Background to the Program for Systems Social Entrepreneurs
Community Capacity Builders Program for Systems Social Entrepreneurs is underpinned by findings from a three year research project that investigated how changemakers could increase their social impact. The research project found that while traditional programs assisted participants to create initiatives, they did not provide participants with the knowledge, skills and tools to contribute towards systems change. Community Capacity Builders Program for Systems Social Entrepreneurs addresses this weakness: it has been designed for social entrepreneurs that want to develop or strengthen initiatives that contribute towards creating systems change and address wicked problems.
What Type of Social Entrepreneurship Does the Program Promote?
The term social entrepreneurship has a range of meanings. Contributing to this diversity of meanings is the different approaches for undertaking social entrepreneurship. Community Capacity Builders Program for Systems Social Entrepreneurs embraces the diversity of social entrepreneurship by recognising the benefits of six different social entrepreneurship approaches. These are: the social innovation and social enterprise schools of thought, and participatory governance, communitarian, marketisation, and complexity approaches.
During Community Capacity Builders Program for Systems Social Entrepreneurs, participants:
- explore the concepts, tools and techniques of different social entrepreneurship approaches
- research and map the problem and solution ecosystems for the problem that they are addressing
- determine where to intervene in a solution ecosystem
- develop a theory of change, business model and pitch deck for the initiative that they develop or want to strengthen
- explore the support that is available for social enterprises in their community
- determine the most appropriate social enterprise type to institutionalise their initiative, and
- develop for their initiative, a social impact measurement plan and a scaling strategy
The Program for Systems Social Entrepreneurs consists of four units:
- Understanding Social Entrepreneurship
- Mapping Problem & Solution Ecosystems
- Developing Initiatives, and
- Developing Social Enterprises
Understanding Social Entrepreneurship
In Unit 1 participants explore six different approaches to social entrepreneurship.
These six approaches are: the social innovation, social enterprise, participatory governance, communitarian, marketisation and complexity approaches. Each of these approaches include different social entrepreneurship concepts, tools and techniques. During future units of the program, participants use this pallet of concepts, tools and techniques from the six approaches to map their problem and solution ecosystems, develop a theory of change and business model, and identify the most appropriate type of social enterprise, social impact measurement and scaling strategy for their initiative.
Mapping Problem & Solution Ecosystems
In Unit 2 participants research and map the problem and solution ecosystems for the problem that they are addressing.
It is highlighted during Unit 2 that in order for participants to create initiatives that can influence systems change, their initiative needs to be a part of a solution ecosystem that is addressing their problem's overarching wicked problem. Complex problems are underpinned by an ecosystem of intertwined causal factors. A solution ecosystem for a given complex problem and geographical community, consists of all the initiatives in the community that are addressing any of the interdependent causal factors that underpin the wicked problem and all of the organisations that are partnering on those initiatives.
In Unit 3 participants determine where to intervene in a solution ecosystem, and develop a theory of change, business model and a pitch deck for the initiative that they create or strengthen.
Theories of change contain the underlying assumptions about how and why an initiative will achieve its desired social impact and provide a roadmap that summarises the steps that need to be taken to achieve that impact. Business models describe how an initiative will create social and economic value. Pitch decks are presentations that are used to describe an initiative's theory of change and business model to potential partners, funders and investors.
Developing Social Enterprises
In Unit 4 participants identify local support for social enterprises and options for: forming a social enterprise, measuring social impact and scaling social impact.
During Unit 4 participants explore the support that is available for social enterprises through their local entrepreneurial ecosystem. They determine the most appropriate social enterprise type to institutionalise their initiative. Participants develop for their initiative: a social impact measurement plan and a scaling strategy for increasing their social impact.