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UNC-Chapel Hill has established a culture of innovation that extends to every student and every academic program.

Within our School, the Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab (SIE Lab) helps students learn to design, implement, and scale new ways of addressing complex social problems, such as poverty, housing, and food security. The SIE Lab hosts guest speakers, workshops, and an entrepreneur-in-residence. There are co-working spaces that are available for students’ use.

The SIE Lab also administers the Vera Tayeh Innovations and Impact Award, which provides $10,000 grants to students for the development and implementation of innovative ideas to improve lives.

Our students can also take advantage of many UNC-Chapel Hill resources dedicated to innovation. These include a seminar series, the CUBE Social Innovation Incubator space, and entrepreneurship competitions for student teams.

Several BeAM (“Be A Maker”) makerspaces are available on campus, too. These provide studio space, training, tools, and supplies for students to craft personal or class projects. The makerspaces offer vinyl and laser cutters, power and hand tools for woodworking and metalworking, sewing and embroidery machines, and 3D printers. BeAM resources are free for students, faculty, and staff to use.

All of these resources can help students develop a creative, innovative approach to solving problems, both in social work and in other professions.