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Introduction to Social Enterprises - Introductory Track

Enrollment is Closed

About This Course

This course is intended for Community Based Organisations (CBOs) interested in learning more about social enterprises as means of achieving a degree of self-sustainability, as well as providing employment opportunities in your community. Whether you already have an ongoing project (accelerator) or simply a business idea (incubator), we will help you learn how to manage it, scale it and turn it into a profitable and viable endeavor in your environment.

As part of the SEA Change Initiative program, all participants of the first cohort will be considered for a number of seed capital funds that will be granted to CBOs selected through due process. Are you up for the challenge?


Being part of a community based organisation or having the means to structure one.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Suwen Chen

Suwen Chen is a doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh Business School, studying impact investing and social entrepreneurship. She holds an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Master’s Degree in Translation Technology from Imperial College London. Suwen has been advising social enterprises, investment firms and charities on sustainability strategies and worked with UNDP on their Green Entrepreneurship Programme. She is also a Mentor at Prosper Social Finance (UK’s first student-led social investment fund). Her publications include peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, research blogs, and letters in Financial Times.

Syllabus (week by week breakdown)

  1. Introduction
    1. About the course
    2. About you
  2. Understanding the challenge
    1. Introduction
    2. Two important viewpoints
    3. How to approach your topic
    4. A framework for characterizing the challenge
    5. Select your subject field venture
    6. Visualizing your results
  3. Co-creating the solution with community
    1. Community-centered approach
    2. Ideas and innovation
    3. Building your solution and testing
    4. Your theory of change
  4. Delivering your solution
    1. Finding your compass
    2. Social Market Strategy
    3. Operations and distribution
    4. Your team
  5. Ensuring financial viability
    1. Basics of your budget
    2. Forecasting and cost
    3. Revenue models
    4. Income statement
    5. Timeline and phasing
  6. Structuring your venture
    1. The business plan
    2. How to write a business plan
    3. Legal structure
    4. Legal options
    5. Variations around the world
    6. Organizational health
    7. Leadership and the board

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SEA Change Initiative?

Social Enterprise Accelerator (SEA) Change Initiative is a program developed by Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), designed for Community Based Organisations.

It’s composed of two stages: the incubation of social venture ideas and staff training, and the acceleration of ongoing and new projects. It intends to teach CBOs about enterprises as means of funding social goals and achieving self-sustainability for community members.

Am I suitable to take this course?

This is an introductory course, so no previous knowledge or training is necessary. We only ask the participants the following:

• Have a clear social goal in your community you’d like to contribute to

• Have an ongoing project OR a social enterprise idea

• Compromise to complete the course

Is my organisation eligible for the seed funding grant?

The beneficiaries will be selected through an assessments of their final proposals. To qualify, the candidates must:

• Have at least 2 members of the community based organisation complete all 9 sections of the course and achieve a passing grade

• Submit a complete proposal to the board

• Make a final presentation before the board