Social Entrepreneurship 101

Discover Your Passion and Path to Change the World

Course Details

  • Price: FREE
  • Start Date: MAY 8, 2018
  • Time: 3 hours/week
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Partner: Fossil Foundation

What You’ll Learn:

  • Understand the concept of social entrepreneurship and be inspired to find new ways to tackle the world’s greatest challenges
  • Appreciate that social entrepreneurship is a mindset to tackle problems across different sectors (public, private, non-profit)
  • Discover a pathway for how you can make change whether this is founding an enterprise, serving on a board, or supporting social entrepreneurs in other creative ways


Ever dream of changing the world or making a difference? You are invited to roll up your sleeves and join a group of entrepreneurs on a journey to change lives by changing systems.  In this 5-module introductory course from +Acumen, we’ll cover what social entrepreneurship is and why it’s so exciting.  Built from Acumen’s years of experience investing in social entrepreneurs, this course will also feature firsthand stories and advice from 4 inspiring founders: Charles Best of, Thulsiraj Ravilla of Aravind Eyecare, Leila Janah of Samasource, and JB Schramm of College Summit. Designed for anyone approaching social entrepreneurship for the first time, this interactive learning experience will give you an overview of the sector.  You’ll begin to identify a problem you care about, understand the considerations needed for impact and financial sustainability, and learn about how various entrepreneurs have thought about scale. 


Project-Based Course

Course Syllabus

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  • Instructional videos featuring lessons and tutorials from 4 successful social entrepreneurs
  • 5 reading guides highlighting case studies and examples, plus an additional full-length case study
  • 5 workshop guides to help your team unpack lessons from the videos, and to help you begin to envision and plan for your own social enterprise model
Section 1: What is Social Entrepreneurship?
  • Video: What is Social Entrepreneurship?
  • Video: Introduction to Donors Choose
  • Video: Introduction to Samasource
  • Video: Introduction to College Summit
  • Video: Introduction to Aravind Eyecare
  • Reading: Our Approach to Social Entrepreneurship
  • Reading: Social Entrepreneurship as Defined by Social Entrepreneurs
  • Reading: Social Entrepreneurship vs. Other Models of Social Change
  • Reading: A Force for Transformative Change
  • Reading: Starting with a Crazy Idea
  • Reading: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Activity: Life Map
Section 2: Identify Your Mission
  • Video: How to Identify a Social Problem to Tackle
  • Reading: Identify Your Mission
  • Reading: Find and Understand a Problem
  • Reading: Understand Your Customer
  • Activity: Passion-Skill-Problem
Section 3: Theory of Change
  • Reading: Understand a Theory of Change
  • Reading: Acumen’s Framework for Measuring Impact
  • Reading: Acumen’s Measurement Approach
  • Reading: An Impact Approach for Your Own Enterprise
  • Activity: Develop a Theory of Change
Section 4: Plan for Sustainability
  • Video: Planning for Impact
  • Video: Achieving Financial Sustainability
  • Reading: Building a Financially Sustainable Model
  • Reading: Social Enterprise Revenue Engines
  • Activity: Solutions Map
Section 5: Bring an Idea to Scale
  • Video: How to Think about Scale
  • Reading: Scaling Your Impact
  • Reading: Think about Your End Game
  • Reading: 4 Tips to Scale Smart
  • Reading: Many Ways to Scale
  • Activity: Build a Launch Plan
  • Activity: Reflection

Course Partners

Fossil Foundation invests in social entrepreneurs whose innovations unleash the potential of underserved young people.

What People Are Saying

"Despite completing a Master's Degree and a PhD in Public Health, it never occurred to me it was possible to help others without giving away the one shirt on your back. I am fired-up!"

Khady B. MI. U.S.