SENSES - e-learning course for inspiring social enterprises in the Danube region

SENSES - e-learning course for inspiring social enterprises in the Danube region


Why is SENSES Course is special?

This days there are several e-learning courses dedicated to social entrepreneurs. SENSES project, however, based on our research conducted to investigate the existing skills and knowledge gaps of social entrepreneurs, and the content of the course is a response to the real needs of the target groups.

The modular structure of the e-learning material focuses on the most relevant topics the social entrepreneurs identified as important learning area for them. The modules go more deeply in each area, as the other e-learning materials, so the trainee can acquire detailed knowledge. Still, the content has a very practical focus. Last, but not least, the training modules have been developed under the SENSES partnership, containing the contribution, experience of the best experts all 8 countries.

The aim of the course is to provide:
  1. the trainees a general overview about social entrepreneurship as an opportunity to achieve social goals by professional business practices,
  2. practical knowledge's on how to start and run social enterprises successfully and in a sustainable way
  3. practical tools which enable trainees to
    • develop a sustainable social business concept,
    • use general marketing practices
    • develop/improve their techniques on sales, pipeline management
    • acquire the necessary theoretical management knowledge to be able to plan the strategy and the successful operation of the social enterprise
    • use all the necessary methodology of performance management to be able to track and improve the effectiveness in the different areas of the SE
    • understand the basic financial terminologies of a business and use them for a successful financial management
    • understand and utilize necessary tools for ensuring long term financial sustainability including the involvement of investment, grants.
  4. improve the social entrepreneurial skills and competences of the trainees so as they will be able to evaluate business opportunities to target social goals in their communities,
  5. to provide tools for the trainees to be able to identify, evaluate and minimalize the risks of setting up and running a SE
  6. develop the necessary skills, competences of the trainees to be able to successfully employ the representatives of different vulnerable groups
  7. provide information, practical tools to the participants so as they will have the capability to evaluate and use the advantages of the different components of the ecosystem for the long term success of their SE.
The list relates to the whole modular course. In the case the trainee enrolls only in selected modules, the aims are listed at the introduction parts of the modules.

Target group of the course

  • Managers of social enterprises who would like to improve their performance in general
  • managers, employees of social enterprises who would like to acquire knowledge, to improve their skills and competences related to specific areas of operating a SE
  • people with social entrepreneurship ideas, who would like to evaluate their ideas, and to go forward to start the business
  • micro and small business owners who feel that their mission and commitment makes them different from other SME-s, and they would like to know more about social entrepreneurship and incorporate it into their business activity
  • mayors, municipality staff members who would like to solve local problems by the help of social entrepreneurship
  • NGO representatives who would like to serve their target groups on the long run and plan start a SE to be able to solve the problems of long-term sustainability of their organization
  • policy makers and interest group representatives who would like to be more active players of the social business ecosystem.

Who do we offer the e-learning and off-line courses?

Those who
  • have an idea to set up an enterprise with social values and impact on the local community, but do not know how to start it
  • have already drafted a business plan but would like to develop it further?
  • would like to improve his/her entrepreneurial skills in general
  • are not only value-focused entrepreneurs, but need more targeted education on generating social impact?
  • would like to increase the market share of the enterprise or shift from local market to regional, national or even international market
  • would like to establish market relationships with multinational companies, but find it hard to reach them?
  • would like to learn about financial tools for long term sustainability.

Of course on-line course is valuable for those who would like to learn, but cannot afford the time to attend on the lessons in the classroom.

Eligibility criteria to join to the course

Generally there are no strict entrance criteria, neither expected former specific knowledge, however the following conditions can be helpful to participate on the course
  • any kind of secondary school education as a minimum level
  • interest, openness toward social problems
  • readiness to share former experiences on relevant areas
  • readiness to provide feedback about the program
  • readiness to allocate the necessary time for the participation.
The program is accessible and we provide assistance for any kind of disability of the trainee

The competences and knowledge expected to be acquired at the end of the course

  • by the end of the course the trainees will
  • have a wide knowledge and understanding about social entrepreneurship,
  • develop a sensitivity toward social problems and will be able to identify them in their communities and to identify relevant answers to them in the form of social entrepreneurship
  • develop a general business approach for solving social problems
  • be able to evaluate their own resources, risks, and choose between possible social business ideas
  • build a competence to develop and maintain a viable business model
  • be able to develop their business plans, preparing for exploiting new forms of financing as well as exhibiting new markets
  • understand the importance of identifying, tracking, and evaluating social impact and they are able to incorporate these knowledge into their activities related to SE management
  • acquire basic financial skills, will be able to prepare their own financial plan and they will be able to maintain a steady financial management methodology
  • be able to identify their specific problems, weaknesses related to the SE and seek help when it is necessary
  • be able to communicate, negotiate with possible other business partners and build a strong and supportive network with other SE-s and businesses.
The list relates to the whole modular course. In the case the trainee enrolls only in selected modules, the acquired knowledge and skills are listed at the introduction parts of the modules.

Content and methodology of the on-line course

The following topics are available in modular form:
  • Introduction - Social entrepreneurship in a nutshell
  • Module 1:  Development of the social enterprise idea by the help of the Social Business Model Canvas - How to be innnovative - Design Thinking for Social Enterprises: 
  • Module 2: Effective marketing tools for social enterprises, with specific focus on on-line marketing
  • Module 3: Sales and pipeline management, with specific focus on how to enter to new markets
  • Module 4: Challenges in the management of a social enterprise, with specific focus on social impact measurement
  • Module 5: How to ensure long-term financial sustainability?
  • Module 6: Intellectual property and innovation management

Each module contains presentations, expert videos, best practices. The materials are in English, the presentations are available on national languages in Power Point Presentation form.

Trainers, tutors of the courses

Each SENSES project partner have selected the most experienced trainers for the off-line courses.
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