Social Entrepreneurship

 with  Kai Hockerts
In this course we will ask you to form groups with other MOOC participants to identify an opportunity to create social change, develop a business model, and outline ideas in a business plan, which you will in the end submit to possibly receive start-up funding.

The domain of social change is no longer reserved for students of political sciences and development studies. Increasingly business graduates are recognized as possessing important skills that can drive social change. This new discipline is often referred to as Social Entrepreneurship (S-ENT). S-ENT describes the discovery and sustainable exploitation of opportunities to create public goods. This is usually done through the generation of disequilibria in market and non-market environments. The S-ENT process can in some cases lead to the creation of social enterprises. These social ventures are hybrid organizations exhibiting characteristics of both the for-profit and not-for-profit sector. Individuals engaging in S-ENT are usually referred to as social entrepreneurs, a term that describes resourceful individuals working to create social innovation. They do not only have to identify (or create) opportunities for social change (that so far have been unexploited), they must also muster the resources necessary to turn these opportunities into reality.

A typical example is Prof. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank (Bangladesh) and recipient of the Nobel Peace prize in recognition of his contribution to poverty alleviation through the invention and popularization of Microfinance. Other examples include fair trade or car-sharing. Today many foundations aim to identify and promote social entrepreneurs. Two prominent examples are Ashoka and the Skoll Foundation. So called venture philanthropists adopt methods from the domain of venture capital, for example, encouraging social entrepreneurs to provide detailed business plans and to measure and report systematically on their social performance. Social Return on Investment (S-ROI) analysis is an example, of an emerging tool aiming to describe the social impact of S-ENT in dollar terms, relative to the philanthropic investment made.

As part of the course you will be working in groups on identifying an opportunity for a social innovation or social enterprise. You will then write a business plan outlining the business model for implementing your idea. All business plans will be evaluated at the end of the course and the winners will be supported in the implementation of their idea.

Below you can find the list of the top 10 - the winners of the business plan competition from the previous MOOC:

Winners of the Business Plan Competition

1st prize Meds4all 

2nd prize Super Kids Academy 

3rd prize Mobilize 

3rd prize EntreLaunch 

3rd prize Beyond Laundry 


Community Micro Grids 

The Shepherd's Den 


Beitel Klüpfel - To Craft Is To Care 

Zero Waste Shop 

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... where we will post news and information about the field of Social Entrepreneurship and this course.


  • Intro:          Introduction to the Course
  • Week 1:     What is Social Entrepreneurship?
  • Week 2:     Who is a Social Entrepreneur?
  • Week 3:     How to Identify an Opportunity?
  • Week 4:     Creating a Business Model
  • Week 5:     The Business Model Canvas
  • Week 6:     Writing a Business Plan
  • Week 7:     Selecting an Organizational Form
  • Week 8:     Attracting Investors
  • Week 9:     Measuring Social Impact
  • Week 10:   Communication Strategies for Social Enterprises
  • Week 11:   Replication Strategy
  • Week 12:   Exit Strategies

3 Student
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Finished
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Certificate Available
Hours 4-6 hours a week
Calendar 12 weeks long
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FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

3 reviews

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Lisa Bateman dropped this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
The course starts out like the horses being released from the gate of the Kentucky Derby. After the initial week of "get to know the platform" and some stories from successful social entrepreneurs, you are told to form or join a team to complete a 7 day fund raising challenge. Although not counted toward successful com Read More
The course starts out like the horses being released from the gate of the Kentucky Derby. After the initial week of "get to know the platform" and some stories from successful social entrepreneurs, you are told to form or join a team to complete a 7 day fund raising challenge. Although not counted toward successful completion, this 2nd week in the course was stressful - not unlike a round of speed dating (never speed dated, but that's the way it felt to me.) The common thread in all the courses is to develop a business plan for a social venture. I hadn't even come up with anything more than what my passion was - and that's what I was really hoping for. Being a busy time in my work life, I decided to drop.
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2 years ago
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Jaafer Ameni is taking this course right now.
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a year ago
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Jeroen dropped this course.
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