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C. Sara L. Minard

Executive Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

D'Amore-McKim School of Business




The focus of this course, impact investing and social finance, is on the rapidly emerging field that describes the practice of driving an investor’s decisions to invest through the lens of long-term social and environmental value creation. Impact investments can be made by anyone, anywhere in the world. Our focus is primarily on investments into funds or companies working in low-income communities in Boston and the U.S., using capital in ways that make these communities resilient against the combined effects of poverty, inequality and climate change. The course is designed to prompt students to be critical, practical, and inspired thinkers about everyday issues involving finance, values-driven business decisions, economic and social policy, and the complexities of financing social change. To foster this mindset, we will incorporate principles of ethics, ecology and human-centered design thinking as a set of methods to cultivate our moral imagination, empathy and engage in evidence-based research, emboldening students to become more conscious consumers, investors, public servants and practitioners/social entrepreneurs.


"Sara’s course on impact investing has changed the lives of many of Northeastern’s most promising future business leaders, opening their eyes and redefining their careers to drive private capital to social impact. Leveraging the rich Boston impact ecosystem, the course balances theory and practice to inspire students to work hard and think big about redefining finance for a sustainable world. Sara’s passion and understanding move students to new levels - great work Sara!"

- Mark Bernfeld

Entrepreneur, Angel Investor & Part-time lecturer at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business




Sara Minard

Sara Minard is a socio-economist, educator, and development practitioner with over twenty years of experience in private sector development, economic development policy, social innovation and social finance. At Northeastern University’s D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Dr. Minard developed and teaches courses on impact investing and social finance, social innovation and global social entrepreneurship, with a focus on design, gender and sustainable development. As a practitioner, Minard served as a policy analyst for the OECD in Paris where she managed projects in 18 countries in West Africa, and works as an international consultant for international financial institutions, NGOs and companies on designing and financing sustainable development solutions to poverty. She earned her PhD in economics from Sciences Po, Paris, where her research on informal entrepreneurship in Senegal and the power of social capital in achieving human capabilities in the context of weak states received highest honors from Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.