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Social Innovation Fellowship (SIF)

Social Innovation Fellowship banner

The Social Innovation Fellowship provides funding, advising, and support to Fellows who want to start a nonprofit venture to address a pressing social or environmental need.

Since 2009, SIF has supported Fellows working around the world on issues ranging from the education gap to economic development. Past Fellows have applied their business management knowledge to innovate solutions, overcome barriers to social and environmental progress, and reach marginalized populations.

The application and selection process for the SIF occurs each spring, and the fellowship takes place in the year after graduation.

Fellowship Benefits

  • A stipend of $110,000 for a graduating Stanford GSB student or $180,000 for a team of two, awarded upon graduation and disbursed throughout the following year
  • Support throughout the fellowship year based on Fellows’ needs; past support has included introductions to advisors and communications coaching
  • Advanced status in the application process for the Echoing Green Fellowship competition
  • An automatic invitation to join the Stanford Venture Studio resident program for the fellowship year


Graduating MBA and MSx students in good academic standing are eligible to apply. Individuals or teams of two are eligible to apply. A team may include:

  • Two graduating GSB students
  • One graduating GSB student and a graduating student from another Stanford University program

The proposed social venture must be a stand-alone operation, independent of existing organizations, and either must give rise to a new nonprofit organization to be incorporated within the next two years, or must have been incorporated as a nonprofit during an applicant’s time at Stanford GSB.

Selection Process

The fellowship is designed to support emerging social entrepreneurs as they test, implement, and iterate on their venture ideas. We look for aspiring leaders who understand their position in the broader system, are deeply committed to making the world a better place, and can inspire others to serve their mission. We consider each candidate’s ability to keep an eye on the goal, accept input without giving up, attract resources to the cause, and reach outside the organization to develop partnerships and systemwide solutions.

In the selection process, we evaluate each proposed venture for clarity of mission, potential to address a market failure and/or meet the needs of underserved populations, viability of the business model, and potential for impact through scale or replication.

The panel of judges includes Stanford GSB faculty, nonprofit leaders, and executives in the venture capital, social innovation, and philanthropic fields.