November 13, 2020

Customized Consulting for Your Social Venture

Duke's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) has two opportunities for innovators who could use MBA student support on projects.

First, the  Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum (FCCP). Over 30 social ventures have benefited from this program over the years, including many healthcare companies.

FCCP provides client organizations from around the world with the opportunity to engage a team of 4 – 6 select MBA students to address a range of challenges their venture is facing. Past projects have had a wide range of focuses, from strategic planning and risk analysis to human resources and marketing. In turn, students have the opportunity to apply their skills, both from their career and classroom experience, to a real world project.

“My MBA classes are where I learned the skills that can help me impact organizations. But FCCP was the place where I could really test that knowledge,” said Anne Steptoe (Fuqua MBA ’16) of her experience working with a healthcare organization during her FCCP project. Anne has since gone on to found MedServe, a “Teach for America for healthcare” program in North Carolina.

I’m interesting in having my social venture participate. What should I know?

The application process for clients to be a part of FCCP is competitive. Client organizations can increase the likelihood that they will be chosen for student engagement by  proposing projects that  effectively use the skillsets of the MBA students.

Examples of skills includes:

  • Strategic or business planning
  • Marketing plan development
  • Organizational assessments
  • Financial and operational analysis
  • Scaling and Growth Planning

Once a client organization is selected by a student team, the client will meet virtually with the team in November. Students will spend the fall working remotely with the client to hone in on a specific scope of work for the project. In the spring, the team begins their work conducting research for the project. Students also have the option during the Fuqua spring break (March 5 – 19) to visit their client in-person to conduct interviews, perform site visits, and collect further information to inform their deliverables. By April the team will present their recommendations to the client.

How can I ensure my project is successful?

It is important that senior staff at your social venture be available and responsive to the FCCP team over the course of the project. This will help ensure that students have available to them the information and insights needed to provide actionable solutions for your project.

We also recommend that projects be:

  1. Strategically important to your organization
  2. Have a clear scope , objectives, and deliverables
  3. A challenge that MBA students can address in the time frame given (about 5 months)

Typically clients can expect that they will spend 2 – 5 hours a week with the FCCP team through the months of January – April. Since work is done remotely, clients will need to have the ability to touch base with their team via methods such as telephone, web conferencing, and email.

How do I apply?

Applications are accepted through August 31st for the 2016-17 academic year. If a client’s project is accepted, they will be required to pay a fee for the program (more info here). You can find examples of past social ventures that were selected here.

You can download the application here. If you have any questions about FCCP and if your social venture is a right fit for the program, please email our Director of Programs Robyn Fehrman.

CASE i3 Program

Next, the  CASE i3 Consulting Program (CASE i3CP) is also accepting applications.

CASE i3CP offers organizations the opportunity to engage with a team of 4-6 carefully selected MBA students on an impact investing question they are currently addressing.  Each project selected for CASE i3CP receives an average of 400 person-hours from the MBA team.  Organizations benefit from the passion, fresh perspective, and technical expertise students bring to the CASE i3CP.  Students benefit from the opportunity to apply academic learning to an of-the-moment issue in the impact investing space.

Projects take place during the academic year, with MBA teams working with clients remotely from Duke University, in Durham, NC.  Each team is directly supervised by Cathy Clark, Director of CASE i3.

Applications are open now through August 31 for client organizations. To learn more, visit the CASE i3CP website at  If you have any questions about the program or the application process, email Carrie Gonnella at