Empower Program for Social Entrepreneurship

Empower Fellowship

The Empower Program administers a competitive fellowship program for current Tufts undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate a thriving commitment to social entrepreneurship. 


The Fellowship provides grants for students to launch social enterprises and stipends to fund internships and applied research related to social entrepreneurship in international or local community development. Students who are granted the Fellowship will join the Social Entrepreneurship Network at Tufts, which encourages collaboration, mentorship, and the promotion of social entrepreneurship on campus. 


Empower Fellowship — Social Entrepreneurship Grant


The Empower Program will fund individuals who want to become social entrepreneurs, start their own social enterprise or continue working on their social ventures. Social entrepreneurial initiatives and social enterprises are organisations that use market and business mechanisms to achieve social goals. Empower does not give out seed capital for such ventures. Although not exclusive, examples of what Empower is willing to fund include travel, accommodation and board costs for students developing ventures. 

Empower Fellowship — Internships

Empower funds and places students in internship positions with social entrepreneurs and social enterprises all over the world. All grants go towards individual cover of expenses such as airfare, housing and transportation for internships outside the Great Boston area over the Summer and Winter breaks. 

There are three kinds of internships eligible for an Empower Fellowship:

  • Partner Organisation Internships: Empower has established partnerships with several social enterprises around the globe in which we place students directly in internship positions. The list of partner organisations can be found here. Students applying to this type of fellowship are applying directly for both placement and funding.
  • Schwab Foundation Network Internships: The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is a complementary foundation to the World Economic Forum. The Foundation was created with the purpose to promote entrepreneurial solutions and social commitment with a clear impact at the grassroots level. Through the partnership with Empower, the Schwab Foundation has agreed to give preferential treatment to Tufts students to obtain internships with organisations in their network.
  • Like-Minded Organisation Internships: Empower will fund unpaid internships with peer organisations that are in line with the principles of the Empower Program. Students are required to apply to the internship position independently. Once accepted, they are eligible to apply for the Fellowship. 

Empower Fellowship — Applied Research

To obtain the Fellowship for applied research, applicants must be prepared to demonstrate that their project is a market analysis, impact assessment or evaluation for program development of a social venture. Applicants are required to work with/for a host organisation and must have a letter of affiliation stating that their work is needed for any of the above. It is imperative to have a tangible deliverable at the end of the research period, preferably a report to the organisation. The deliverable cannot be limited a thesis, though applicants are encouraged to use the data from the project for their thesis.