Fiona Wilson

Clinical Associate Professor of Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability and Co-Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise
Fields of Specialization

Strategy, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Business, Sustainability


Fiona Wilson, D.B.A., is an Clinical Associate Professor of Social I nnovation, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, and Co-Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise at the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics. Her research focuses on how the power of business can be harnessed to help address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues. She focuses on innovative entrepreneurial companies with business models that are good for people, the planet and profits.

Dr. Wilson plays an interdisciplinary connecting and catalyzing role across the UNH campus: she currently serves as a Faculty Research Fellow at UNH’s Sustainability Research Collaboratory, and as Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy (formerly the Carsey Institute) at the University of New Hampshire. She is a member of the advisory board for the Carsey Institute’s Center on Social Innovation and Finance, and serves as Faculty Advisor to UNH’s student Net Impact organization.

In 2013, Dr. Wilson was the lead creator for the 1st annual New Hampshire Social Business Innovation Challenge, an initiative of Paul College and UNH, engaging students and the business community in a competition to help find market-based solutions to global environmental and social challenges. Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus was the event’s keynote speaker. Dr. Wilson continues to serve as the Faculty Director of The Social Venture Innovation Challenge, now university-wide event, held each December and co-sponsored by Paul College, The Carsey School of Public Policy, UNH’s Sustainability Institute and NH EPSCoR.

As a former business leader, Dr. Wilson places a strong emphasis on continuing her engagement with the business community. In 2012, she took on the faculty leadership for an annual Program in Corporate Sustainability Leadership, a 3-day program for business executives, organized in partnership between the Paul College, UNH’s Sustainability Institute and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. She has recently been engaged with the business community to advance Benefit Corporation legislation in New Hampshire.

Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of the Paul College in fall 2011. Previously, she spent nine years on the faculty at the Simmons School of Management in Boston, MA, where she taught MBA and Executive Education courses in business strategy with a special focus on the intersection of strategy and society/sustainability. At Simmons, Dr. Wilson also ran the school’s Business Advisory Council, played a governance role co-chairing the admissions committee, and worked directly with the Dean on a number of strategic initiatives, including serving on the Dean’s Strategic Advisory Committee.

Prior to her academic career, Dr. Wilson spent fifteen years in industry. She was the VP of Marketing for CMGI (the publically traded internet investment and development company), where her team was responsible for corporate marketing, as well marketing and strategy consulting for CMGI’s 70-plus internet/technology subsidiaries and investments.

Earlier she also consulted to venture-funded technology companies and served as Vice Consul Commercial at the British Consulate General in Boston, promoting technology trade between Britain and the United States. Prior to moving to the United States in 1993, Dr. Wilson worked for a decade for Ogilvy & Mather Advertising in senior media research, media planning, and international account management roles, serving in London, England and Barcelona, Spain. She was responsible for media strategy, deployment and coordination for international advertisers such as Ford Motor Company, American Express, Guinness Brewing, Reebok, Michelin, Levi Strauss, and Mattel.

Dr. Wilson has undertaken extensive work with mission-driven organizations, including being the volunteer co-founder and director of the social venture the Team with a Vision, an initiative of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, where she also served on the Board of Trustees. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of trustees of the Wolfe Neck Farm Foundation (a Maine-based leader in sustainable agriculture) and Meridian Stories (a non-profit which uses the power of digital media to change educational effectiveness.) She also serves on the advisory boards of Corey McPherson Nash (a marketing and brand strategy firm), Prosperity Candle (a social venture working to provide sustainable employment for women in conflict zones), and Chop Chop (a non-profit cooking magazine for children aimed at combating the obesity epidemic.)

Dr. Wilson graduated with highest honors from the Simmons School of Management MBA program and received her doctorate in strategy and policy from the Boston University School of Management. Her dissertation explored “Socially Conscious Capitalism.”


Doctorate of Business Administration, School of Management, Boston University
M.B.A., School of Management, Simmons College (Highest Honors)

Recent Research

PUBLICATIONS (Peer reviewed)

Smith, B., Meyskens, M., and Wilson, F. (Forthcoming). Should We Stay or Should We Go? Organizational Relational Identity and Identification in Social Venture Strategic Alliances. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship

Barber, N., Wilson, F., Venkatachalam, V., Cleaves, S., & Garnham, J. Educating Future Business Leaders: Integrating Sustainability into Business Curricula (Forthcoming) International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, special issue on business education

Houghton, M and Wilson, F. (2013) Over Two Decades and Eight Thousand Miles: The Cross Continental Collaboration on Development Finance of Two Social Enterprises, ShoreBank Corporation and BRAC. Journal of Corporate Citizenship. 47:75-99

Wilson, F. & Post J. (2011) Business models for people, planet (& profits): Exploring the phenomena of social business, a market-based approach to social value creation. Small Business Economics. Special issue on Social Entrepreneurship. 40:30:715-737

Wilson, F., Kickul, J., Marlino, D., & Barbosa, S. (2009) Is the pipeline of future entrepreneurs strong or weak? A cross-generational analysis of the role of gender and self-efficacy in developing entrepreneurial interest and behavior. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship

Bourne, K., Wilson, F., Lester, S., and Kickul, J. (2009) Embracing the whole individual:  The advantages of a dual-centric perspective of work and life. Business Horizons

Kickul, J., Wilson, F., Marlino, D., & Barbosa, S. (2008) Are misalignments of perceptions and self-efficacy causing gender gaps in entrepreneurial intentions among our nations teens? Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development Special Issue, Entrepreneurship Education in the 21st Century: Opportunities, Obstacles and Observations

Wilson, F., Kickul, J. & Marlino, D. (2007) Gender, entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial career intentions: Implications for entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Special Issue on Women’s Entrepreneurship

Hartman, L., Wilson, F., and Arnold, D. (2006) Positive ethical deviance inspired by moral imagination: The entrepreneur as deviant. Journal for Business, Economics, and Ethics

Wilson, F., Marlino, D., & Kickul, J.  (2004). Our entrepreneurial future: Examining the diverse attitudes and motivations of teens across gender and ethnic identity.  Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship


Post, J. & Wilson, F. (2011) Too Good to Fail. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Fall 2011: 66-71


Wilson, F., Post, J., Houghton, M., & Grzywinski, R. (2014) Book chapter: Socially Responsible Banking – A Platform for Innovation, in Socially Responsible Investment in the 21st Century: Does It Make a Difference for Society’. Louche, C. & Hebb, T. (Eds.) Emerald Publishing Group

Wilson, F. & Post, J. (2011) Shore Bank: Let’s change the world, in Banking with integrity – The winners of the financial crisis?, Spitzeck, H., & Pirson, M. (Eds.) Palgrave Macmillan

Wilson, F., Post, J., & Wilson, R. (2011) Coastal Enterprises Capital Management LLC, in Banking with integrity – The winners of the financial crisis?, Spitzeck, H., Pirson, M. (Eds.) Palgrave Macmillan

Smith, B., Kickul, J., and Wilson, F. (2010) The relative value of social attributes of entrepreneurial opportunities, in International Perspectives on Social Entrepreneurship, Vol III. Palgrave Macmillan

Krueger, N., Kickul, J., Gundry, L., Verman, R., & Wilson, F. (2008) Discrete choices, trade-offs, and advantages: Modeling social venture opportunities and intentions, in International Perspectives on Social Entrepreneurship, Vol II. Palgrave Macmillan

Marlino, D. & Wilson, F. (2006) The career expectations and goals of Latina adolescents:  Results from a nationwide survey, in Latina Girls: Voices of Adolescent Strength in the US, Denner, J and Guzman, B. (Eds.) NYU Press


Keinan, A., Avery, J., Wilson, F., & Norton, M. (2012) Case Study EILEEN FISHER: Repositioning the brand. Harvard Business School Publishing

Norton, M., Wilson, F., Avery, J. (2012) Teaching Note: Better World Books - The online bookstore with a soul. Harvard Business School Publishing

Norton, M., Wilson, F., Avery, J., and Steenburgh, T. (2010) Case Study: Better World Books - The online bookstore with a soul. Harvard Business School Publishing

Honors & Awards

Top 20 Article Downloads
Wilson, F., Kickul, J. & Marlino, D. (2007) Gender, Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy and Entrepreneurial Career Intentions: Implications for Entrepreneurship Education. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Special Issue on Women’s Entrepreneurship (Ranked among top 20 article downloads from Wiley-Blackwell Synergy in 2007)

Michael J. Driver Best Paper Award, Careers Track
Wilson, F., Bourne, K., Kickul, J., & Lester, S. (2006) One plus one equals three: Understanding the benefits of a dual-centric view of work and family. Mid West Academy of Management, Louisville, Kentucky

Best Entrepreneurship Education Paper Award
Wilson, F., Marlino, D., & Kickul, J.  (2004). Our Entrepreneurial Future: Examining the diverse attitudes and motivations of teens across gender and ethnic identity. United States Association Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference, Dallas, Texas