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Social Business: a Sustainable Way to Face the Most Pressing Needs of Our Time

Social Businesses are designed to improve society. In this course you will learn the main concepts to design a Social Business.

5,153 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

This free online course focuses on the concept of Social Business and the main variables that we need to take into account when creating a Social Business.

The course provides an academic foundation to the concept of Social Business and a practical starting point to develop your own social enterprise idea. It has been developed along with Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laurate 2006.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds This is a hotel. It has 8 rooms and 2 suites.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds It offers a social service: accommodation in exchange of an economic profit, and it creates workplaces. Therefore, it’s what we call a traditional business. But what if the purpose of this hotel was to create these jobs for refugees? And what if it would reserve one of their suites for young people that were under tutelage, and offer them training to work in the hotel? And what if they invested their benefits to adapt the infrastructure for disabled people? In that case, this traditional business would be a social business. A social business covers social and environmental needs, becoming an instrument to improve society

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds First, we will learn the definition of Social Business and how it differentiates from other similar concepts. Next, we will identify social needs that can be solved through an economic activity and the different existing instruments to evaluate the impact of these organizations. Finally, we will learn how to start articulating an idea of a social business into a sustainable business model. We are Paula Veciana, Andrea Balletbo and myself, Ester Oliveras, and we will accompany you through this course. If you have social vocation, you are a social entrepreneur or an NGO professional, this is the perfect course for you, because you’ll get both the conceptual part and also a starting point to develop your own social business idea.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 seconds The course will count with audiovisual explanations, a few lectures and tests, and also interviews with social business owners and experts, including Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate 2006. We encourage you to take part in it because it will open your mind to a new way of looking at businesses and how its activity can help to alleviate social problems.

What topics will you cover?

  • Definition of Social Economy
  • Difference between Social Enterprise and Social Business
  • Volume and benefits of the social economy
  • Social needs and human capabilities
  • Human capabilities classification
  • Theory of change and social enterprises
  • The importance of measuring social impact
  • Measuring impact: areas of impact and depth of analysis
  • The Canvas Tool for social business

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the key concepts for designing a Social Business
  • Demonstrate real examples of Social Business
  • Describe concepts related with Social Business: social needs, business opportunities and theory of change
  • Explore ideas to develop your own Social Business
  • Explain what is a Social Business?

Who is the course for?

You don’t need any previous experience to do this course.

Who will you learn with?

Associate professor. Ph.D. in Accounting at University of Central Lancashire. Coordinator of the ACME Research Grup Coordinator and Yunus Social Business City Barcelona Director.

I am graduated in economics, and have done my entire career in the social sector. I have assessed microcredit and social business projects for more than 14 years. Another world is possible! @paulavb_

Who developed the course?

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is a public, international and research-intensive university in Barcelona. In just 25 years, it has earned a place for itself among the best universities in Europe.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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