Ferguson Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs

“Social entrepreneurs” are unique people who see a problem and imagine a solution: “Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss and improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating solutions to change society for the better” (Ashoka).

Each academic year, the Center for Community Engagement funds up to 30 Ferguson Fellowships for students interested in addressing a community need by: 

  • Researching a community issue or problem of importance;
  • Designing a plan of action to address the problem in a new or unique way; 
  • Implementing the plan in a specific community; and
  • Participating in a CNU community service showcase (held at the end of the Spring semester).

Students in all majors and at all levels are encouraged to apply their academic knowledge, creativity and vision to solving some of the pressing problems of our day.  Ideally, the project will grow out of a student’s academic work in a service learning course or through a volunteer experience in a specific community.  Projects should address a real community need and offer an innovative, feasible and well-researched solution to that need.  Although most projects will be local, the Center also will consider proposals whose scope is national or global.

Students will receive a $1,000 stipend to research and execute their project and faculty mentors will receive a $500 stipend for project mentorship.  Funding is also available (upon request) for project implementation expenses, such as program supplies, travel, fees, services (printing, building rental, etc.).

Download application materials: Ferguson Fellowship Application and "Ferguson Fellowships - A Guide to Writing the Proposal"

Projects will be evaluated and awarded by a committee of CNU faculty and administrators, a representative from Ferguson Enterprises, and a community partner.  

For more information, contact: Dr. Elizabeth Gagnon, Director of Ferguson Fellowships in Social Entrepreneurship at 594-8400 or elizabeth.gagnon@cnu.edu, or Vanessa Buehlman, Administrative Assistant, Center for Community Engagement at 594-7492 or vanessa.buehlman@cnu.edu