Social Entrepreneurship

What if you never have to apply for a job?

The purpose of this course is to exercise the passion, business acumen, personal fortitude, and interpersonal collaboration skills required to bring into existence a social impact venture. In this course, you will learn the essential elements of an entrepreneurial venture; more importantly, you will begin to apply them. You move through “Social Entrepreneurship” both individually and collaboratively.

The following content will guide you through a project in three stages:

  • Internal Investigation: You will learn the key vocabulary and concepts necessary to understand the nature of social entrepreneurship.
  • External Investigation: You will experience how these concepts work in the real world. Interactive exercises are woven throughout the course, so be prepared to feel the subject matter in personal and “real” ways on a daily basis.
  • Action Project: You will apply everything you learn through the creation of an Action Project. During this stage, you will formulate and pitch your social impact venture.

Preview of the course:

  • “To thine own self be true.” (Shakespeare. Hamlet. Act 1. Scene 2). Who are you? What do you care most deeply about? What do you want to be great at doing? Who is your family and your community? What impact do you want to have on the world?
  • Who are entrepreneurs? Why is social entrepreneurship different from all other businesses? What must you know in order to build a business? To what extent is experience a necessity?
  • What are the key elements of your social impact venture?
  • How will you become a social entrepreneur?
  • Pitch: How effectively can you communicate your vision, enroll people in your journey, and empower others to contribute to the movement?
    Challenge: For the inspired and motivated social entrepreneur: if you really want this course to seed your future, go beyond the Pitch, and prepare a business plan.

Suggested readings, videos, and resources:

Course Units

How do you build a Social Entrepreneurship venture?

The purpose of this section is to introduce a few necessary business concepts, skills, and practices to help you get your social enterprise started and running smoothly.

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” – Hillel

Our value is determined by our impact. It is not determined by how much we have, but, rather, by how much we give. Not by what we own, but by what we contribute. Not by what we accomplish for ourselves, but by who benefits from our accomplishments. If you shall be rich, it will because you are rich in friends and rich in contribution.

Begin now to live for others and you receive the greatest rewards in return. Build your life, your career, business, friendship, and family, on a foundation of generosity and contribution. Your life will be extraordinary, and you will be successful beyond measure.

You’ve already completed the first step — you’re in this course. Your second step on this journey is to Journal (verb and noun). You are invited to share your insights in whatever form they come: writing, photos, music, books, films, articles, etc. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it,”1 is to learn the story of your life thus far, and to write the story you want for your future.

Is social entrepreneurship for you?

The purpose of this investigation is to recognize, internalize, and own a few foundational concepts practiced by entrepreneurs. The big picture goals for the next few lessons are to:

  • explore the concepts of mission, vision, and hedgehog
  • clarify your mission, vision, and unique talents as a person and professional

How do you pitch your impact and why will they buy?

You have reached the final stage of your course and it is time for you to take action. The purpose of your Action Project is to pitch your social impact venture. Your scenario is as real as you are willing to make it.

You are a social entrepreneur. You are pitching your business to an audience composed of four groups, each with the potential to dramatically influence your ability to bring your product/service to market and build sustainable organizations. 

  1. Investors/Funders. These people can provide the micro-loans you need to kick-start your social impact venture.
  2. Partners. These organizations are looking to implement your product/service and/or to support your ability to do so directly.
  3. Amplifiers. These people or groups spread the word about you and your organization. 
  4. Family/Friends. These people sustain you on your mission day in and day out.

You must produce a video pitch. The forum for pitching your business is not the main stage in a hotel ballroom. Your audience is global. They will be viewing your pitches online, when it is convenient for each of them. Thus, you have the opportunity to perfect your pitch, to be as creative as you wish, and to be your best without worrying about something going terribly wrong in the moment.