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UMD: A Globally Connected University

Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps

Global Impact Through Action

Overview  |  Program Components  |  Alumni Profiles  |  Scholarship Opportunities

Are you interested in the Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps? Stop by one of our info sessions on Wednesday, March 8, 2017!

  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm: School of Public Policy (1207 Van Munching Hall)
  • 2:00 - 3:00 pm: Honors College (0100 La Plata Hall)
  • 3:30 - 4:30 pm: College Park Scholars and Living/Learning Communities (1100 Cambridge Community Center)
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm: Education Abroad (1102 H.J. Patterson Hall)

MSEC student interview


The Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps (MSEC) is a unique study and internship program for undergraduate students to spend their summer in a Latin American country and observe, address, and implement sustainable business solutions to poverty. Prior to departure, students participate in a spring course at UMD that introduces social entrepreneurship with accompanying lectures on consulting techniques, Latin American culture, and economic development. Students then spend two months immersed in program sites while learning about social entrepreneurship through hands-on experience consulting with local businesses and implementing dynamic development projects with rural populations. Upon returning to campus, students complete a one-credit course to reflect on in-country experiences and incorporate the skills and lessons learned into future courses and careers. MSEC is 9 credits, based in the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply! There are three locations of the MSEC program - click below to view the program descriptions for each country, get more details, and start your application!

Are you ready to become a changemaker?
Watch Rachel George's video about her MSEC experience in Ecuador during the Summer 2015 program.

Program highlights:

  • 9 UMD credits - can all be applied toward the Smith School Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor
  • Multiple scholarship opportunities open to applicants!
  • Tangible impact through multiple community-based projects
  • 8 weeks in a beautiful Latin American country
  • Dynamic cultural immersion that will improve your Spanish
  • Lasting connections with homestay families

MSEC Nicaragua
MSEC Dominican Republic
MSEC Ecuador

MSEC is a collaborative effort between Education Abroad, the Office of International Affairs, and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, with support from the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Robert H. Smith School of Business Office of Global Initiatives and Department of Management and Organization.

MSEC also partners with global businesses such as the eye-glasses company, Warby Parker, who was named as Fast Company's Most Innovative Company of 2015. Interested? Check out Warby Parker's co-founder Neil Blumenthal talk about the impact of Social Entrepreneur Corps here.

The International Educator magazine also recently featured MSEC among study abroad programs that make a difference. Read the International Educator article on socially concious programs to learn about the meaning behind the MSEC mission and see the impact you could make as a part of the program!

Read the Fall 2015 Maryland International article about MSEC to learn how UMD social entrepreneurs are breinging new vision to Nicaragua through technology.

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MSEC students with clien

Program Components

MSEC is a cross-disciplinary program open to students from all UMD colleges and majors. Students who complete the three-part program will earn nine academic credits. Coursework is based in the Robert H. Smith School of Business and supported by cross-listing partners including the Department of American Studies and the Department of Sociology.

Spring (2 credits):  Prior to departure, students participate in spring course at UMD that introduces the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship with accompanying lectures on Latin American culture, history, politics, and economic development.
Summer (6 credits): Students depart for the eight-week in-country program that includes orientation, foundation-building and training, Spanish language courses and fieldwork. Students participate in a range of projects designed to support community needs, including:

  • Assisting entrepreneurs in rural areas with micro-businesses that provide affordable access to essential products such as eyeglasses, energy efficient stoves, solar lamps and water filters
  • Consulting projects with small, local businesses looking for new ways to improve their scope of work
  • Conducting eye exams and selling glasses in rural communities
  • Contributing to identification and design of new social entrepreneurship opportunities by field testing new products, services and innovations
  • Observing and analyzing the needs of communities to inform future SEC projects
Fall (1 credit): A one-credit course at UMD to reflect on in-country experiences and incorporate the skills and lessons learned into future courses and careers. This course concludes with the MSEC Forum, an event for students to showcase their work in country and analysis of key social and economic issues.

Read more about the 2015 MSEC Forum on the Smith CIBER website.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Minor

The Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps is an approved experiential learning course for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Combined with the 6 credits of Foundation courses, the 9 credits earned through the MSEC program can complete the minor.

All Smith Minors are to be completed over two years (four semesters) and are designed for incoming junior students in their chosen major. Admission to the Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor is competitive and not guaranteed for MSEC students. However, any current or prospective MSEC student that meets the criteria is encouraged to apply. 2017-18 Smith Minor applications are due February 24th at 11:59pm. Go to the minors website for more information and please contact with any questions.

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Alumni Profiles

Chioma Agbaraji
MSEC Chioma AgbarajiSupply Chain Management major, Spanish minor
MSEC Dominican Republic 2015
Contact Chioma:
"Last summer was the most influential point in my career and life. Not only did I consult for local entrepreneurs, perform company research, and build relationships with people from a plethora of backgrounds, I learned what it means to pay attention to detail and truly be invested in the work that you do. MSEC gives you the opportunity of a lifetime, allowing you to taste what it's like to work and live abroad...It's unparalleled by any other program."
Katie Dolan
MSEC Katie DolanCommunity Health Major
MSEC Nicaragua 2015
Contact Katie:
"My MSEC experience started with a commitment to step out of my comfort zone, and ended with unprecedented knowledge and wisdom that can’t be found in any classroom setting. The 8 weeks I spent in Nicaragua allowed me to combine my interests in social justice and international development with my desire to travel and explore different cultures. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime: make a positive impact on the lives of others, improve your Spanish ability, develop strong relationships with homestay families and travel throughout a beautiful country. The program added an unparalleled dimension to my undergraduate experience."
Tyler Draughon
Tyler Draughon Spanish major, Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship minor, Latin American Studies certificate
MSEC Ecuador 2015
Contact Tyler:
Tyler's MSEC Blog
"SE Corps is about more than helping others. It's about learning how to help others help themselves. It's about empowering local entrepreneurs by giving them the resources and tools necessary to create success in their own lives. This is why I think SE Corps is a great program for anyone looking for an opportunity to create lasting community impact."
Surendra Fernando
Surendra FernandoManagement major
MSEC Nicaragua 2014
"I like to call MSEC the perfect package. You have fun, you get to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds, you get nine credits, you get consulting experience, andyou get to help people. I think it’s perfect."

Naya Frazier
Naya FrazierInternational Business major, International Development & Conflict Management and Spanish minorMSEC Nicaragua 2013
“The MSEC experience not only gave me valuable experience in consulting, my intended career field, but also in working with others to solve complex problems -- an invaluable skill in any career field. My eight weeks in Nicaragua presented the opportunity to work in diverse teams, confront ambiguity and stretch myself personally as we worked to make impact in the communities we served.”

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Scholarship Opportunities

MSEC students walking

UMD Education Abroad Fund Scholarship: 
  • Eligibility: need-based; must be degree-seeking UMD student with FAFSA on file
  • Scholarship amount: $750
  • Application deadline: February 15th
  • To apply or for more info: complete scholarship application in MyEA by February 15th deadline to be eligible;note: program application does not need to be complete in order to submit application for Education Abroad Fund scholarships
MSEC Scholarship:  
  • Eligibility: all students accepted into MSEC program who complete a scholarship application in MyEA will automatically receive an MSEC scholarship
  • Scholarship amount: amount varies based on financial need $250 -  $1,000
  • Application deadline: must submit completed MSEC program application by March 15
  • To apply or for more info: All students admitted to program who have also submitted a completed scholarship application in MyEA will be considered for an award
  • Scholarship support is provided by the generosity of private family foundations.
The Bright Futures Scholarship:  Gilman Scholarship:
  • Eligibility:  must be a US citizen, current degree-seeking undergraduate at UMD receiving a Federal Pell Grant participating in a credit-bearing study or intern abroad program with a minimum duration of 4 weeks (28 days).
  • Scholarship amount: up to $5,000
  • Application deadline: March 7st @11:59 CST
  • To apply or for more info:  or
Opportunities for Smith School of Business students:

Business School Global Scholarships for 1st time study abroad: 
  • Eligibility:  Undergraduate business students who have not previously studied abroad or transferred in any credits from a foreign university
  • Scholarship amount: $750
  • Application deadline: April 1st
  • To apply and for more info: This Page.
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate students whose major or minor is in the Business School and are participating in approved, unpaid international summer internships (MSEC qualifies)
  • Scholarship amount: $1,000
  • Application deadline: March 15th
  • To apply and for more info: This Page.
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship MSEC Scholarship:
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate students whose major or minor is in the Business School and are participating in the Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps
  • Scholarship amount: $1,000
  • Application deadline: must submit completed MSEC application by March 15th deadline
  • To apply to any of these scholarships or for more information about Scholarships through the Robert H. Smith School of Business, visit: This Page.
Explore the World Scholarship:
  • Eligibility: Five scholarships will be awarded to residents of DC - District of Columbia, MD - Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, VA - Arlington County, City of Alexandria, City of Arlington, Fairfax County. Eligible candidates must be 18-30 year-old US citizens or permanent residents and demonstrate financial need by meeting at least one of the following criteria: Being a current or former Pell Grant recipient, or having a current income level that does not exceed 300% of the 2016 Federal Poverty Guidelines. Applicants must also have a strong desire and motivation to experience other people and cultures through international travel, and plan to take a trip to a destination outside of the 50 United States between May 15, 2017 and August 31, 2018 that incorporates education, volunteerism or service learning.
  • Scholarship amount: $2,000
  • Application deadline: March 15th
  • To apply or for more info: Complete the application on the website,, provide 2 personal references, and if selected as a finalist, participate in an interview in your local area.

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