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Farber Program

A summer that changes lives – including yours

Over 25 years ago, REDF’s Vice-Chair, Stuart Davidson, had an insight – that the then-nascent employment social enterprise field needed a unique type of leader to reach its potential – one with cutting-edge business skills and a passion to use those skills to improve society. At the time, those type of leaders were in short supply. We developed the Farber program to find them, mentor them, and provide these socially-minded young professionals an unparalleled opportunity to make an impact.

Since then, the program has introduced 200 MBA students from the country’s top business schools to the employment social enterprise field. Farbers spend the summer working on mission-critical projects for REDF’s national network of employment social enterprise grantees and borrowers. The experience is transformative, offering the chance to work with both social enterprise staff and REDF’s Portfolio team on a strategic project that will impact the enterprises, and the people they serve, for years to come.

Learn from REDF

Apply business principles to the social sector based on REDF’s 25 years of experience in venture philanthropy. Coaching and guidance provided throughout the summer by our Portfolio team.

Make an Impact

Learn about the unique challenges, inspiring opportunities, and what it takes to support a successful employment social enterprise. Own a mission-critical project working alongside REDF and social enterprise staff, providing insights and perspective that will have organization-wide impact.

Expand your Network

Connect and collaborate with fellow Farbers hailing from business schools across the country as well as social enterprise leaders. Engage with Farber Alumni, REDF Board Members, and George Roberts, co-founder of KKR and REDF.

Broaden your Career Path

The career paths our alumni travel down are as diverse as their backgrounds. Many pursue careers in social enterprise or philanthropy. Others return to or enter the private sector, working in a wide variety of industries including management consulting, finance, and technology.


Please review the Farber Program FAQ.

Application Details for 2024

The Farber application is now closed for the summer of 2024. We will re-open the next application cycle in December of 2024 for the summer of 2025.


In 1997, Stuart Davidson, an accomplished venture capitalist and impact investor who currently serves as Vice Chair of REDF’s Board of Directors, established the Farber Program in partnership with the Phalarope Foundation. At the time, he had formed several successful businesses and was looking to finance new, innovative projects that used a business approach to accomplish a social mission. Leaders who had a unique blend of business acumen and social service experience were in short supply, so Stuart partnered with REDF’s leadership to create a program that would find, train, and equip graduate students with the skills needed for a successful career in social enterprise.

The Farber Program was named to honor the life and work of Michael E. Farber who passed away in 1996. During his tenure at Rubicon Programs, Michael demonstrated entrepreneurial talent, brought dramatic growth through his business acumen, and passion for serving those who were striving to develop the economic mobility to move out of poverty. In honor of this pioneering work, REDF inaugurated the Farber Program and continues to develop leaders as they lend their skills to employment-focused social enterprises, and make a difference in people’s lives, just as Michael did.

Farber Alumni

Our alumni are an exceptional group of individuals who have applied their skills, energy, and passion to help employment social enterprise businesses, and the people they serve, thrive.

Working with New Moms and Bright Endeavors was an amazing experience that exposed me to the challenges and the well-deserved successes that social enterprises face every day.

Meredith Lynn McKay, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, 2018 Farber AlumNew Moms

Aside from my project work, the summer was full of opportunities to connect with people from Chrysalis and REDF. I am excited to stay connected to my Farber Intern class to see how we use our skills, and what we learned this summer, to make our parts of the world a better place.

Garrison Turner, USC Marshall School of Business, 2017 Farber AlumChrysalis

While business school gives you great tools to manage companies, nothing can substitute for the practical and holistic experience I gained at the Farber program.

Andrea Rozenberg, Yale School of Management, 2018 Farber AlumMore Than Words

When I accepted REDF’s offer, I could not imagine the huge adventure that was ahead. I acquired skills that will be useful to me in running a business. I developed special connections that made the people at REDF and Mile High Workshop feel like family. This summer inspired me to grow.

Mauricio Xavier Avila, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, 2017 Farber AlumMile High Workshop