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Social Entrepreneurship (Coursera)

How do we create innovative and effective solutions to social problems around the world ? This course was designed for individuals and organizations who want to identify and bring about transformative societal change.

Professors Jim Thompson and Ian “Mac” MacMillan help you develop both a strategy and a framework for your social enterprise based on their years of experience and expertise teaching social entrepreneurship and advising entrepreneurs. You’ll learn how to define a social problem, understand contextual realities, develop a solution, and plan for effective deployment. By the end of this course, you’ll have a deep understanding of the realities of launching an enterprise, be prepared for every step of the process, and put your social entrepreneurial venture on the path to success.

Course 3 of 4 in the Business Strategies for A Better World Specialization



Module 1

In this module, you’ll learn how to define a social enterprise and develop its basic framework. You’ll gain a deep understanding of the critical importance of research to identify patterns, cause, and context. You’ll master the process of Idea Generation and analyze the successes and failures of others to be better able to attract funding for your social enterprise. You’ll also learn how to examine factors and contexts through Segmentation, and differentiate between Transactional Accessibility and Acceptability. By the end of this module, you’ll have a more clearly defined understanding of the problem your organization wants to tackle and how to fund your project.

Graded: Module 1 Quiz


Module 2

This module was designed to promote a deep understanding of your beneficiaries through segmentation in order to design solutions to the Social Problem of your enterprise. After identifying and segmenting major factors and contexts of your population, you’ll draft a Segment Attractiveness Scoring Table that will enable you to analyze the beneficiaries of your solution, and then use the Beneficiary Experience Table to refine that solution. Finally, you’ll learn how to differentiate between Screen-In and Screen-Out Criteria to identify potential problems. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to create a Concept Map for your own social enterprise, and visualize the trajectory and potential outcomes of your solution.

Graded: Module 2 Quiz


Module 3

In this module, you’ll examine the details and operational realities of your social enterprise. You’ll identify deliverables, needs of beneficiaries, and expected costs. You’ll explore key concepts such as Unit of Business, Social Impact and Financial Goals, and the Deliverables and Cost Table to assist in operationalizing the venture. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to better assess how success will be defined in your venture and the key deliverables and capabilities required to maintain your social enterprise.

Graded: Module 3 Quiz


Module 4

This module was designed to help you test the feasibility of your social enterprise. By utilizing the Most Competitive Alternatives in organizing a Proposed Beneficiary Experience Table, you’ll be able to assess advantages and disadvantages against relevant competition. Once you have a plausible and attractive proposition, you’ll deploy a quick and cost-effective test-of-concept to scaffold future success for your venture. Finally, you’ll discover the inevitable socio-politics that emerge with multiple stakeholders, and learn how to navigate these issues effectively while maintaining support. By the end of this module, you’ll have developed a powerful strategy that will ensure success for your social entrepreneurial ventures.

Graded: Module 4 Quiz