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Map out the value that your social enterprise creates, captures and delivers

Develop a business model that drives financial sustainability and social impact

Create and test hypotheses about target market size, cost structure, revenue streams, and value chain partnerships

Uncover revenue engines to power businesses serving customers living in bottom of the pyramid markets

Course Syllabus

Learning Tools

4 reading guides highlighting case studies and examples

4 workshop guides to structure your own business model development

Instructional videos produced by Strategyzer

Section 1: Introduction to Business Models

Reading: Acumen and GSBI’s Take on Social Enterprise Models

Case Study: Aravind

Reading: What is a Social Enterprise?

Reading: What is a Business Model?

Reading: Introduction to the Business Model Canvas

Reading: 9 Building Blocks of the Business Model

Reading: Integrating Your Impact Model and Business Model

Activity: Write a Mission Statement

Reading: 4 Types of Business Models

Reading: Innovations in Social Enterprise Models

Reading: The Need for a Lean Startup Approach

Reading: Where Social Entrepreneurs Go Wrong

Reading: Social Enterprise Model Catalog

Activity: Three Business Model Canvas Sprints

Section 2: Create Value: Customers and Value Propositions

Reading: Who are my customers?

Case Study: Aravind

Activity: Identify your mission, metric and target customer

Reading: Sizing Your Market

Examples: Market Sizing

Reading: Analyzing Your Market

Reading: Segmenting Your Market

Examples: Market Segmentation

Reading: Building a Value Proposition

Reading: How Will I Reach My Customers?

Reading: Building Channels to Your Customers

Activity: Market Size Analysis

Section 3: Deliver Value: Value Chains and Partnerships

Reading: Understanding Your Value Chain

Reading: Operating in Emerging Markets

Reading: Building a Value Chain, Building Relationships

Reading: Value Chains in Service Companies

Reading: Partnering Best Practices

Case Study: Aravind

Activity: Value Chain Mapping

Section 4: Capture Value: Revenue Engines, Cost Structures, and Pricing

Reading: Building a Revenue Engine

Case Study: Aravind

Case Study: Vision Spring

Reading: How Will You Capture Value?

Reading: Types of Revenue Engines by Impact Model

Reading: Revenue Engines When Users Can Pay

Reading: Determining Affordability for the Poor

Reading: Revenue Engines When Users Can’t Pay

Reading: Risks of Cross-Subsidization

Reading: Revenue Engines when Users Need Free/Subsidized Access

Reading: Revenue Engines for Other Impact Models

Reading: Determining Cost Structure

Reading: Revenue Engines for Marketplace Models

Reading: Setting Prices

Activity: Business Model Canvas

Activity: Summary Deck

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"For anyone starting a social business; the exercises in this course are critical to assess your idea and how to build it into a successful business.”


Course Description

In this course, you’ll explore different business models to understand what goes into designing an enterprise that prioritizes social impact while supporting financial sustainability. Using a real-life social enterprise or your own idea, you’ll build a business model to get your product or service into the hands of customers, creating both financial value and social impact.

This course draws from curriculum taught by the Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) and Acumen’s insights from nearly 20 years of investing in social enterprises.

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Supported By

The Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute serves social entrepreneurs around the world who are developing innovative solutions that provide a sustainable path out of poverty. The programs use Silicon Valley principles of innovation and entrepreneurship to train and mentor entrepreneurs addressing problems of poverty.


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