Use Our Courses to Start, Build and Grow Your Social Enterprise.

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As you start to envision the product or service you wish to bring to market, there are a number of steps and considerations that help create a success launch. This bundle introduces users to design thinking and prototyping, market research and pricing for impact and profit, as well as channeling and enterprise promotion. For any launch, proper promotion and market knowledge is equally as important as having a well-designed product or service. Prototyping: Start-ups are not like existing companies. When a company has an idea it already has customers and resources to run the product development cycle. A start-up must focus on pure customer development. Getting product / market fit right as early as possible is critical for a start-up so it doesn't burn out of cash. This requires walking a razor's edge of prototyping, shipping and iterating. Market Research: After completing this learning module, learners will be able to draft effective, concise, and meaningful market research questions to be used in surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, interviews and other primary market research). The course helps participants define what they need to know, avoid common pitfalls and mistakes, and actually draft a set of questions to guide the development and promotion of their business. Pricing for Impact and Profit: How do you put a price on transformational change? This course introduces non magical, yet effective techniques to price your product or service to maximize both social impact and financial sustainability. We will help you identify important information about your business to allow you to make informed, strategic and effective pricing decisions: know your costs, estimate your value in the market, and even determine why and when you might like to charge some people a little and some a lot. Promoting Your Social Enterprise: Explore, understand, and apply the promotions component of the “4 P’s of Marketing.” At the conclusion of this course you will be able to make strategic and effective choices on how to promote your products and services. Learn about market segmentation techniques to position your offering for each customer segment. Understand how and when to use your social value proposition in your promotions. Channels: After completing this learning module, learners will understand what a “channel” is and will recognize the importance of developing an effective channel strategy. They will receive a high-level introduction to popular channels and will learn how to identify and test different channels while maximizing their ROI and avoiding costly mistakes.  Design Thinking: This course introduces the design thinking process of solving a problem creatively, and how to use those problem-solving techniques to get at the core of the customer problem. Additionally, design thinking gets you to think about the development of your enterprise in necessary social and environmental contexts. You will examine multiple examples of processes used to interact with the individuals impacted by the problem. Read More


Everyone’s looking for better ways to account for the good work of their organization and the difference they make.   There’s certainly been a growing interest in the topic of social impact measurement over recent years. Governments, foundations and investors are all beginning to use this new language.  They’re also introducing extra requirements and placing an increasing burden of proof on organizations just like yours.   The reaction has been a mixture of curiosity, confusion and concern on the part of social entrepreneurs and social enterprise managers.   But don’t worry. While there is no simple, cost-free solution to the challenge of measuring impact, it really doesn’t have to be complicated. With just a little time and effort even the smallest of organizations can produce a full, balanced and compelling account of their work.   Developed in partnership with international pioneers, Social Value Lab, this program has been developed to support better impact practice. It covers all of the things that organizations can do to plan, measure, communicate and grow their social impact. Read More


We guide you through the steps, tools and tips you need to learn about marketing to help your social enterprise succeed. 1. SETTING YOUR MARKETING GOALS Learn why marketing is a necessary, and reasonable, investment in business growth, and understand the basic elements of a marketing plan and strategy. This course offers a foundation to a successful approach to marketing for your social enterprise and introduces the initial concepts, definitions, requirements and help you confirm your marketing expectations. 2. MARKET RESEARCH: TOOLS & TECHNIQUES Understanding who will buy from you and what their needs, wants, and whims might be will help point your towards creating a sound set of marketing initiatives to launch, sustain and grow your social enterprise. However, market research can be done wrong. This course provides a strong understanding of the tools available to you, and how to use those tools to build real understanding of your customers. 3. MARKETING MIX: PRICING FOR IMPACT AND PROFIT Arguably, consumers buy products and services based on two main criteria: Price and Quality. They may be interested in the social or environmental benefits of your social enterprise, but setting the price to cover costs and to maximize both revenue and demand are key elements in any marketing strategy, and are often not clearly articulated by most social enterprises. After completing this learning module, learners will have several tool and approaches to set prices for their social enterprise products or services that will help to achieve their business objectives. 4. MARKETING MIX: PROMOTIONS You need to develop the key messages that you want to share with targeted audiences in order to gain their attention and encourage them to buy your product or service. Recognize when to promote your social mission to encourage demand and when to focus on other marketing messages. Ensure that messages for different audience segments are integrated and mutually support the brand development of your entire enterprise.  After completing this learning module, learners will understand techniques that can be used by social enterprises to promote their products and services in order to generate demand 5. MARKETING MIX: PLACEMENT This course allows you to understand the value of placement in your successful marketing mix, and to define a path to create an effective and efficient placement strategy for your products or services. Online webstore? Farmer’s market? Consignments? Trade show booths?  Learn the pros and cons of different options for placement of your product or service in order to ensure that customers can buy from you…conveniently. You’ll also consider cross-platform options and make placement choices to target different market segments. 6. BUSINESS TO BUSINESS (B2B) & WHOLESALE MARKETING Selling to other businesses usually requires a different set of promotional and placement approaches. This course offers a marketer’s view of how to sell to other businesses; including how to set wholesale prices (for volume sales), how to prepare for the competitive bidding process, and how to research where your (business) customers will find you. Understand how to modify your market research tools and techniques for commercial, public sector and other social enterprise buyers. 7. INTERNET MARKETING There are numerous new tools available to support online marketing. Having a website is a basic necessity, but the world of internet marketing is changing by the day; how much time and energy should you put into online marketing for your business. This course will offer recommendations on some of the ways to make an early investment in a scheduling or automation tool to help minimize the requirement for ongoing social media management. 8. RELATIONSHIP MARKETING: MANAGING CUSTOMER RELATIONS It is far more cost effective to maintain a customer than to find a new one. Building relationships with customers requires data management, clear analytics, dedicated communications tools and cycles and respect for privacy. This course offers recommended strategies for customer retention, viral marketing, and customer upgrading to help increase revenues, build loyalty, and expand the social mission of your enterprise. 9. MEASURING MARKETING SUCCESS Understand how to design both marketing messages and medium to ensure that it is simple to track the effectiveness of each and every initiative. Learn simple and inexpensive ways to track customer response to marketing and promotions to allow you to analyze the results of marketing activities using criteria related to budgeted sales, costs, profits, and other appropriate criteria. Read More


  Welcome to the Social Enterprise Procurement Certificate. This learning path will lead you through all the courses you need to complete the certificate.    The Policy and Practise of Creating Social Value from Existing Purchasing - Social Procurement adds socal value to existing purchases and infrastructure investments, leveraging the purchase and its effects to create increased social value. Through the social procurement accelerated certificate you will learn about social purchasing and community benefit agreements, how to develop an appropriate policy framework, engage stakeholders in program design, draft criteria to evaluate purchases and measure impact.   Goal: Designed for the buyers of social value products and services, this certificate enables procurement staff of municipal, provincial and federal government, universities and hospitals, and private companies to make the changes in their existing purchasing practises to better reflect their unique social values.   Learning Objectives: Participants will enhance their knowledge and professional ability in seven key areas: Describe what social enterprises ar, theri market role, and the contributions they make to local economies and communities Understand and define what social procurement is, its purpose and role in community economic development, and key barriers and opportunities Understand the role and identifying opportunities of social purchasing in an existing supply chain process Understand how to design a social purchasing policy, develop a process, and evaluate a system Understand how to design, implement and evaluate a Community Benefit Agreement Design of monitoring and evaluation options to access and measure social impacts How to apply the social procurement model in a case study .helpButton { display: none; } { opacity: 0; -moz-animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; -webkit-animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; -o-animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; -webkit-animation-fill-mode: forwards; animation-fill-mode: forwards; } @keyframes cssAnimation { to { opacity: 1; } } @-webkit-keyframes cssAnimation { to { opacity: 1; } } @import url(|Raleway); @import url(; Read More


Steps to Startup is a world-leading startup program that teaches you to plan, build, and launch a successful social enterprise. It is an interactive, video-based training program you complete online at your own pace. You learn with a global community of social entrepreneurs and coaches, and can ask questions and get feedback at any time. If you want to build your social enterprise as part of an incredibly supportive online community, Steps to Startup is for you.      Steps to Startup will give you the knowledge, tools, and confidence you need to launch your social venture. You will work through a startup method developed by international experts, enabling you to design, test, and adjust your idea quickly and with confidence. You will develop the skills and mindset you will need for the journey, with world-class courses designed specially for busy social entrepreneurs. You will get practical advice, tips, and examples that will enable you to crush the challenges you'll face along the way. You will learn how to:    1. DEFINE THE PROBLEM Every social enterprise starts out to solve a social or environmental problem. Find out how to validate the seriousness and extent of the problem that moves you, how to get to its root cause and effect on people, and how to identify the required response.   2. PLAN YOUR SOCIAL IMPACT So a need exists, but how will the world be different and better because of your efforts? Find out how to plan for social impact, how to communicate your ‘theory of change’ to others, and how to get focused on the results you must deliver and account for.   3. BUILD SUPPORT FOR YOUR CAUSE While you’re now committed to a world-changing mission, you don’t need to act the hero, or go it alone. Find out how to develop your personal network, build a strong core team, recruit influential allies, and mobilise an army of supporters behind your cause.   4. TEST YOUR IDEAS ON A SMALL SCALE You’re on your way, but why waste time, money and energy on ideas that will flop? Find out how generate an abundance of social enterprise ideas, select a winning concept, and continually test and adapt it based on customer feedback.   5. FIND YOUR CUSTOMERS Customers quickly become the lifeblood of your fledgling business. Find out how to find your ideal market and customers, define the things that separate you from the competition, and convince customers to buy from you.   6. DESIGN YOUR BUSINESS MODEL There are suddenly a lot of moving pieces to think about. Find out what the essential components of success are for a social enterprise, how they fit together, and how to consciously design a business that achieves both impact and profit.     7. SECURE THE FUNDING You reach a point where outside finance is necessary to fuel your ambitions. Find out how much money you will need to really get going, how to navigate the financing options available and risks associated, and how to secure the startup funding you require.   8. GET READY FOR TAKE-OFF You’re ready to fully launch your enterprise after successful testing. Find out how to keep it legal, stay on top of the money and inevitable red tape, execute an effective launch plan, and build an identifiable brand.       Read More


Through a series of 6 online courses, the program provides all of the information, insights and tools you will need to tender and deliver contracts. 1. GETTING READY FOR CONTRACTING Bidding for contracts can be a big step that throws up many possibilities and risks. Find out more about the opportunities to bid for contracts, how to find them, and why every social enterprise should take these opportunities seriously. 2. UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF BUYERS Ever wondered what makes public sector and corporate buyers tick? Take this course to get inside the buyers’ mindset. Find out about the influences on their decisions, the rules they must follow, and what this means for you as a bidder. 3. NAVIGATING THE TENDERING PROCESS The process of bidding for contracts can be a minefield. Use this course as your step-by-step guide to the process. Learn about the terminology and requirements you will encounter and how to make the tough choice about whether to bid or not. 4. PREPARING A WINNING BID The competition is tough. Everyone is chasing that contract. Find out how you can make your bid as strong as possible by understanding how bids are scored and how you can structure and present your tender responses for maximum impact. 5. WORKING COLLABORATIVELY ON CONTRACTS It's not always smart or possible to go it alone. Collaboration is often key to winning and delivering contracts. Find out when and how to collaborate, and the forms it can take. Learn how to build an effective collaboration and avoid the pitfalls. 6. MANAGING AND DELIVERING ON CONTRACTS So, what happens after the contract is won? This is where the hard work really starts. Find out about all the fundamentals of contract management. Learn how to manage relationships, ensure effective delivery, and mitigate the main risks. These courses can be taken sequentially, with each building on the last, or you can take them as and when you require knowledge on a particular topic. Read More

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