside of the workshop to test out the project.
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THINK

WORKSHOP ACTIVITES

  • Fellows will have useful activities that will assist in the solution generating process throughout the program, these may be in conjunction with the discussion blocks.
  • Activities will range from case studies to group solution engineering, to general planning and strategic decision making.
  • Because this is strictly for the internal workshop period, no prep work is expected.
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THINK

BUSINESS PLAN

  • Any solution needs a well-detailed plan to back it up. Fellows will learn about what makes a great business plan and will practice building one out about their project idea. 
  • In addition, the program will sponsor a friendly competition among participants to encourage better solutions through competing.
  • As this portion is inclusive of actual brainstorming and writing, more prep work outside the sessions will be required.

ACT ELEMENTS

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ACT

PRACTICE PITCHES

  • A good entrepreneur always knows how to pitch a great idea and practice makes perfect.
  • A major goal of the program is to introduce students to the idea of talking about their ideas among peers.
  • Little prep work is expected because many ideas are expected to be shared with little time to work beforehand.
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ACT

EXTERNAL PITCH

  • A clear difference between social and traditional entrepreneurship is the direct impact of an action to a community.
  • Because of this, student fellows will be expected to speak with people who will be impacted by their work. Each fellow will need to present at least once to a core audience with a vested interest in their vertical.
  • More prep work is expected because of the time needed to reach out and communicate with an interested party.
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ACT

NETWORKING

  • Social entrepreneurs need good networking skills to speak with people who can help them make their projects happen.
  • Good communication skills will be curated throughout the program with speakers, mentors, and other students.
  • No prep work is expected out of this element because it will naturally happen throughout the fellowship program.