Business Models for Social Enterprise

You’ve come up with an amazing prototype for a new product or service that could benefit villagers in rural Kenya or slum dwellers in India.   Now how do you figure out if there is a sustainable business model to get this innovation into the hands of your customers?  This 5-week course from +Acumen & Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship will help you think through how you can create financial value while delivering products or services to the poor. The course uses methodology and content from the Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®). You’ll learn about 5 social enterprise models that Acumen has seen effectively create value, and then you’ll use the business model canvas to map out components of your own potential company.  You’ll analyze your value chain—from manufacturing to distribution—and determine the stages you want to get involved in vs. where you’ll need to partner with other key players.  You’ll walk away from this course with hypotheses about the size of your target market, the key business partners you’ll need to reach out to, and potential cost structures and revenue streams.  While this course will not delve into the intricacies of financial modeling, you’ll emerge with a big-picture understanding of the key components to consider if you are building a business that prioritizes social impact and strives for financial sustainability.

Our Partner:

mc_primary_rgbLaunched in 2003, Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute serves social entrepreneurs around the world who are developing innovative solutions that provide a sustainable path out of poverty. As of July 2015, the GSBI has worked with more than 400 social enterprises in 63 countries through 3 distinct, stage-specific programs.

You'll Love This Course If:

  • You are an early stage social entrepreneur with an idea or prototype for a product or service, but you need to consider your business model
  • Anyone curious about the key considerations for building business models in the social sector
  • You’ve taken +Acumen’s Lean Principles for Social Impact course and are eager to build a business model to match your value proposition

What You'll Learn:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the unique considerations for building a business model and analyzing a value chain in the social sector
  • Use the business model canvas to map out key components of a social enterprise
  • Create and test hypotheses about a social enterprise’s target market size, cost structure, revenue streams, and value chain partnerships

How This Course Works:

There are no in-person teachers or facilitators for this course, but we will have technical and subject matter experts available to assist you online. The course will be offered through a third party learning platform called NovoEd.  Course content will consist of readings and interactive exercises which you can complete any time between when the course starts on September 23 and when it concludes on October 21. It will be available for you to access at any time.  There are no live presentations or scheduled times when you specifically need to log in. You can take this course individually or as a group.

Workload

This course is designed to be completed over 5 weeks.  Each week, there will be approximately 1 hour of individual prep work (completing readings and watching videos) and then 1 hour where you will spend doing an interactive assignment, ideally with a team of 3-5 of your coworkers or friends.

Technical Requirements

You will need a computer with the ability to upload all your assignments.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

WILL A CERTIFICATE BE AWARDED UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE?

We will provide a Statement of Accomplishment for individuals who complete all requirements.  For this course, you will need to submit 3 of 4 assignments.

IF I TAKE THIS COURSE IN A GROUP, DO MY GROUP MEMBERS NEED TO BE IN THE SAME LOCATION?

You can take this course individually. However, if you would like to participate with a group, we recommend signing up with a group that is all physically located in the same place.

Remember, all members of your group need to register for this course individually.

HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO DEDICATE TO TAKE THIS COURSE?

This course is designed to be completed over 5 weeks.  Each week, there will be approximately 1 hour of individual prep work (completing readings and watching videos) and then 1 hour where you will spend doing an interactive assignment, ideally with a team of 3-5 of your coworkers or friends.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL SIZE FOR MY GROUP?

We recommend a group of 3 to 5 individuals. If your group is too big, it can be more difficult to coordinate schedules and conduct discussion together.  It’s more fun to take this course with a group, but it is also suitable to be taken individually.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE THIS COURSE?

All +Acumen courses are free.

ARE THERE ANY PREREQUISITES FOR TAKING THIS COURSE?

This is an introductory course and there are no prerequisites.  However, it is helpful if you’ve taken the Lean Principles for Social Impact course!

MORE QUESTIONS?

Please contact courses@plusacumen.org

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