Social Entrepreneurship: A Crash Course

5 Cutting Edge Tools to Scale Your Impact
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  • Lectures 14
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2014 English

Course Description

Have you heard about social entrepreneurship but aren’t really sure what it is?

Lost in a long list of jargon and fuzzy definitions?

Not sure how, or if, it applies to you and your work?

Then this course is for you.

Social entrepreneurship has a lot to offer. It’s building some of the greatest social change work on the planet, and it’s using cutting edge tools that are increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and the scale of social change.

However, the social entrepreneurship space can be a difficult one to navigate and determining how it applies on the ground can be especially challenging.

This course was designed as an ‘insanely useful’ first step in using social entrepreneurship to increase the impact of your work. Using a street smart approach, and an applied case study, this course looks at five of the most useful tools social entrepreneurs use:

  • Hybrid Organizations
  • Earned Revenue
  • Impact Capital
  • Impact Measurement
  • and Human Centered Design.

Rather than focusing on a theoretical definition, or giving you a laundry list of who’s who’s in the space, we’ve brought together the essentials to create a 1 hour crash course that will give you the confidence you need in this burgeoning field.

Join one of the social sectors fastest growing movements and discover why it’s shaking up how we create social change today.

What are the requirements?

  • Basic familiarity with traditional approaches to social change.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • In just over an hour, you’ll walk away being able to:
  • understand social entrepreneurship jargon so you can confidently contribute to the conversation,
  • and analyze the most common tools used by social entrepreneurs so you can decide which ones make sense for your work.

Who is the target audience?

  • those who are new to the social sector
  • or those who are familiar with the social sector, but are new to social entrepreneurship.
  • The course is at an introductory level, but does include further reading for each tool so you can dive deeper into topics of interest.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.



Why learn about social entrepreneurship? In this video you'll hear the stories of how your two instructors, Jesse and Jess, became inspired by the potential of social entrepreneurship and what we'll be covering in this course.

Section 1: Social Entrepreneurship: Context and History

More than just a definition, this video shows you the trends that brought social entrepreneurship to the forefront so you can understand what problems it's trying to solve and why it matters.

Section 2: Five Tools for Changemakers
Intro - 5 Tools for Changemakers

How does an organization's structure influence how it creates change? Jesse dives into this question by providing examples so you get a sense of how both non profit and for profit organizations can work for social change, a discussion on the alternative corporate legal structures that are emerging, and sharing his thoughts on what's great about innovations in organizational structure and how they challenge the very purpose of a company.


Put what you've learned into practice by looking at how you might approach hunger in your community using a 'pay you can' business model.

Hybrid Organizations
2 questions

Is earned income the way that impact driven organizations can finally get the money they need to create change? Dive into this question with Jesse as he compares girl scout cookies with D-light, and discusses the top benefits of blended value business models and what you need to watch out for if you use this tool to create social change.


Using selling meal tickets as an example, this lab gives you a chance to look at how an earned revenue strategy might affect your value proposition, impact, and business model, while comparing the approach to that of a typical soup kitchen.

Earned Income Revenue Streams
3 questions

Is impact capital a good fit for the change I want to create? Jess gives examples of a community bond, a social impact bond, and an equity investment to give you a sense of how impact capital works on the ground, while also leaving you with some things to look out for when considering whether impact capital would serve your organization's needs.

Co-working Space image Credit: Haldane Martin, some rights reserved.


In this lab you'll look at how community bonds might change the 'pay what you can' cafe that you've been working with in the other sections.

Impact Capital
3 questions

How do I measure my impact? With a quick overview of outputs, outcomes, and impact measurement, Jess provides an example of an organization who is pushing the envelope in impact measurement and walks you through some of the good, and not so good, things about the new rigour social entrepreneurship applies to measuring impact.


This lab will look at what the outputs, outcomes, and impact measurements might be for a soup kitchen.

Impact Measurement
4 questions

How does Human Centered Design (HCD) actually work? Jesse will walk you through the five stages of HCD and discuss why it has become particularly relevant in international development.


In this lab you'll look at how you could apply some of the steps of human centered design to our soup kitchen case study.

Human Centered Design
3 questions
Section 3: What's Possible & Wrap Up

Get inspired with this video as Jess paints a picture of what could happen if social entrepreneurship became mainstream.

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Instructor Biography

Jessica Lax, Content Developer for Social Impact

Jessica's goal is to maximize the impact of the social sector by changing the way the sector learns. She's been drawn to this work since 2002 when she co-founded her first organization,The Otesha Project, wishing that there was more accessible training for changemakers. More recently, Jessica led the Collaborative for Innovative Social Enterprise Develoment (CISED) in Ottawa, curated a series of Masterclasses for social impact at the local Impact HUB, and co-founded School For Change. Jessica combines the skills she learned in her MBA at Oxford, where she studied as a Skoll Scholar, and her consulting experience working with hundreds of passionate changemakers to design results focused courses that matter.

Instructor Biography

School for Change Inc., Education for world-changing projects and careers.

School for Change builds online education for activists, social entrepreneurs, and non-profit professionals. We focus on professional development in critical skills and partner with teachers from leading organizations like Bridgespan, Unreasonabe Institute, and SOCAP.

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