Specific Ways To Engage With the TFC

Interested in engaging with our Center? The below timeline maps when you could take part in some of our programming, with more information on specific programming and ways to connect below.

Social Enterprise Consulting

We believe that poverty is a personal problem for everyone, and the purpose of the Social Enterprise Consulting (SEc) group is to provide concrete opportunities for students to leverage their individual strengths and skill sets in order to positively contribute to a proactive solution. The SEc matches students with social enterprises with real strategic, development, human capital, or operational needs, trains them on how to be responsible partners, and supports them throughout their consulting engagement.

Applications for 2021-2022 Social Enterprise Consulting are now closed. Programming for Social Enterprise Consulting will begin Friday, December 10, and will resume following Winter Break.


Project Pyramid

Project Pyramid is a Vanderbilt University program that creates a community which addresses issues of poverty in an interdisciplinary classroom and through sustained partnerships with local and international organizations. Its members learn to recognize multiple poverties from one another in the classroom and from individuals and organizations that encounter poverty first hand. Students respond to knowledge gained in the classroom through collaborative partnerships by engaging in action to alleviate poverty. Applications for the Spring 2022 semester have now closed.




Social Impact Certificate

This certificate is designed to give students of all disciplines the ability to focus on social enterprise and impact by engaging in various programming and coursework. This certificate is designed to develop leadership skills, gain experience through hands-on learning, and better understand how the social enterprise space works. Students then have the ability to leverage these strengths and apply their knowledge toward their area of study and career.


Immersion Treks

TFC Immersions are student-led experiential learning trips with interdisciplinary groups of Vanderbilt graduate students. The goal of these experiences is to connect students with a variety of cross-sector approaches to social entrepreneurship in different cities. Join an Immersion Trek to engage with peers, alumni, professionals, and organizations creating market-based solutions for social impact!


Social Enterprise Pitch Competition @ Vanderbilt

While the TFC typically hosts the Hult Prize Competition at Vanderbilt, the Hult Prize Foundation decided to delay the Hult Prize Competition for 2021-2022. However, the Turner Family Center, in line with its mission, finds immense value in giving students the opportunity to ideate on solving a real challenge in this ever-changing global environment.

Hence, the TFC will be going forth with its own Social Enterprise Pitch Competition this Fall. The theme for the pitch will be to: Create 500 jobs in Nashville & Greater Tennessee by 2024. Students are to create a profitable business model that will solve a social problem by creating new jobs.

The competition is open to all Vanderbilt students. The final pitch was presented in front of a panel of Tennessee based entrepreneurs and judges on Sunday, November 6th, 2021.

TFC Membership

All Vanderbilt students have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the TFC through an annual membership. While any Vanderbilt student is welcome to engage with our programming, TFC Membership provides additional opportunities for students to bolster their experiences in the realm of social enterprise.


TFC Member benefits include access to leadership opportunities, such as Committee & Board Leadership positions, skill-building workshops, career coaching, monthly networking events, and priority registration to Immersion Trek trips and Summit.

The cost of membership per academic year is $30. Students also have the opportunity to purchase a two-year membership at a discounted rate of $50. Each of these membership packages can be purchased on the Vanderbilt Marketplace through December 2021.

Office Hours with Center Staff

The TFC staff host weekly office hours to help you engage and learn more about the center, while exploring options for how to maximize your time at Vanderbilt and in your career. All office hours are held via Zoom for the Fall 2020 semester, and until further notice.

On Thursdays, TFC Director Mario Avila holds advising hours to speak with students about their future careers and how to leverage time in graduate school to gain exposure to opportunities in social impact work. Schedule time to meet with Mario on Thursday afternoons in his office at Owen.

Mario has been an invaluable resource for developing the confidence to go after less available opportunities.”
– Student Feedback from Office Hours



Committee Involvement

Our center would not be possible without the support and engagement of our student leaders. Each of our board members are supported by an interdisicplinary student committee which helps to strategize, plan, and execute our mission for the year and beyond. Committee level involvement gives students the space to build upon strengths, explore different worldviews, and connect with students from varied disciplines.

Committee applications for the 2021-2022 school year are now closed.

Emerging Impact Leaders Fellowship

The Emerging Impact Leaders Program brings together a multidisciplinary cohort of students to examine – and position themselves within – the intersection of business and social change. Dinner sessions are designed to create space for critical thinking and challenging conversations about the role of the market in society. These dinners will foster intentional, tactical introspection as students learn to articulate their motivating values and connect them to their career paths. Through case studies, content discussions, and conversations with industry leaders, students will gain insights and practical tools for creating social impact in the corporate, social enterprise, nonprofit, and policy sectors. Overall, the program is designed to equip students with the frameworks they need to engage critically with questions of social impact and foster social change in their careers – whether they work for a corporation, an NGO, or something in between.

Conference Sponsorships

The Turner Family Center for Social Ventures is excited to be able to facilitate student learning beyond campus by providing partial reimbursement for student attendance at social ventures focused conferences across the country.

The TFC provides funding for projects aligned with its mission of alleviating poverty through market-based solutions. If you have an idea that you think fits perfectly with our organization, let’s start the conversation.


Project Sponsorships

The TFC provides funding for students to complete projects aligned with its mission of alleviating poverty through market-based solutions. If you have an idea that you think fits perfectly with our organization, let’s start the conversation by contacting our staff or emailing tfc@vanderbilt.edu.

Summer Fellowships

Through TFC Summer Fellowships, Vanderbilt University graduate students bring their expertise and education into meaningful action with partner organizations focused on social enterprise which may not otherwise devote resources to interns. In partnership with TFC leadership, students seek and match with partner organizations based on fit to gain valuable work experience integrating business and social impact, while receiving a stipend and support from the TFC.


Networking & Social Events

Monthly Lunch & Learn events, workshops featuring Vanderbilt faculty, Immersion Treks, and member networking opportunities provide graduate students with the opportunity to connect with the TFC and with one another. Check out the calendar to join us for the next one!


As a student, this is your center.

No matter your background or area of study, there’s an opportunity for you to get involved. Check out our calendar to find ways to engage at every level.

View all upcoming events here:


I see the TFC as a great opportunity to grow student awareness of, and participation in, market-driven solutions to the world’s biggest issues.”

Matt Inbusch, MBA, '16