Students can incorporate the resources available through the Hampshire College Center for Design into their academic work and explore methods of organizing, creating, and managing innovative enterprises that effect social change.

At Hampshire entrepreneurship means being part of a flexible entrepreneurial ecosystem. Whether it’s for-profit or not-for-profit, public or private, and whether it’s theater, social entrepreneurship, visual arts, game development, agriculture or the sciences – to name just a few, success means action and impact to make a difference.  Your impact will be supported by participating in courses like the examples listed below and being part of the many workshops, events, and student groups plus mentoring opportunities.  All are designed to support an evolving entrepreneurial community focused on innovation and impact to make the world better.

Alternative entrepreneurship, Hampreneurship or Entrepreneurship with a Hampshire twist. Whatever you want to call it, that's what Hampshire students and alums have been doing for decades.  It’s why we're here to strengthen, support, and promote opportunities - not just for Hampshire students interested in entrepreneurship – but for all Hampshire students who want resources for applying the tools of entrepreneurial action to their own goals. Hampshire has never been a one-size-fits-all place. Why would we start now?

Because entrepreneurship at Hampshire means different things to different students, we offer a wealth of resources and opportunities to students and alums. We work with artists and performers who want to turn their talent into livelihood, designers who want to market a product and students starting for-profit or social enterprises. Everything begins with an idea; our role is to get that idea out of your head and into the world.

Students are given hands-on opportunities to start enterprises and collaborate with alums and community members under the guidance of staff and faculty.  Students create a toolbox of successful entrepreneurial strategies, techniques and practices relevant to what they want to accomplish.  Recent alums can also tap into Hampshire’s entrepreneurial resources for continued support of their enterprises.

Student Project Titles

  • Developing an Assistive Technology Venture
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Organizational Theory
  • Building Social Capital Through Cause-Related Marketing
  • The Art Market: Record Sales in the Canon
  • Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Communities
  • Patent This!
  • Using Social Entrepreneurship to Further Human Rights
  • Ordinary People, Extraordinary Managers
  • The Art of Training: Coaching, Science Pedagogy, and Business
  • Learning the Tools for Starting a Tech Business
  • Designing Health: Social Design, Water and Development
  • Smartphones and Social Enterprise: Keeping Your Health in Sight

Sample Courses at Hampshire

Intro to Social Entrepreneurship:

Through this course the students will develop their own community and world-changing ideas into venture plans, using practical frameworks and principles. Students will learn about social entrepreneurism as a vehicle for change, and the different forms and structures social entrepreneurism can take. Accomplished social entrepreneurs from around the world will share their experiences and perspectives with the class with in-person visits and video sessions, help the students think through their ideas. Students will develop the rigorous critical thinking and partnership skills to develop and test any idea, secure resources, and bring the idea to reality, applicable across sectors. Students will work individually and in teams. The course will culminate in a session where students will pitch their ideas to real social impact investors.

Innovation and New Venture Creation Strategies:

This course explores different strategies for introducing innovations in both for-profit and not-for-profit ventures. Many believe that entrepreneurship only means launching a new business from scratch. But for introducing innovations in for-profit, not-for-profit and social entrepreneurship ventures there are other effective alternatives to starting a new business. Two examples include strategic partnerships and licensing innovations to established organizations. Depending on student goals, course topics can include defining the value of the innovation, protecting intellectual property and forming partnerships. In addition to exploring alternative strategies for innovations, the course covers techniques for assessing the value and feasibility of new innovations from the perspectives of market trends, customers, and competitors plus human values and sustaining our planet.  Students will also investigate the potential of six different models for entrepreneurial ventures.

Through the Consortium

  • Business Ethics (SC)
  • Economics of Corporate Finance (SC)
  • Economic Game Theory (SC)
  • Entrepreneurship Initiative (UMass)
  • Hospitality: Strategic Management (UMass)
  • Internet Business (UMass)
  • Introductory Accounting (UMass)
  • Professional Practice (UMass)
  • Seminar in Industrial Organization (MHC)

Facilities and Resources

Entrepreneurship the Hampshire Way

Learn more about faculty and staff support, the intern program, and entrepreneurship at Hampshire.

Design for Innovation and Social Change

The Center for Design offers a laboratory for the exploration of design and fabrication. It is open to all Hampshire students, and includes a shop equipped for working with metals and plastics as well as a design lab for manual and computer-aided design. Students may use the facility for academic and personal projects. There are no prerequisites to use the facility, and all skill levels are welcome.

Sustainable Seed Fund for Innovation (SFI)

This experimental investment fund involves students in decisions to invest significant money to launch entrepreneurial student ventures as well as those of recent graduates. While the application process is competitive, for those ventures that succeed, the impact is important. In its first two years six new ventures were funded and launched by students and alums thanks to financial investments from the SFI.

Women Discovering Business

The Smith College extracurricular club, Women Discovering Business, offers students from the consortium an opportunity to come together to discuss women in the workforce and career opportunities, as well as listen to guest speakers.

The Berthiaume Center at the Isenberg School of Management – University of Massachusetts

The Berthiaume Center strives to be the entrepreneurial hub for UMass Amherst and across the region. It is focused on providing students with a wide range of classroom and experiential learning opportunities, all designed to develop the mindset and skills underlying successful entrepreneurship and connecting theory with practice. There is increasing collaboration between entrepreneurs at Hampshire and those from the Berthiaume Center with Hampshire and UMass students enrolling in entrepreneurship classes from both schools plus shared events and other resources.

Isenberg School of Management
Through the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Five College students can enroll in courses on management, accounting and information systems, finance and operations management, hospitality and tourism management, marketing, and business communications. The Isenberg School frequently holds guest lectures, business conferences, and leadership seminars.