University of Texas at Austin
Students sitting outside building
Students sitting outside building
Students sitting outside building

Social Innovation Initiative

Environmental, Social, Governance

$1 in $4 of global assets under management (AUM) are invested based on ESG principles. 

Making Better-Informed Investment Decisions

ESG funds outperform non-ESG funds in 80% of academic studies 

Growing Interest

$20 trillion more is expected to be invested in ESG funds over the next two decades 

McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

About The Social Innovation Initiative

The Social Innovation Initiative (SII) acts as UT-Austin’s hub on campus for innovation in social and environmental impact. The center is housed in The McCombs School of Business, and thus focuses on corporate sustainability, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and ESG investing. The SII strives to cultivate a world where business professionals can create economic value for their organizations while shaping a circular, regenerative economy that benefits all stakeholders. We reach students and community members through experiential learning programs, courses, community events, career support, and research. A full list of our program offerings is below.

Our Mission: To prepare future leaders to address societal and environmental challenges through any career path, and to promote the regenerative possibilities of purposeful and responsible business.

Our Vision: A world where profits and purpose meet to drive positive change.




  • Signature courses
    • Social Impact Practicum
    • ESG Investing
    • Investing in Philanthropy
    • Food and Nutrition Social Entrepreneurship
    • Finance for Social Innovation
    • Impact Investing Practicum
  • Continuing and Program Education
  • Career and Community Workshops)
  • Alumni in Impact events
  • Impact Chat speaker series
  • Trailblazers in Impact Speaker Series
  • ClimateCap
  • The Innovator Newsletter
  • Graduate Social and Sustainable Innovation Council (GSSIC)
  • Undergraduate Social Innovation Council (USIC) 



Corporate Sustainability

Corporate Sustainability

Products, programs, and practices that take into account environmental, social, and governance considerations, in traditional corporations or new forms of business such as B-Corp or Benefit Corporations. Such efforts work toward a "triple-bottom line", aiming simultaneously for an increase in profit, benefits to the environment, and benefits to the people that interact with companies.

ESG & Impact Investing

ESG & Impact Investing

ESG Investing: The systematic and explicit inclusion by investment managers of environmental, social and governance metrics into the investment screening process.

  • E: Environmental criteria focus on a company’s stewardship of the natural environment and include issues like greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, and natural resource depletion.
  • S: Social criteria focus on all people who interact with a company throughout its value chain, from employees to suppliers to the communities within which the company operates. Examples of social issues include workplace health safety, labor practices, and relations with local communities.
  • G: Governance criteria focus on a company’s leadership, audits and internal controls, and shareholder rights.Examples of governance issues include bribery and corruption, business ethics, and board diversity.

Impact Investing: Targeted investments, typically made in private markets, aimed at solving social or environmental problems, and including community investing, where capital is specifically directed to traditionally underserved individuals or communities, as well as financing that is provided to businesses with a clear social or environmental purpose.



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Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

The practice of starting new ventures that seek a clear social or environmental purpose, in addition to financial returns. Social entrepreneurship entails a revenue-generating model in order to be sustainable, but the enterprises they create focus first and foremost on "mission-related impact." These businesses can include nonprofits with income-generation models, hybrid businesses, and for-profit businesses.

Public & Social Sector Innovation

Public & Social Sector Innovation

Social innovation by governments, governmental agencies, nonprofits, or NGOs acting directly or in partnership with private sector organizations. Examples include private investors providing capital for innovative government programming, nonprofits with earned-income models, or collective-impact initiatives.



SII Impact Continuum

Upcoming Events

August 26th, 2021 5:30pm - 6:30pm
GSLI Info Session
September 14th, 2021 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Impact Chat - From Wall Street to Impact Entrepreneurship with Jeff Bonaldi
October 26th, 2021 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Impact Chat - Climate Justice with Net Impact panel

Invest in Social Innovation Initiative

Some students change their major - Longhorns change the world. The Social Innovation Initiative trains and supports our student innovators through experiential learning programs, courses, and more. We need YOUR help to continue this work! Invest in our changemakers today for tomorrow’s future.


Connect With Us

Social Innovation Initiative Newsletter

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