This course is for students participating in The John Edwardson ’72 Social New Venture Challenge. Teams of students will develop an idea for an innovative, startup social organization. They will conduct research to create a detailed plan for its creation and growth and pitch the plan to faculty, social entrepreneurs, domain experts, foundation officers, and philanthropists.
The definition that we will use to determine if an idea belongs in the course is that social organizations are designed, managed and governed to sacrifice profit for mission or to seek funding from investors who are willing to sacrifice returns for mission. Compared to traditional for-profit organizations, such organizations rely in varying degrees on different funding institutions, different governance mechanisms, different ways to measure performance, different marketing, and different HR practices. These organizations may be structured as for-profit or non-profits. Because of these differences in management and the institutional structure supporting them, a distinct curriculum is appropriate, even if the definition excludes many organizations that create substantial social value.
The class will include multiple rounds of pitch presentations with detailed feedback. It will also include several short lectures/discussions, and classroom exercises. Topics will include; evaluating a new social enterprise, financing a social startup, managing a social organization, managing and financing growth and measuring performance and social impact.
We anticipate awarding over $100,000 in prize money for the most promising social ventures.
Enrollment will be by application.