This course is designed to help students learn the process of social innovation and the role of social enterprises in implementing private sector approaches to solve difficult social, cultural, and environmental problems. Students will learn how to launch and scale innovative social enterprises and use business as a force of good.
Specifically, students will work to identify a problem, develop an innovative solution, test their idea through research, carry out interviews with stakeholders, and run beta tests. Through the development of a feasibility study, students will estimate the amount and sources of resources needed to bring their solution to reality and their social venture to scale. Finally, students will develop presentations and practice reaching out to important stakeholder groups. This includes social advocacy presentations to government, philanthropic groups, and individuals.
The course will use case studies of actual innovative social ventures as they face challenges, readings that focus on specific tools such as options for organizational forms, team building, public and private partnerships, and the social entrepreneur’s personal journey.