After a decade and a half, INSEAD’s highly-regarded Social Entrepreneurship Programme (ISEP) remains a truly unique programme aimed at upper-level social entrepreneurs, impact business leaders, and the “eco-system” that surrounds them. It is aimed at founders, CEOs or senior executives of ventures and initiatives to address the challenges dealing with issues like thinking strategically about impact, scaling and growth, business model innovation, impact assessment and investment strategies, leadership, and more.
ISEP is one of the few top-level executive education programmes aimed at leading innovators and practitioners from around the world. We strive to bring together a diverse group of impact business leaders from companies of all sizes grappling with the challenges of creating impact in this dynamic field. Participants bring perspectives from a variety of backgrounds (such as business, investing, non-profit, philanthropy, development and government), with a common thread being their passion for impact and for using business as a force for good.
Beyond the one-week programme itself, the global network of over 800 elite impact business leaders and social entrepreneurs serve as a rich resource for participants and INSEAD itself. We continue to engage those who have participated, having dialogues about how they create impact and drive change, and then integrate that back into our research and teaching.
The week-long programme covers three major themes:
Strategy for Social Impact, including:
- Value creation by social entrepreneurship and impact business
- Applying market mechanisms for social change
- Thinking strategically about impact
- Designing impact models to deliver impact
Leadership and Management Skills, including:
- Leading mission-driven ventures and organisations
- Negotiating for creating shared value
- Financial sustainability and management
- Impact evaluation and management
Innovation and Funding, including:
- Business model innovation for impact
- Scaling up impact ventures
- Partnering with venture philanthropists and impact investors
- Launching impact initiatives in large companies
Not only is ISEP taught by some of INSEAD's world-class faculty from the world’s top-rated business school, but it brings together some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in this rapidly emerging and dynamic field as speakers and guests. (An updated list of faculty will be posted on this web site as faculty is confirmed.)
Of equal importance is that your fellow participants are a unique combination of outstanding leaders in this field, selected through a rigorous selection process to ensure both depth and diversity of expertise. Many come to the programme through some of the most prominent award programmes in the field.
ISEP is designed for upper-level social entrepreneurs, impact business leaders, and the “eco-system” that surrounds them. It is aimed at founders, CEOs or senior executives of ventures and initiatives to address the challenges dealing with issues like thinking strategically about impact, scaling and growth, business model innovation, impact assessment and investment strategies, leadership, and more.
Candidates should hold a leadership role (CEO, founder, or senior management) for social entrepreneurial or impact business activities, generally operating for at least a few years with a proven business model and seeking to bring their work to the next level. We welcome participants from both for-profit and non-profit organisations, institutions and funds.
The programme draws heavily on the practical experience of the participants, and peer learning is critical. As a result, we generally discourage those who are in the ideation or start up stage of their venture or initiative. However, in some cases, impact business leaders come with an alternate but equally rich background of experience from a prior role (say in business or investing) which may be sufficient to qualify.
There is a limited amount of funding available for applicants with demonstrated leadership but require financial assistance to participate. Due to budget constraints, the financial aid can in most cases only cover a portion of the course fees, and you still need to cover your own accommodation, travel and related expenses. Given limited funding, applications received early might have an advantage in getting access to it.
I have recently assumed the role of leading my company’s sustainability efforts and want to learn more about how to carry out that role effectively. Is ISEP of value to me?
Generally, participants in such roles have found this programme to be of considerable value, as have those who have held similar positions for some time. Not only are the concepts of entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship very helpful but many of those in the programme will bring experiences that will be of value to creating change, building strategic partnerships and growing new markets.
Follow the orange tab on the right side of this web page marked “Apply”. This will take you to an online application. When you have completed the application, making sure that you have completed all required sections and attaching the required documents, click “submit”. You will shortly receive an email confirming that you have completed the process. If you have any questions, please contact us at: [email protected]
Applications generally open in January or February of the year of the programme for which you are applying. We are usually able to begin the application review process in mid-April. We use a rolling admission process to ensure that we have a balanced and diverse group of high-calibre participants. Applicants will be notified by email within two weeks of each round of admissions.
INSEAD is committed to offering this programme at cost so we do need to review our costs every year. However, we do understand that even at our significantly discounted rates, ISEP can still be beyond the reach of some participants. As a result, we have sought to raise funds from outside donors to enable us to support those who require financial aid. Priority is given to participants from low-income countries and organisations with limited funds where even these modest fees are difficult to attain. As a rule, full tuition funding is discouraged by our donors so that our limited funds can reach the broadest possible number of participants.
Financial aid decisions will be made at several points in the application process. If you have applied for financial aid, you will receive a provisional acceptance letter which will be accompanied by a financial aid application. Once your request has been reviewed and considered along-side others who have requested aid and the pool of funding donors have provided to support those requiring financial aid. When funding decisions are made, you will be notified and asked for your confirmation. Once you have confirmed, you will receive a final acceptance letter.
Yes, we welcome sponsorship and support for ISEP applicants in need of financial aid. You can provide this support directly to a participant you may know or contact us to for a connection. Alternatively, your financial support for the INSEAD Social Impact Initiative itself will support applicants to ISEP. Please contact us for further details.
ISEP Practical Information
ISEP is offered once a year in Fontainebleau (usually the second half of November) and once in Singapore (usually in the first half of December).
It is a six-day programme beginning early afternoon on Sunday of the week and continuing through the afternoon of the following Friday. The core sessions generally begin at 8.30 am and finish at about 6 pm each day. But there are also special events, dinners and guest sessions most evenings.
While there are sometimes minor differences due to the faculty and participant mix in each location, the Fontainebleau and Singapore sessions are designed to essentially provide the same experience and learnings.
One of the unique benefits of ISEP is that we are committed to delivering value over the long-term by maintaining an ongoing relationship with the alumni of the programme. The network of graduates, numbering more than 800 in over 80 countries, is a dynamic community of impact business, sustainability and social enterprise leaders. Ongoing exchange, through online collaboration, regular meetings and support, serves as a foundation for further research and understanding of the field, which benefits all ISEP participants – past, present and future. We also facilitate collaboration between ISEP participants and the alumni from other INSEAD programmes.
We have found the optimal size of an ISEP class to be between 30-40 participants. This facilitates the type of close interaction and peer-to-peer learning which makes this such an outstanding, high-level programme. This also requires us to be very selective in bringing together the right combination of participants to ensure the diverse and rich experience.
Process to Apply
and General Practical Information
Our aim is to provide a high quality and impactful learning experience for all participants. To successfully complete the programme and receive a certification of participation, you are required to fully attend a minimum of 95% the programme, including all appropriate lectures, sessions, workshops, practical and theoretical activities of the entire programme as required by INSEAD. If you are unable to attend any portion of the Programme, please contact the Executive Education Department.
Places on the programmes are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis, taking into consideration the applicant's level, objectives and the diversity of the classes. We recommend that you submit your completed application as early as possible, preferably six weeks prior to programme commencement. The Admissions Committee will review your application and advise you on the outcome as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about which programme may best suit your objectives or for any additional information.
Some Open Programmes also involve an interview with the programme director as part of the application process. The programme advisor and admissions committee will be able to advise if an interview is necessary when you submit your application.
A complete application form must be submitted to the Executive Education Open-Enrolment Admissions and Customer support team.
An application is only considered complete if it has been signed by all the relevant parties:
- The applicant
- Sponsor(s), if applying through your employer
The Admissions Committee reviews all applications to ensure that each participant fulfils the requirements and any pre-requisite request for the programme. The Admissions Team will then confirm if you are accepted onto the programme.
Should you not be admitted onto your chosen programme, a follow-up conversation between you and the programme advisor is conducted to determine which other programme might be suitable or relevant.
- Contact an expert advisor for programme information and for guidance through the process
- Submit your complete application form
- Receive acceptance notification email by the Admissions Team
- Make payment for the programme upon receipt of the invoice
- Session you are applying for
- Exact company name, contact and address for invoicing (if applicable)
- Objectives in attending the programme
- VAT number (for countries in the EU)
- CV and updated employment record
- Company application form (when requested)
- Candidate and sponsor's signatures
Please take a moment to read through the INSEAD Executive Education Open Enrolment General Terms and Conditions.
According to French regulations, in-person programmes of less than 8 consecutive working days delivered in France are considered as educational events under Article 53 of the VAT Directive 2006/112, and taxable at the place where these events take place, i.e., in France. These programmes are therefore subject to French VAT at a 20% rate, for both companies and individuals.
If your business is registered in another European Union member state
If your business is registered in another EU member state, your entity should be able to apply for a refund through your own country’s tax portal. A valid VAT number still needs to be provided.
If your business is registered outside of the European Union
Businesses that are not based within the European Union may be entitled to claim a VAT refund – however they should appoint a tax representative in France that will apply through the portal of the French tax authorities. Please contact your local tax advisor to handle the VAT refund procedure.
More information can be found on the followinglink: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/eu-vat-rules-topic/vat-refunds_en
For programmes invoiced from Singapore, GST applies unless a “GST letter” is completed and signed.
Please note that for Singaporean clients GST always applies.
Abu Dhabi VAT
For programmes invoiced from Abu Dhabi, VAT applies unless a “Client Residency Declaration” is completed and signed.
Please note that for clients from Abu Dhabi, VAT always applies.
Other tax considerations
INSEAD may also have to invoice a higher amount than the one listed, to take into account any withholding tax or indirect tax applying to the payment, in accordance with the client’s local legislation.
Please note that INSEAD is not qualified to give any tax advice to its clients, and the comments provided here are purely informative, they cannot be considered as tax or legal advice. For any confirmation on your rights and obligations under existing tax laws, we invite you to contact your local authorities or your tax advisor.
For admitted participants and depending on the programme, an invoice will be sent to the person indicated on the application form as from 4 months before the beginning of the programme.
Payment is due on receipt of the invoice and should be received before the course starts. Further payment details are given on the invoice.
Any queries regarding invoice matters for programmes on the Fontainebleau campus may be directed to [email protected].
Any queries regarding invoice matters for programmes on the Asia and Abu Dhabi campuses may be directed to the Admissions Team at [email protected].
The programme fee covers tuition, course materials, lunches on working days as well as the opening and closing dinners. It does not include travel, accommodation and other incidentals.
Participants will have to settle accommodation expenses and other incidentals before the end of the programme.
Given the on-going impact of COVID-19 and the implications on you and your organisation as we learn to navigate the crisis on both a personal and professional level, we have reviewed our application policy so that we may continue to support your future development plans.
From 1st September 2021, the below cancellation and transfer policy applies to live virtual, blended and face-to-face programmes. For more details, please speak to a programme advisor.
Please note that cancellation of participation (including substitutions/transfers/postponement) must be confirmed in writing (via email).
+1 month before start
30-15 days before start
14 days or less before start
50% of the programme fee
100% of the programme fee
For more details, please refer to Open Enrolment Programmes: Cancellation Policy.
We encourage you to check directly with your embassy to determine whether you need an entry visa for the country where the programme will be held.
Taking an Executive Education programme is an important investment in your development. As a participant, you want to be in the most suitable programme with the best impact and your company needs to view it as an investment worth making. Therefore, you sometimes need to build a ‘business case’ to clearly outline why the programme is appropriate. You may need to demonstrate the value and benefits of INSEAD’s Executive Education programmes for your organisation, your department, your team and yourself.
We have put together a document that details some of the additional expenses that you may incur while on a programme at INSEAD. Please note that this is for your reference only, as further information will be given to you at the time of your registration.
Your dedicated programme coordinator will be in touch around 8 weeks prior to your programme start date to communicate information about accommodation.
The approximate cost of on-campus accommodation in Fontainebleau is €850 per week, in Singapore S$1540 per week, and in Abu Dhabi AED 6300 per week.
For more information on accommodation on Fontainebleau campus click here.
For more information on accommodation on Singapore campus click here.
For more information on accommodation on Abu Dhabi campus click here.
Both Fontainebleau and Singapore campuses have:
- A Research & Learning Hub with books, periodicals and online access to business and management issues
- A restaurant in which lunches are served buffet-style, with a wide variety allowing you to select dishes according to taste and dietary requirements
- A health and fitness centre on the Fontainebleau campus and within easy access of the Singapore campus
- A bookshop selling a wide variety of business books, international newspapers and magazines, stationery, basic toiletries, postcards, maps and souvenirs
Our Abu Dhabi Campus, centrally located in downtown Abu Dhabi, is INSEAD’s regional hub to the Middle East.
- Five-star catering is supplied at the Centre during each programme, allowing participants to choose from a wide selection of local and international delicacies, and to mingle with one another in the dining room
- Our Research & Learning Hub is a comfortable and quiet space for studying, housing the latest INSEAD books as well as a small collection of textbooks, general business books, and reference and guide books
- Participants are housed in nearby hotels, which generally fulfil their health and fitness facility needs, in addition to shops which cater for everyday requirements
All our Open Programmes are taught in English and participants should be able to exchange complex views, listen and learn through the medium of English.
Comment profiter de la formation professionnelle (FNE) pour salariés en activité partielle (informations en francais)
Le Gouvernement Français a pris des engagements forts pour permettre aux entreprises de « former plutôt que de licencier » en prenant à sa charge 100% des frais de formation jusqu’à 1500€ TTC par salarié au chômage partiel.
C’est une opportunité unique pour les entreprises françaises de mettre à profit la période actuelle pour améliorer l’employabilité et la montée en compétences de ses salariés.
Pour en savoir plus et commencer les demarches, nous vous invitons a consulter les sites ci-dessous:
INSEAD Certificate in Global Management
The INSEAD Certificate in Global Management is a formal recognition of your commitment to continuous learning and professional development and can be completed over a four-year period. You will be taught by world-class thought leaders in their fields and will be exposed to cutting-edge research and the latest trends. For more information, please click here.