Social Entrepreneurship Program


The best way to end poverty is to generate wealth with those who need it, not just for them or from them. While Humanity continues to struggle with basic social challenges in the 21st Century, some dating back millennia, the past 40 years have witnessed an unprecedented level of innovation, problem-solving and product and service development reaching billions within a few years, beyond the achievements of any previous charity, social, political, religious or economic approach. Today there are more mobile phones than toilets and toothbrushes in the world. Profit can be a powerful driver for creating efficient and sustainable solutions to social challenges.

In this course we immerse participants into the world of Social Entrepreneurship and the wide spectrum of Social Impact from Business and Profit possibilities. You learn from real life examples of successes and failures and the lessons they teach us. But you also learn by doing, with step by step instructions with plenty of examples, templates and models to follow. Everything you need to create your startup, improve the effectiveness of your business project and successfully present it to partners, investors and stakeholders.

Both the content and methodology are the result of over 20 years of experience around the world and the many lessons learned from successful and failed commercial, social and public initiatives in Asia, Europe, United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

This is the online version of the successful Social Entrepreneurship Workshops we have hosted in Singapore, Japan, USA, Latin America and the Caribbean since 2007.

Program Summary

  1. Social Entrepreneurship: A Business Approach to Social Challenges.
  2. Beyond Sustainability: Profitability and Dividends.
  3. Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Path to Success.
  4. Emerging and Expanding Business and Market Opportunities within our Reach.
  5. Social Entrepreneurship Models.
  6. Challenges of Social Entrepreneurship.
  7. An Illustrated History of Social Innovation, Intervention and Startup Failures.
  8. Creating Social Business Models and Plans.
  9. Agile & Lean Tools, Techniques and Methodologies.
  10. Measuring Social Impact.
  11. Construction of Dynamic Financial Social Business Models and Scenarios.
  12. Fundraising and Investment.

Materials and Bonus

  • Real life examples, pre-filled and editable templates for presentation slides, business plan documents and financial model spreadsheets.
  • 8 hours of mentoring and personal tutoring.
About the Instructor: Carlos Miranda Levy

Carlos Miranda Levy speaking at TEDxTokyo.A social entrepreneur and innovation technology expert with 20 years of work in human development, education, culture, disaster response and the environment, Carlos has led multiple social impact technology initiatives across the globe, while maintaining a successful career at the service of international organizations, government agencies and corporate and non-profit organizations.

His multiple credentials include a Stanford University Digital Vision Fellowship, a National University of Singapore Social Entrepreneurship Residency, a Google Developing World Scholarship Award, a Bill & Melinda Gates TEDGlobal Scholarship, a Reuters Foundation grant, among many others. Carlos has been featured on CNN as one of 20 Latin American Leaders on the Internet, on Forbes as a Latino Leader in Silicon Valley and as an Emerging Leader by New Media Consortium at MIT.

A balanced mix of tech skills, business savvy and understanding of social processes, give him a unique advantage for visualizing stakeholders and ecosystems, their processes and opportunities, drafting strategies, leading teams, organizing events and creating technology solutions. This is clearly appreciated in his work with vulnerable youth, disaster survivors, teachers, policy makers, software developers and communities, which has taken him from the Caribbean mountains to Silicon Valley, the Amazon basin and snowcapped Andes; to Haïti, Singapore and Japan, and more recently to Africa and Europe.

His hands-on, proactive spirit has benefited from the lessons learned through field experience at scenarios as diverse as remote rural villages, the headquarters of international organizations, Presidential offices and government agencies, high security prisons and some of the most prestigious universities in the world. He summarizes his approach and methodology to problem solving and ecosystem intervention with a simple phrase:

“never help: engage, enable, empower and connect”.

Detailed Program Description

An immersive journey into the world of Social Entrepreneurship and the wide spectrum of Social Impact from Business and Profit possibilities. You learn from real life examples of successes and failures and the lessons they teach us. But you also learn by doing, with step by step instructions with plenty of examples, templates and models to follow. Everything you need to create your startup, improve the effectiveness of your business project and successfully present it to partners, investors and stakeholders.

I. Social Entrepreneurship: A Business Approach to Social Challenges.

A practical introduction to the world of entrepreneurship and a down-to-earth review of common practices, concepts and expectations. We discuss the resilience nature of social challenges and the potential for profits in addressing them. We get acquainted with the basic foundations of social entrepreneurship, from stakeholders engagement and ethical operations to double bottom line to and generation of shared value. Special attention is paid to the advantages of social startups over charities and corporate social responsibility and the differences among them. All done using clear and real life examples and experiences.

  • The Revolution of Social Entrepreneurship.
    • Business Solutions to Social Challenges.
    • Ending Poverty by Generating Profit.
    • Doing Well while Doing Good.
    • Beyond Profit: Value.
  • Good Profit: Differences with Conventional Entrepreneurship.
    • Double and Triple Bottom Line.
    • Inclusive and Participatory Business.
      • Participatory and Consultative Governance
      • Accountability.
    • Ethical Business.
    • Beyond Short Term Profit: Focus on Sustainable Impact.
    • United Nations Global Compact and its 10 Principles.
  • Lessons Learned from Classic Social Entrepreneurship Models.
    • Microcredit and Microfinance.
    • Fair Trade.
  • Non-Profit or the End of Profit?
  • Not Corporate Social Responsibility.
    • Social Impact by Design.
    • Profit and Social Impact at the core of strategies and operation.
  • Not Charity: The Advantages of Social Entrepreneurship.
    • Investment vs Donations.
    • Employment vs Assistance.
    • Profit vs Handouts.
    • Dignity and Self Reliance.
    • Generation of Value.
    • The circular life of investment and profit.

II. Beyond Sustainability: Profitability and Dividends.

Social enterprises are driven both by social impact and profit. It is important to understand the role of profit as both a motivator and driver and its relationship to long term sustainibility, efficiency and growth. We explore both the positve role of profits and the dangers and negative impact of unchecked profit without social responsibility. And we discuss, using real life examples, how profit can create both a better or a worse world and how social entrepreneurship can reconcile this driving force with its social potential and strengthen its positive social impact.

  • When teaching to fish is not enough.
  • The Role of Profit.
    • Profit as a driver of change and innovation.
    • Profit as a driver of efficiency.
    • Profit as a driver of results.
    • Profit as a driver of resource allocation.
    • Profit as a sustainability mechanism.
    • Profit as a validator of operations.
    • Profit as a driver of pivoting.
    • Profit as a driver of scaling.
  • The Role of Dividends.
    • Social Business vs Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Unequal growth, negative change and impact from profit.
    • Bottled Water: A bad business solution to a social problem.
    • Fast Food: A killer solution to a basic need.
    • Mobile Technologies: Unprecedented sequestration of household and family budgets.
  • Profit and Wealth Distribution by Design.

III. Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship.

Social or not, all startups are competitive business endeavors whose success depends on offering a product or service of interest to the market and their ability to adapt to changing market conditions. This course provides a practical introduction to the world of entrepreneurship through a down-to-earth review of concepts, common practices and expectations in today's dynamic startup and innovation ecosystems. 

  • The Agile Entrepreneur.
    • Windows of Opportunity.
    • Rapid Prototyping, Validation, Piloting, Iteration.
    • Pivoting.
  • Funding.
    • Bootstrapping, Seed Funding, Angels, Investors and Exit Strategies.
  • Unicorns are rare, failure is common, but success is not an exception.
  • Why some Startups Succeed and others Fail?
    • It's not the best idea, product or service that survives.
    • Team, Execution and 20 other drivers of success and failure.
  • The Silicon Valley Hype: Failure and Venture Capital.
    • Fail Fast and Forward.
    • Exit Strategies.
  • Alternatives for Startup survival and long term success.
    • Bootstrapping.
    • Organic Growth.
    • Crowdfunding.

IV. Emerging and Expanding Business and Market Opportunities within our Reach.

An entrepreneur is someone who takes a problem, a challenge, a pain and transforms it into a business opportunity by creating a profitable business solution for it. In many cases, a startup is nothing but an innovative response to a pain experienced and understood by the entrepreneur. But with today's fast changing markets, social spaces and rapidly evolving technologies, there are plenty of new opportunities and expanding areas with room for new and innovative business ideas and solutions. Moreover, a multidisciplinary team can bring a fresh approach to unsolved problems by addressing them from the intersection of disciplines or from the fringe of conventional approaches and outside established paradigms. Here we discuss how to finding business opportunities around us and go on a detailed walk through current expanding and disruptive markets with real examples and models in each of them.

  • Identifying and Discarding Business Opportunities.
    • Pain and Opportunities.
  • Disruptive Innovation and Progressive Innovation.
  • Everyday Opportunities Around Us.
    • The Good Middle Man and the Middle Machine.
    • First and Last Mile.
    • Hyperlocal Markets.
    • E-commerce.
  • The Bottom of the Pyramid as a Market
    • C. K. Prahalad's: The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
    • Stanford University's Design for Extreme Affordability.
    • Bottom of the Pyramid and Maslow's Pyramid.
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Emerging and Expanding Markets and Business Opportunities within our reach.
    • Social Processes.
      • The Sharing Economy.
      • Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding.
      • Digital Retailing.
    • Hardware.
      • Internet of Things, Do It Yourself (DIY), 3d Printing, Smart Devices, Wearable Devices, Sensing Devices, Robotics, Home Automation (Domotics).
    • The Environment.
      • Recycling and Upcycling.
      • Energy Efficiency.
      • Clean and Sustainable Energy.
      • Waste Management.
      • Environmentally Friendly, Sustainable and Organic Products.
      • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery.
    • Lifestyle, Health and Food.
      • Healthy Habits.
      • Healthy, Sustainable and Organic Food.
      • Dieting.
      • Health Insurance Coverage.
      • Telemedicine.
      • Medical Records.
      • Digital Devices and Sensors.
      • Sports tracking and performance.
      • Personal habits and life coaches.
    • Education.
      • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), Microdegrees, Tutoring, Blended Learning, Child and Youth Tools.
    • Information Technologies
      • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Machine Vision.
      • Web and Software Development.
      • Cloud Computing.
      • Digital Security and Business Continuity.
      • Mobile Apps and Content.
    • Digital Media and Transmedia.

V. Social Entrepreneurship Models.

The thought of creating a business as a solution to a social problem may be counterintuitive to some, in particular as a result of the condescending approach that povery and social challenges should be addressed by charity and public action. But approaching social challenges with a business perspective combined with ethical, social, participatory and governance perspectives, can deliver solutions that are not only more effective and efficient, but also more flexible, sustainable and with growth potential and long term social impact. Here we explore the many ways a business approach can be used to address social challenges and their operational and legal aspects and implications.

  • Business Solutions to Social Challenges.
  • Social Impact from Business.
  • The Wide Spectrum of Social Impact from Business.
    • Pure Businesses, Ethical Businesses, Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Businesses, Cooperatives, Non-Profit Organizations.
  • Business Models for Non-Profit Organizations.
  • Hybrid Models and Incorporation Structures.

VI. Challenges of Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurship remains a new discipline and business practice, with plenty of room for innovation, lessons to be learned and ecosystems to adapt to it. Social entrepreneurs must compete at a certain level of disadvantage both for market share and for funding with non-profits who don't need to make a profit and with for-profit businesses which don't necessarily worry about social impact. Inadequacy of a proper legal and regulations framework, misunderstanding from the public, misconceptions on the relationships of profit and social good... all that and more require the social entrepreneur to be more than a business person, but also an evangelist, advocate, educator and social innovator. And, on top of all that, there are no guarantees for success, which can make promoting social entrepreneurship a risky path for vulnerable populations and individuals without a social or financial safety net.

  • Regulations.
  • Confusion and Awareness.
  • Unfair Competition from Conventional Business and Non-Profits.
  • Pressure or Expectations from Exit Strategies.
  • Can all Problems be Solved by Profit?
    • The Role of Values and Ethics.
    • Can we put a Price on Everything? Maybe...
  • Risks and Lack of Safety Nets in Emerging Markets and Underprivileged Ecosystems.

VII. An Illustrated History of Social Innovation, Intervention and Startup Failures.

What can we learn from some classic, unexpected, unknown and dramatic stories of failures in social interventions? We explore a carefully curated selection of failures by some of the most successful innovators and some not so successful, the reasons for their failure, the lessons learned and the path forward from them. This includes products that became features, companies that failed to evolve, companies evolving progressively displaced by disruptive innovation, enabling and complementary technology becoming available, the driving force of consumer demand (and government contracting), paradigm shifts and creation, as well as a wide range of lessons to learn from real stories. We will discuss 6 cases, but more than 10 cases are provided for review and exploration.

  • Classic Cases of Failed Social Entrepreneurship and Investment.
    • Office du Niger
    • Lesotho Highlands Water Project
    • Lake Turkana fish processing plant, Kenya
  • Emprendimientos Sociales Tecnológicos Fallidos Recientes.
    • Shorebank.
    • Aravind partner hospitals program.
    • Playpump.
    • SuperMighty.
    • Zoosa.

VIII. Creating Social Business Models and Plans.

Every social business starts with an idea, but it's a long journey from idea to concept to execution and actual operation. A social business plan allows us to visualize not only the future of our social business but the path to getting there, while identifying the perils we will encounter and the multiple choices to be made along the way. Plans change, adapt, often are left behind, but they provide an effective way to start a social business with sound goals, proper considerations, assessments and expectations, prepared for the unexpected while the wonderful journey of social entrepreneurship takes us to places we couldn't predict or dream of. In this course, you learn how to create a professional social business plan from scratch customized for your project that will serve as the foundation of a validated strategy and as an effective communication and fundraising tool.

  • The importance of a Social Business Model, Strategy and Plan.
  • The divide between Social Business Plan and Social Business execution.
  • Formulation of Social Business Models and Social Startups.​​​​
  • Completing the Social Startup Team and its importance.
  • Competitors: Every idea, every social startup, every social business has them.
  • Defining Our Competitive Advantage.
  • Dangers: Limitations, weaknesses and potential complications.
  • The importance of Focused Solutions: No social business does everything, not even the big ones.
  • Roadmap.
    • Phases and Stages, Milestones and Goals.
    • Go to Market Strategy.
    • Growth Strategy.
  • Elements of an Effective Social Business Plan.

IX. Agile & Lean Tools, Techniques and Methodologies.

On today's fast changing and competitive global economies, with low entry barriers and democratic access to tools for turning ideas into product and services, windows of opportunity for entering markets come with accelerated expiration dates and markets get crowded fast. To compete and be successful, social entrepreneurs in the 21st century make use of effective and popular models and techniques for creating their startups, validating their products and services, bringing their ideas to market and adapting their social business models and offerings. In this course we learn how to effectively use, complete and apply professional and dynamic tools for creating social business plans, models and strategies. Participants create their own models and plans based on real life examples and using customizable templates that they can fill and edit freely.

  • Social Business Model Canvas.
  • Value Proposition Canvas.
  • Lean Social Startup Methodology.
    • Minimum Viable Product.
    • Early and Continuous Validation.
      • Idea, Product/Service, Customer Validation.
      • Interviews.
        • Liking Idea vs Buying Product or Service.
    • Continuous Innovation and Iterative Development.
      • Actionable Metrics.
      • Build - Measure - Learn.
    • Split Testing: A/B.
    • Pivoting.
    • Innovation Accounting.
    • Lean Social Startup Canvas.
    • The Validation Board.
  • Before Lean, Observation, Test and Adaption existed.
    • Shewhart-Deming's PDSA Cycle: Plan, Do, Study, Act, Repeat.
    • Iterative Scientific Method: Observation, Question, Hypothesis, Test, Analysys, Repeat.
  • That which cannot be measured.
    • Managing the unknown and the unmeasurable.
    • Deming's position on the dangers of focusing management on measurable and visible figures.
  • Kanban workflow and boards.

X. Measuring Social Impact.

It is often said that one must measure something in order to improve it or manage it. And while some things are not that easy to measure, measuring is key to the life of the social entrepreneur as it allows learning, adapting, improving and succeeding. Given the complexity of the impact of social interventions, Social Entrepreneurs in particular must constantly measure their social impact to validate assumptions and make sure that we're advancing towards the long terms goals and not generating unexpected negative impact. Here, we discuss the what, how and why of measuring social impact and tools available for measuring it.

  • Financial Value of Social Impact.
  • Non-Financial Value of Social Impact.
  • Can all Social Impact be Measured?
  • Importance of Measuring Social Impact.
    • Improving Efficiency of Operations.
      • Discovering weaknesses.
      • Identifying strengths and opportunities to take advantage of.
      • Early detection of problems.
    • Adapting and Pivoting Products and Services.
      • Monitoring market and consumers response.
      • Identifying opportunities and trends.
      • Adapting our offer to consumers response and market opportunities.
    • Monitor advance towards goals.
      • Keep track of progress towards short term goals.
      • Keep track of progress towards long term impact goals.
      • Adapt accordingly.
    • Facilitate Input and Advice.
      • Provide tools to mentors, advisors and analysts to understand our operations and deliver fact-based advice on improving them.
    • Governance.
      • Transparency.
      • Monitor relationship, impact and response from stakeholders, beneficiaries and partners.
      • Accountability to Shareholders and Stakeholders.
  • The Multiplying Factor of Social Impact.
    • Over time: Short, Mid and Long Term.
    • Across sectors.
    • Over multiple stakeholders: beneficiaries and others.
  • Choosing, Finding and Defining Indicators.
  • Calculating and Presenting Social Impact Indicators.
  • Governance of Measurement.
    • Participatory Measurement.
    • Validation of Measurement.
    • Frameworks and Tools.
      • Nesta Standards of Evidence.
      • Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment.
      • CASS Business School Success Social Investment Guide.
      • NPC's The Little Blue Book and Charity Analysis Framework.
      • IssueLab Results.
      • Outcomes Star.

    XI. Construction of Dynamic Financial Social Business Models and Scenarios.

    A hands-on, practical explanation of financial and business models with practical examples, editable templates and step by step instructions for the creation of your own dynamic and interactive spreadsheets and financial model.

    • Estimating costs, revenue, profits.
    • Estimating required investment.
    • Cash flow.
    • Breaking Even.
    • Double Bottom Line and Triple Bottom Line.
    • Social Return on Investment.
    • Designing, Defining and Exploring Multiple Scenarios.

    XII. Fundraising and Investment.

    Social Businesses require capital to operate. We explore and compare the multiple sources available for launching, operating and expanding at the different stages of a social startup.

    • Initial Funding:
      • Bootstrapping, Grants and Seed Funding.
      • Crowdfunding.
    • Angel Investors and Venture Capital.
    • Equity Participation.
    • Business Valuation.
    • Term Sheets.

    Photo by Mitch Rosen on Unsplash