Solving real-world problems

Do you believe in endless possibilities? Are you intrigued by the thought of solving real-world problems through skills in entrepreneurship, business, and the STEM disciplines? No matter your major or your career aspirations, UNE’s minor in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship gives you the skills to apply social innovation and entrepreneurship processes to your area of expertise. Through hands-on classroom learning and activities in UNE’s Makerspace, as well as through exciting internship opportunities, this program teaches you how to be an innovator in your field, whether that be health care, art, social activism, small business, research, or practically anything else.

Two U N E students work together in the Makerspace


At UNE, the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor is not just about starting businesses. It’s about giving you the tools and knowledge to become innovators and change makers in any field. That’s one reason why it is such a useful minor; it’s the perfect complement to virtually any major.

  • Promotes interdisciplinary study
  • Features hands-on work in class and in the P.D. Merrill Makerspace
  • Supports internships with many local partner companies/organizations
  • Enhances career prospects regardless of major

The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor has enabled me to think critically about world problems and have the confidence and knowledge to problem solve effectively. This minor has enabled me to have the toolset to start my own business and confidently move forward as I continue to grow and scale.” — Abbie Anderson ’23, Sustainability and Business major/Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Economics double minor


Experiential Learning

Innovating solutions to real-world problems requires real-life work. Whether in the classroom, in our fully equipped Makerspace, or as an intern with a local partner organization, you will be immersed in hands-on activities that can teach you more than any textbook can.

In-Class and Makerspace Activities

  • Consulting with local social innovation organizations to make real change
  • Developing real business ideas ready to be pitched in regional innovation competitions
  • Designing sustainable business solutions for campus and community problems
  • Building innovative field data collection tools using new technologies

Internship Sites

  • Maine Office of Innovation and Economic Development
  • Innovate for Maine Fellowship Program
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Social innovation organizations
  • Arts and business incubators
  • Local startup companies

Makerspace Features

  • Fabrication Lab: hub for planning, design, and production
  • Laser cutter
  • CNC ShopBot
  • Vinyl cutter
  • Sewing machine
  • Electronics station
  • 3D printer
  • Design Lab: technology hub for digital simulation and product idea demo
  • Alienware computers for digital prototyping and development of apps and virtual games

Co-Curricular Activities

  • Participating in regional business launch competitions
  • Attending innovation conferences and workshops
  • Networking with Portland’s entrepreneurship community

Examples of Available Courses

In addition to two required courses, Innovation Through Technology and Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, your other coursework in the minor may include:

  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business
  • Hacking the Food Web
  • Graph Theory
  • Social Media: Theory and Practice
  • Environmental Economics


Required Classes Credits
BUMG 120 – Innovation Through Technology 3
BUMG 313 – Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship 3
Subtotal 6
Choose three (3) of the following courses Credits
CMM 240 – Social Media: Theory & Practice 3
BUMG 309 – Hacking the Maine Food System 3
BUMK 312 – Entrepreneurship/Small Business 3
BUMG 307 – Operations Management 3
BUMG 314 – Grant Writing or WRT 317 Proposal and Grant Writing 3
BUEC 380 – Economic Development of the U.S. 3
BUEC 390 – Environmental Economics or BUEC 395 - Ecological Economics 3
DSC 205/BUFI 205 – Introduction to Data Analysis & Modeling 3
MAT 225 – Computer Programming with MATLAB 3
Subtotal 9
Choose One (1) of the following courses Credits
BUMG 410 – Creating Social Enterprises 4
BUMG 495B – Internship in Business Administration* 3
Subtotal 3-4
Total Credits 18-19

*Can be substituted with an internship of another major with the permission of the BUMG 495B Coordinator.

Students will be allowed to use up to 12 credits from another minor or their major to complete this minor.

For more information see the Academic Catalog.


Find your career

The innovation tools and the knowledge of innovation methodologies that you will acquire in this program will not only enable you to meet the needs of businesses and organizations and improve their competitiveness in their markets, but they will also enable you to “see around the corner” to anticipate potential barriers before they become problems. This ability will make you a valued member of any professional team. With applicability across career fields, this minor is a valuable part of your resume in a wide variety of job markets.

The following are just a few of the professions that benefit from a background in social innovation and entrepreneurship: 

  • Small Business Owner/Entrepreneur
  • Designer/Artist
  • Social Activist
  • New Product Developer
Pair a Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Minor With a UNE Major in For a Career in the Field of
  • Data Science
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Cloud Computing
  • App Development
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Marine Sciences
  • Environmental Science
  • Aquaculture, Aquarium Science, and Aquaponics
  • Blue Economy Business
  • Climate Change Research
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Sport and Recreation Management
  • Sport Marketing
  • Live Action Analytics
  • Coaching Technology
  • Art and Design Media
  • Communications and Media Arts
  • Creative Arts
  • Commercial Arts
  • Social Media
  • Applied Exercise Science
  • Health and Fitness Business
  • Health Care Technology

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Careers by the Numbers


of company CEOs report their employees lack the behaviors and mindsets needed to build an innovation culture

Accenture global survey, 2021

of self-employed professionals say they would never go back to traditional employment

FreshBooks survey, 2018


Undergraduate Admissions

Contact Undergraduate Admissions at (800) 477-4863 or email You can also stop by our office on the Biddeford Campus Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.