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Ama La Vida

Spend your next summer working with change makers, learning Spanish, and travelling in South America.

Impaqto Quito director Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter runs a session on venture design.

Spend your summer in South America while you learn how social businesses are created, how to collaborate and work with entrepreneurs, and how to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.. Embrace Ecuador’s vibrant culture while learning one of the fastest growing, and widely spoken languages.

Join us this coming Summer (2018) as we collaborate and innovate in one of South America’s fastest growing economies, Ecuador.

Combining three unique components, (study, consult, travel), the Semester in Social Enterprise explores social entrepreneurship from a global perspective. The program is open to undergraduate students of all backgrounds, running from late-May to the end of July, 2018.

Gain career relevant experience, travel, study, and explore South America, all while earning credits.


    Earn credits while studying social business and Spanish in Quito, Ecuador. More info…


    Gain international work experience while consulting for Ecuadorian entrepreneurs. More info…


    Spend your summer exploring the Amazon, the Andes and everywhere in between.  Our photos


Summer 2018 (May 31st – July 31st)


Final applications due March 3rd, 2018.

Program Details: Study

Class Details

You will be enrolled in two courses during the program; one through the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University (Social Entrepreneurship), and the second, through our partner in Quito, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Introductory Spanish).

This program is open to any undergraduate students, and is not exclusive to those studying business.


Course 1: BUS 490 – Social Entrepreneurship and Venture Design
Course 2: SPAN 1XX – Introductory Spanish for Non-Native Speakers

Participants completing the program will earn 3 credits per course, for a combined total of 6 credits. SFU’s BUS 490 is an upper division course, while the Spanish course will count as lower division.

*SFU students can use this course towards the Innovation and Entrepreneurship concentration or certificate.

Program Details: Consulting for Entrepreneurs

Collaborating and Consulting for Entrepreneurs

During your time in Ecuador, you’ll be working out of Impaqto Quito, Ecuador’s leading enterprise incubator. The consulting and entrepreneur collaboration component of the Semester in Social Enterprise program will have you working for Ecuadorian’s who are looking for new and creative ideas to take their ventures to the next level. Over the course of the program, you’ll work with four different entrepreneurs, helping consult on their business, while designing new and unique approaches to social change.

Your second week in Quito will have you connecting and collaborating with some of Ecuador’s innovative social entrepreneurs, people who are trying to create change locally, globally, and everywhere in between. As a participant in the Semester in Social Enterprise, you will:

  • Gain international work experience while collaborating with entrepreneurs
  • Work in small teams of other students as consultants for four Ecuadorian start-ups
  • Identify market based, social business opportunities
  • Explore unique challenges real entrepreneurs face
  • Learn how to effectively collaborate across cultures

Qataliza (1 day intensive business bootcamp)

The Qataliza Bootcamp will take place 4 weeks into your time in Quito. From 9am to 9pm, you’ll learn how Ecuadorians have designed and created successful social enterprises, preparing you for your own venture design experience.

Partner Organizations

Dates & Costs


The cost of the program is inclusive of the following:

  • International tuition, academic fees and student registration at USFQ
  • International Transcripts
  • All social business / entrepreneur programming + access to Impaqto co-working space
  • Accommodation in a conveniently located, secure, shared guest house with access to kitchen, laundry services, and free WiFi (for 2 months)
  • Arrival pick-up and transfer at Mariscal-Sucre International Airport (Quito)
  • In-country staff support throughout the program
    • Including weekly group seminars and routine one-on-one check in’s
  • Pre-program departure orientation and check ins with Insight and SFU Team
  • End of program debriefing sessions lead by Impaqto/Insight team in Ecuador

Program Total (Summer 2018) –  $4,150 USD

The cost of the program does not include:

    • Course registration for BUS 490 at SFU
    • Airfare
    • Basic travel Insurance (required)
    • Food and personal expenditures

Upcoming Program

Summer 2018

Application Period: 

Closes March 3rd, 2018

Program Dates: May 31st – July 31st, 2018

*Acceptance on a Rolling Basis: The sooner you apply, the sooner we can evaluate your application. Programs do fill up, so if the Semester in Social Enterprise is something your considering, apply early.


Program FAQS

When does the Semester in Social Enterprise: Ecuador run?

The program runs in the summer term. Please see the ‘Dates and Costs’ section for more details. Our summer 2018 program will take place entirely overseas, in Quito, Ecuador.

What prerequisites are required to participate in this program?

At minimum, students must have completed 36 units (credits), or, completed 1.5 years of undergraduate study, and, be in good academic standing to participate in the program. Departmental approval is also required. If you attend an institution outside of BC and are unsure if you have enough units, please contact us.

When is the application period for the program?

The application dates are provided in the ‘Dates and Costs’ section. Applicants who apply before the early entry deadline will be interviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.

How much does the program cost?

For the cost of the program, please refer to the above section ‘dates and costs’.

Will I receive academic credit for participating in the program?

Students will earn course credit for successfully completing the classes at both SFU (Business) and USFQ (Spanish). You do not have to be a business student to participate in this program.

What will I be doing while in Quito?

The program is made up of three core components, study, design, travel. While in Ecuador, participants will study Spanish, design social ventures, and work with local Ecuadorian entrepreneurs. Participants will have the opportunity to travel on the weekends, or once the program concludes.

What type of support can I expect in Ecuador?

As an SFU recognized program, participants will be required to participate in extensive pre-departure trainings. While in Ecuador, Insight will have a program facilitator present who will assist in delivering the program. In addition, staff at Impaqto Quito, where students will spend most of their time working, will assist in providing support specific to your design experience.

Where will I live?

We rent out local apartments where the cohort, along with our facilitator, live throughout the program. The units are modern, furnished, and conveniently located in safe and secure neighbourhood of Quito.

Our Quito Residence

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in applying to the Semester in Social Enterprise program? Applications Close February 28th, 2018. Apply early, we accept on a rolling basis!