Glossary of Terms & Programs

The center engages with students, alumni, professionals, faculty, and staff in a variety of ways. Below is a listing of terms and programming initiatives. Glossary of events →

Advisory Board: The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise’s advisory board is an assembly of leaders in business and the community with an interest in the social enterprise field who come together two to three times a year to review activities and consider new opportunities to enhance social enterprise at Columbia University. Working closely with the center, the advisory board helps shape the direction of the center by providing recommendations to the center on current and potential initiatives intended to promote idea sharing in the field of social enterprise, and to connect our world-class faculty members, students, and alumni with external audiences.

Alumni Ambassadors are hand-picked alumni in various sectors who have agreed to take on active leadership roles to help connect fellow alumni working in the social enterprise space and discuss relevant issues in their area of expertise.

Climate Change and Business Program: This program focuses on using markets and business skills to identify and implement solutions to mitigate, adapt to, or reverse climate change and its impacts on society globally. The program offers courses, experiential learning opportunities, research, conferences and seminars that develop connections to bridge theory and practice.

Columbia CaseWorks is the Business School unit that works with faculty to develop teaching cases and materials for use in Columbia Business School classrooms. 

Executive MBA (EMBA): EMBA students on average have 7­–10 years work experience and are on track to rise to the C-suite of their organizations. These students usually attend class on Friday and Saturday, with an occasional block week of classes. There are many programs EMBA, some of which include global immersion study.

Experiential Learning encourages students to learn by applying their business skills to social enterprise endeavors, including internships, consulting projects, board program, and social venture due diligence.

Green Business Club (GBC) is a student club at Columbia Business School focused on serving member students by providing educational and career development resources focused on a wide range of sustainability and green business industries.

Loan Assistance Program (LAP): This program encourages MBA graduates to take management and leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors, and with social ventures. LAP helps alleviate the financial burden associated with repaying education loans while pursuing a career in these sectors, which typically pay lower salaries. 

Microlumbia Impact Fund is a Columbia Business School student-led nonprofit organization that makes short-term debt investments in microfinance institutions and social enterprises; provides pro bono advisory services and due diligence assistance to microfinance institutions, impact investing funds and their portfolio companies; and stimulates interest in the field of impact investing among a new generation of business leaders.

Nonprofit Board Leadership Program (NBLP): This program, which is part of the Social Enterprise Club, cultivates the next generation of nonprofit board leaders while providing a valuable service to alumni and the nonprofit organizations on whose boards they serve. Students are paired with alumni on nonprofit boards over the academic year, attend board meetings, and complete a pro bono consulting project for the nonprofit.

Pangea Advisors: This pro bono international development consulting initiative is part of the Social Enterprise Club. Teams of students spend an academic semester working on consulting projects with organizations focused on international development and emerging markets.

Programs in Social Enterprise (PSE) is part of Executive Education at Columbia Business School; these certificate courses train practitioners in applying business skills to their social enterprises. The program is led by Professor Ray Horton, founder of the Social Enterprise Program.

Reentry Acceleration Program (REAP): This program focuses on improving employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated people (FIPs) and people with a criminal record. Through a partnership between the center and the Center for Justice at Columbia University, the program consists of two initiatives that are designed to complement one another by educating incarcerated individuals, future business leaders (MBA students), and potential employers:

Research Meets Practice Series is a series of academic speaker events that promote and disseminate innovative social enterprise ideas and practices, and is open to the public.

Social Enterprise: Organizations with a clearly defined social or environmental purpose incorporated into the core reason for operation, evident in both mission and practice.

Social Enterprise Club (SEC) is a student club at Columbia Business School for those who want to use business skills to create social, environmental, and economic value within the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. 

Social Enterprise Conference Governing Board is an assembly of leaders in and from the business and social enterprise community who help advise and guide the students responsible for planning the annual conference.

Social Enterprise Summer Fellowships (SESF): This fellowship provides financial support to Columbia and Barnard undergraduate and graduate students engaged in summer internships that create social and environmental value. Eligible organizations include those that are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) (or its equivalent outside the United States), NGO, public sector organization, for-profit social venture, or social venture capital firms with a clearly defined social or environmental purpose incorporated into the core reason for operation, evident in both mission and practice. 

Social Enterprise Program (SEP): The program was founded by Professor Ray Horton in 1981 as the Public and Nonprofit Management Program, and later became the Social Enterprise Program in 2001. In 2015 it became the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise.

Social Venture Network is a network of professionals, experts and alumni drawn from all Schools across Columbia University who are willing to provide pro bono advice and assistance to Columbia-affiliated social ventures. This initiative is currently in development.

Tamer Fund for Social Ventures (TFSV): This fund provides seed grants of up to $25,000 to nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid early-stage social ventures. Funding will be made available for around seven ventures each year, led by Columbia University students and alumni, including recent graduates, or those ventures that are advised (and have significant involvement) by faculty or alumni.

Tamer Fund for Social Ventures Investment Board: The board is responsible for reviewing and selecting which social ventures will receive seed grants from the TFSV.

Three Cairns Climate Fellowship: The fellowship provides support to MBA and EMBA students who complete semester- or year-long projects at the intersection of climate change and business. Students may apply individually or in teams for projects that work with Columbia research faculty, or any type of organization or business in the U.S. or abroad that is addressing sustainability and climate change issues. Projects should focus on using markets and business knowledge, skills, and tools to identify and implement solutions to mitigate, adapt to, or reverse climate change and its impacts. The Three Cairns Climate Fellowship was endowed by Lise Strickler ’86 and Mark Gallogly ’86. Their recently established family office, Three Cairns Group, has a core commitment to making investments in decarbonizing the world economy.