The Barton Institute’s CiviCO Social Enterprise Fellowship Program provides DU graduate students with the knowledge and experience they need to work with successful social enterprises.

Currently supported through a five-year arrangement with the CiviCO, the fellowship program is an interdisciplinary opportunity for DU graduate and professional students to get real-world experience addressing social and economic challenges. 

Social Enterprise Fellows:
Where Are They Now?

We are very proud of our Social Enterprise Fellows Alumni as they continue create social change in Denver and beyond. Take a moment to read updates from the fellows.

The program seeks to meet the following goals:

  • Connect graduate and professional students across disciplines with the power of social enterprise and its potential for career opportunities and social impact

  • Develop a network of host organizations: community-based entities that work with students on meaningful projects to improve the lives of vulnerable people

  • Strengthen coordination and collaboration within DU by highlighting and sharing faculty and staff research and initiatives connected with social enterprise

What the Fellows bring to their experience…

Read a moving essay from 2018-19 Fellow Summer Downs on what inspires her commitment to the community.


The 2019-20 CiviCO Social Enterprise Fellows represent graduate schools from across the University of Denver.



Exploring Social Enterprise

During our May 2018 convening, Exploring Social Enterprise, a panel of experts on impact investing and social enterprise gathered to share their perspectives.

Twenty-three organizations applied to host teams of Social Enterprise Fellows from January through May of 2019, and the 2018-19 CiviCO Social Enterprise Fellows selected six projects.

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Blue Star Recyclers

Fellows will help Blue Star expand its work to communities throughout Colorado.


Cornerstone Capital

Fellows are measuring alignment of investments with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


Fort Lyon/State of CO

Fellows are helping determine how social enterprises can be developed on this Bent County program for people recovering from homelessness and addiction.


Knotty Tie

Fellows are working to measure social impact for this custom scarf and tie company that sources its materials sustainably and employs refugees.

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Mile High Workshop

Fellows are helping this nonprofit job training program to measure its impact on the lives of the people it serves.

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Village Exchange

Fellows are helping this Aurora-based center for immigrant and refugee communities to build an event rental business as a social enterprise to support their programs.