Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Digital technologies and social enterprise

This article shares some principles and tools for effective implementation of digital technologies in social enterprise
Woman with a tablet

Advances in technology have created considerable impact on society in recent years. Yet in most cases, the social impact has been secondary to the aims of commercialization and profit generation. How can social entrepreneurs harness technology to increase the success of their ventures and deliver positive social impact?

A Social Innovation Mapping Report by the Intel Foundation and Ashoka examined the best practices of entrepreneurs who successfully use information and communications technology (ICT) to create social impact.

According to the report, social entrepreneurs who leverage ICT effectively tend to:

  1. Move beyond digital literacy
  2. Incorporate deep stakeholder involvement
  3. Alter perceptions of the marginalized
  4. Keep it decentralized
  5. Communicate the results

Beyond these five principles, where can social entrepreneurs discover the latest technology products and tools to use? Here are a few.

Product Hunt provides provides community-created collections of new products, for example on lean startup tools, tools to build your next website, and tools for using social media.

Quora is a question-and-answer website. Find answers to questions asked by others or ask your own question on broad topics like startups and social entrepreneurship, or subject matter areas like marketing or management.

BetaList is a platform to discover and get early access to the latest internet startups, discover by market like education, social innovation and productivity software or sign up for the newsletter and get an email each time a new startup launches.

After exploring the list of resources, please share with your fellow learners a technology product, or tool, that you find really useful.

This article is from the free online

Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education