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Interest in social impact measurement and SROI (Social Return on Investment) is growing. Governments, foundations and impact investors are raising the bar and asking for better evaluation and impact data. Purpose-led businesses, social enterprises, nonprofits and charities are under increasing pressure to demonstrate value. Organizations need to show they: deliver value for money services; produce economic, environmental and social impacts; and create measurable social value for stakeholders. While there’s no simple solution to the challenges of measuring social impact, it really doesn’t have to be complicated. With just a little time and effort even small social enterprises can measure social impact in a balanced and compelling way. This program has been developed to support better impact practice. It is the world’s most comprehensive impact measurement training program, and covers everything that organizations can do to plan, measure, communicate and grow their social impact. Through a series of 10 online courses, the program provides all of the foundations for better impact practice. 1. ESTABLISHING YOUR MISSION Your organization is on a mission to change society for the better. It all starts here. Find out how to tell others about your cause and why it matters. Learn how to build consensus on the mission that propels your work forward and defines its success. 2. DEFINING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL All successful social enterprises find the sweet spot between mission and money. Learn about the different businesses approaches that can be used to deliver your mission and how to design a business model that will maximise impact. 3. IDENTIFYING YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION Social enterprises are complicated organizations. They create value in many ways. Find out about value propositions, and how you can use them to describe the things that make your work distinctive, successful and uniquely valuable to others. 4. DEVELOPING A RESULTS FRAMEWORK Making a positive change in the world isn’t easy. It takes careful planning. Find out how to explain your theory of change, and how to use it to manage the relationship between your strategies, your performance, and the results you bring about. 5. USING PERFORMANCE MEASURES Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Find out how to find, use and apply performance measures to show that you are making progress and achieving the impact you hoped for. 6. COLLECTING USEFUL INFORMATION The facts are always friendly, so let good evidence guide your way. Find out how to decide what information you should be collecting and the methods that you can use. Learn about our 10 tips for better data collection and a simpler life. 7. GAUGING PERFORMANCE AND IMPACT Using data can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to drown in a sea of numbers. Find out how to assemble and analyze data quickly and in a way that stands up to scrutiny. Learn how to use data to make smarter and more impactful decisions. 8. REPORTING ON RESULTS You no longer have to get weighed down by the same dull reports. Find out how to produce a full, balanced and persuasive account of your work. Learn how to use narrative, numbers, images and stories to good effect. 9. COMMUNICATING WITH IMPACT Don’t keep your story a secret; shout it from the rooftops. Find out to use tried and tested communication methods to share your evidence, strengthen your message and mobilise an army of supporters behind your cause. 10. USING EVIDENCE TO GROW IMPACT Got your message out there but want to take things to the next level? Find out how to use evidence to drive a cycle of improvement – transparent performance, useful learning, better results, more support, and it goes on. Read More

Finance is the fuel required to propel your social enterprise forward. You may need outside finance from a bank or social lender to: Get things off the ground if you are starting something new. Maintain positive cash flow to deliver a service, finance a contract, or cover costs. Scale-up to take on more services, bigger contracts, or reach more people. Improve your long-term financial stability by buying an asset. Fortunately, there is an increasing variety of social investment options available to help you achieve social impact - loans, equity finance, bonds, and more. There’s a lot to think about though. Taking on investment is not suitable for every organization or in all circumstances. By taking on investment, you are taking on risk. Remember, (in most cases) the money is repayable. You also need to be ready with the right structure, skills, and business model to attract investors. The more you can prepare, the more likely you are to secure funding and the less likely to run into problems later. Developed in partnership with leading social finance intermediaries including Vancity Community Foundation, Verge Capital and SVX, this program has been designed to help social sector organizations get investment-ready. Through a series of 8 online courses, the program provides all of the information, insights and tools you will need to get ready for investment:  1. SOCIAL FINANCE 101 Taking outside investment may be an unfamiliar concept to you, or a complicated one at best. Learn all the basics of social finance, including about the main sources of finance, what they can be used for, and who supplies them. 2. DETERMINING YOUR FINANCIAL NEEDS Nearly every business has to raise money at some point. Learn how to figure out how much money you will need, the size and timing of the raise, the most suitable sources of funding, and which investment strategy is right for you. 3. FEASIBILITY MODELLING Before approaching an investor, you will need to demonstrate the viability of your business idea. Learn how to quickly consider all of the essential elements that impact financial feasibility, and build a simple model to validate assumptions. 4. COMPLETING A FEASIBILITY MODEL Before asking for investment in your business, you must ensure the numbers stack up. Learn how to combine market data with accurate modelling to see if your project makes sense, given your market and circumstances. 5. PRESENTING THE FINANCIAL DATA The financial data that you produce is only as good as the use you put it to. Find out how to analyse data from your financial model, how to present it, and how to use it to make your case for investment. 6. DEMONSTRATING SOCIAL IMPACT TO INVESTORS Social investors give money because they want social return, as well as financial return, and they need to be confident you can deliver both. Find out how investors assess impact and how you can produce a credible impact plan to satisfy them. 7. REFINING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL AND PLAN A carefully crafted business plan will help you explain to investors how you will use the money and how you will repay it. Learn how to assess your business model and strengthen your business plan based on investors’ most common requirements. 8. TAKING ON AN INVESTMENT Before investing, an investor will really do their homework. Brace yourself. Learn more about the deal room documentation you will need to collect, how you can deliver the perfect pitch, and how to prepare for negotiating final terms. Read More

We guide you through the steps, tools and tips you need to learn about marketing to help your social enterprise succeed.   1. SETTING YOUR MARKETING GOALS Learn why marketing is a necessary, and reasonable, investment in business growth, and understand the basic elements of a marketing plan and strategy. This course offers a foundation to a successful approach to marketing for your social enterprise and introduces the initial concepts, definitions, requirements and help you confirm your marketing expectations. 2. MARKET RESEARCH: TOOLS & TECHNIQUES Understanding who will buy from you and what their needs, wants, and whims might be will help point your towards creating a sound set of marketing initiatives to launch, sustain and grow your social enterprise. However, market research can be done wrong. This course provides a strong understanding of the tools available to you, and how to use those tools to build real understanding of your customers. 3. MARKETING MIX: PRICING FOR IMPACT AND PROFIT Arguably, consumers buy products and services based on two main criteria: Price and Quality. They may be interested in the social or environmental benefits of your social enterprise, but setting the price to cover costs and to maximize both revenue and demand are key elements in any marketing strategy, and are often not clearly articulated by most social enterprises. After completing this learning module, learners will have several tool and approaches to set prices for their social enterprise products or services that will help to achieve their business objectives. 4. MARKETING MIX: PROMOTIONS You need to develop the key messages that you want to share with targeted audiences in order to gain their attention and encourage them to buy your product or service. Recognize when to promote your social mission to encourage demand and when to focus on other marketing messages. Ensure that messages for different audience segments are integrated and mutually support the brand development of your entire enterprise.  After completing this learning module, learners will understand techniques that can be used by social enterprises to promote their products and services in order to generate demand 5. MARKETING MIX: PLACEMENT This course allows you to understand the value of placement in your successful marketing mix, and to define a path to create an effective and efficient placement strategy for your products or services. Online webstore? Farmer’s market? Consignments? Trade show booths?  Learn the pros and cons of different options for placement of your product or service in order to ensure that customers can buy from you…conveniently. You’ll also consider cross-platform options and make placement choices to target different market segments. 6. BUSINESS TO BUSINESS (B2B) & WHOLESALE MARKETING Selling to other businesses usually requires a different set of promotional and placement approaches. This course offers a marketer’s view of how to sell to other businesses; including how to set wholesale prices (for volume sales), how to prepare for the competitive bidding process, and how to research where your (business) customers will find you. Understand how to modify your market research tools and techniques for commercial, public sector and other social enterprise buyers. 7. INTERNET MARKETING There are numerous new tools available to support online marketing. Having a website is a basic necessity, but the world of internet marketing is changing by the day; how much time and energy should you put into online marketing for your business. This course will offer recommendations on some of the ways to make an early investment in a scheduling or automation tool to help minimize the requirement for ongoing social media management. 8. RELATIONSHIP MARKETING: MANAGING CUSTOMER RELATIONS It is far more cost effective to maintain a customer than to find a new one. Building relationships with customers requires data management, clear analytics, dedicated communications tools and cycles and respect for privacy. This course offers recommended strategies for customer retention, viral marketing, and customer upgrading to help increase revenues, build loyalty, and expand the social mission of your enterprise. 9. MEASURING MARKETING SUCCESS Understand how to design both marketing messages and medium to ensure that it is simple to track the effectiveness of each and every initiative. Learn simple and inexpensive ways to track customer response to marketing and promotions to allow you to analyze the results of marketing activities using criteria related to budgeted sales, costs, profits, and other appropriate criteria. Read More

Steps to Startup is a world-leading startup program that teaches you to plan, build, and launch a successful social enterprise. It is an interactive, video-based training program you complete online at your own pace. You learn with a global community of social entrepreneurs and coaches, and can ask questions and get feedback at any time. If you want to build your social enterprise as part of an incredibly supportive online community, Steps to Startup is for you.      Steps to Startup will give you the knowledge, tools, and confidence you need to launch your social venture. You will work through a startup method developed by international experts, enabling you to design, test, and adjust your idea quickly and with confidence. You will develop the skills and mindset you will need for the journey, with world-class courses designed specially for busy social entrepreneurs. You will get practical advice, tips, and examples that will enable you to crush the challenges you'll face along the way. You will learn how to:  1. DEFINE THE PROBLEM Every social enterprise starts out to solve a social or environmental problem. Find out how to validate the seriousness and extent of the problem that moves you, how to get to its root cause and effect on people, and how to identify the required response. 2. PLAN YOUR SOCIAL IMPACT So a need exists, but how will the world be different and better because of your efforts? Find out how to plan for social impact, how to communicate your ‘theory of change’ to others, and how to get focused on the results you must deliver and account for. 3. BUILD SUPPORT FOR YOUR CAUSE While you’re now committed to a world-changing mission, you don’t need to act the hero, or go it alone. Find out how to develop your personal network, build a strong core team, recruit influential allies, and mobilise an army of supporters behind your cause. 4. TEST YOUR IDEAS ON A SMALL SCALE You’re on your way, but why waste time, money and energy on ideas that will flop? Find out how generate an abundance of social enterprise ideas, select a winning concept, and continually test and adapt it based on customer feedback. 5. FIND YOUR CUSTOMERS Customers quickly become the lifeblood of your fledgling business. Find out how to find your ideal market and customers, define the things that separate you from the competition, and convince customers to buy from you. 6. DESIGN YOUR BUSINESS MODEL There are suddenly a lot of moving pieces to think about. Find out what the essential components of success are for a social enterprise, how they fit together, and how to consciously design a business that achieves both impact and profit.   7. SECURE THE FUNDING You reach a point where outside finance is necessary to fuel your ambitions. Find out how much money you will need to really get going, how to navigate the financing options available and risks associated, and how to secure the startup funding you require. 8. GET READY FOR TAKE-OFF You’re ready to fully launch your enterprise after successful testing. Find out how to keep it legal, stay on top of the money and inevitable red tape, execute an effective launch plan, and build an identifiable brand.       Read More

There has never been a better time to win major contracts. Governments and corporations across the world are competitively procuring an increasing amount of products and services. They are also increasingly motivated to work with social sector suppliers. The market opportunity runs into billions. It’s not easy though. It’s no longer sufficient to be cheapest, you now need to be the supplier providing the most economically advantageous offering. Considerations such as quality assurance, business capacity and continuity, compliance with legislation, and social outcomes all come into the equation. While procurement requirements and tendering processes vary from place to place, and industry to industry, there are some common ingredients to be a successful bidder and supplier. Developed in partnership with the CEIS Group, international social enterprise procurement experts, this program has been developed to provide all of the ingredients you will need to bid, win and deliver contracts. This program covers the processes involved, the terminology and requirements you will encounter, the main elements of a successful bid, and how to get your organization ready to manage and deliver contracts effectively. Through a series of six courses, the program provides all of the information, insights and tools you will need to tender and deliver contracts. 1. GETTING READY FOR CONTRACTING Bidding for contracts can be a big step that throws up many possibilities and risks. Find out more about the opportunities to bid for contracts, how to find them, and why every social enterprise should take these opportunities seriously. 2. UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF BUYERS Ever wondered what makes public sector and corporate buyers tick? Take this course to get inside the buyers’ mindset. Find out about the influences on their decisions, the rules they must follow, and what this means for you as a bidder. 3. NAVIGATING THE TENDERING PROCESS The process of bidding for contracts can be a minefield. Use this course as your step-by-step guide to the process. Learn about the terminology and requirements you will encounter and how to make the tough choice about whether to bid or not. 4. PREPARING A WINNING BID The competition is tough. Everyone is chasing that contract. Find out how you can make your bid as strong as possible by understanding how bids are scored and how you can structure and present your tender responses for maximum impact. 5. WORKING COLLABORATIVELY ON CONTRACTS It's not always smart or possible to go it alone. Collaboration is often key to winning and delivering contracts. Find out when and how to collaborate, and the forms it can take. Learn how to build an effective collaboration and avoid the pitfalls. 6. MANAGING AND DELIVERING ON CONTRACTS So, what happens after the contract is won? This is where the hard work really starts. Find out about all the fundamentals of contract management. Learn how to manage relationships, ensure effective delivery, and mitigate the main risks. These courses can be taken sequentially, with each building on the last, or you can take them as and when you require knowledge on a particular topic. Read More

  This module will outline the difference between a Classic and an Agile approach to managing a project. Core benefits, objectives, as well as the Agile Manifesto will be explored. Key concepts and tools will be reviewed, along with rooted methodologies. Various aligning characteristics for social enterprise development projects will be identified. Support documents will be available for teams to use in their own development. *We recommend that you complete the module “Classic Project Management” before completing this module.   .helpButton { display: none; } body.bg { opacity: 0; -moz-animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; -webkit-animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; -o-animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; animation: cssAnimation 0s ease-in 2s forwards; -webkit-animation-fill-mode: forwards; animation-fill-mode: forwards; } @keyframes cssAnimation { to { opacity: 1; } } @-webkit-keyframes cssAnimation { to { opacity: 1; } } @import url(https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Fjalla+One|Raleway); @import url(https://socialenterpriseinstitute.ca/styles/learnUponMin.css); Read More

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