From Our Team- Learning About Social Entrepreneurship

By Anchal Kakkar, VP Strategy and Partnerships – Arthan

Many professionals transition to the social impact sector with a heart full of passion and intention to make a difference and do good. While this is commendable, and these professionals learn the nuances of the sector and how it functions, an understanding of the theoretical aspects of social entrepreneurship are often missed out or acquired in an ad-hoc, needs-based manner. 

This blog lists a few concepts that were discussed during the Global Social Entrepreneurship Program held by Hand in Hand Academy for Social Entrepreneurship, during the sessions conducted by Prof. Jasjit Singh.

Titled Building High Impact Social Initiatives, the five-day program had a diverse cohort, including professionals from the social impact sector, Government, banks, MFIs and academia, to name a few.

The session began with a discussion around the definition of ‘impact’ and how business can be used as a force of good or in other words, how a market-based approach can help solve social issues.

The class discussed the business model canvas, a strategic template that is used by businesses to visualise and define the scope of their work including their value proposition, key resources, activities to revenue and costs, to name a few. The sessions also delved into an introduction into the world of impact investing (investing with the intention of making both financial and social returns) as well as impact evaluation. Impact evaluation encompassed understand the theory of change/ logic model which is a tool to break down the long term impact (and outcome and outputs) that an intervention aims to achieve, and the resources and activities that are needed to achieve the same.

The session also included a range of topics. Examples include intentionality spectrum (that helps categorise social organisations across a range of models depending on if they put impact first or profits first) and design thinking (a creative tool to problem solve using empathy as a means to understand the problem and then brainstorm about the solution through a few steps).

The sessions hence, drew upon many case studies that illustrated a wide range of social enterprises, with both stories of success and failures, with the context and insights of the topics described above and their application.

Further, during the GSEP program, multiple panel discussions were also held with experienced, erudite professionals, across topics ranging from CSR to funding to social enterprises. The cohort was also divided into groups and allotted a Government policy each, related to social enterprises, and was asked to give their feedback and opinions about what could be sent as a collective suggestion to the authorities to change in the same.

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