The Social Enterprise Institute helped me go from just an idea to the launch of a test version of my social enterprise. And all of those courses that helped me get there were available for free on the site, neatly organized in a way that made sense, where each course built on the one before it. It was amazing how I could easily log in from wherever I needed: work, school, home or on the go.
— David Farmer, Breton Ability Centre's Best of Cape Breton store
Use Our Courses to Start, Build and Grow Your Social Enterprise.
PROVIDING TOOLS FOR CHANGE - SITE OVERVIEW
The Social Enterprise Institute helps you start, build and grow your social enterprise. With easy-to use video-based online courses in all topics related to Social Enterprise development, you can access the resources you need, when and where you need them.
The Social Enterprise Institute offers courses covering all the topics you need to start and grow your enterprise. They are neatly organized into the sections you would commonly find in a business plan (see categories below), but are broken down to help you solve your challenges one at a time. Each piece of training can be applied directly to solve an issue related to the development of your enterprise - so you're not just completing a course; you're moving your idea forward from implementation to growth. The Social Enterprise Institute provides the tools you need, where you are and when you need them.
HOW THE STORE IS ORGANIZED
The site is organized by the 5 areas of expertise you must develop as a social entrepreneur:
Mission | Market | Manage | Money | Measure
You can find these categories in the Store's drop-down menu called "All Categories." Scroll down to learn what each of these categories mean.
The courses in the store are displayed alphabetically, first by course bundle (which is a grouping of multiple courses into a package), and then by individual course. Use the "Search by Keyword" or "All Categories" boxes to narrow down the courses displayed in the store.
Courses | Bundles | Learning Paths
The courses are offered in three different ways: individual Courses, courses grouped together in Bundles that you can take in any order, and courses grouped together in Learning Paths that you have to take in a specified order. One course will offer you information to solve a particular problem, like, for example, how to price your product or service. Bundles of courses give you all the information you need about a specific topic, for example, marketing for social enterprise.
If you have any trouble at all, please contact us in the chat box on socialenterpriseinstitute.co or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO USE COUPONS
You may have received a coupon from a funder or organization you're working with. To use the coupon, choose the course(s) you would like to access, or the courses you've been asked to access, and click "add to cart." Once you've chosen your courses, click the cart icon on the top right section of the screen to access your courses. Follow the prompts to complete the process. When you reach the payment portion of the process, there will be a field to enter your coupon called "Coupon Code." Once entered, continue through the checkout process - you will be taken to your Learner's Dashboard where you will see the courses you've just added.
The main goal of any social enterprise is to achieve the social, cultural or environmental goals they've chosen to pursue. Without a clear mission, a social enterprise does not exist. Although social enterprise uses a business model and must make money to survive, attaining its social and/or environmental goals is at the core to defining its success. As one famous Social Entrepreneur, Peter Brinckerhoff has said: "Mission before money, but no money, no mission."
Learn how to determine the most important social goals for your enterprise and articulate the way you will achieve them, and how you will define success. Learn how to include a team in these fundamental decisions and ensure your mission and goals stay at the core of your work as you build your organization.
Without customers, a social enterprise isn't a business. Social enterprises sell products and services to customers to generate revenue to support their social missions. They need to know who their customers are, what they like, and where to find them in order to be successful. They need to know if there are enough people interested in their product or service to make their enterprise efforts worthwhile, and what problem(s) their product or service is solving for these customers. Learn how to determine these things and more in this section.
Social enterprises are nuanced in their approach to management. Like regular businesses, social enterprises must manage the efficiency of operations. Additionally, they often have to manage aspects that standard businesses don't usually worry about, such as accommodating employees with disabilities, providing for persons who've previously been incarcerated, or making sure everything they do and purchase has low to zero environmental impacts. Learn how to balance the needs of a business with the outcomes of a social mission.
People trying to create social value don't want to think about it, but business owners and managers can't stop thinking about it: Money. Whether you like it or not, money will be the life blood of your organization and you won't be able to survive without it. Learn everything about financial management for social enterprises here: where to find money to launch; how to forecast your cash needs in days, weeks and months; ways to create and manage budgets, and more.
Measuring impact is increasingly required by funders and investors to prove that your organization is achieving its social and environmental goals. But how do you measure the success of your organization effectively without spending all of your efforts on reporting, getting dragged away from the important impact-related work of your enterprise?
Impact measurement is sometimes communicated to be a complex and time-consuming process, but it doesn't have to be. Learn how to use simple yet effective measurement tools to quantify your enterprise's success. Tell your story in ways that accurately reflects the positive impact your social enterprise has on the community and its target audiences. Frame your impact stories for different audiences such as funders, investors, board members, community members and staff.
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