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Online Workshop Part 2 - Social Entrepreneurship Basics

Workshop on Social Entrepreneurship basics
Saturday, May 16, 2020, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Are you interested in applying entrepreneurial approaches to social problems? If the answer is yes, this might just be the workshop for you. “Social Entrepreneurship Basics” is a two part online workshop intended for students and young professionals who care about a social problem and want to explore whether launching a business might be a way to tackle it. Human RightS Initiative (HRSI) welcomes individuals and organisations with or without a business idea and staff/members of civil society organisations who would like to learn about earned income models. You don’t need to have prior social enterprise experience, just bring your interest, ideas and questions.

Objectives of the workshop

The workshop will walk you through the basic concepts and characteristics of social enterprise and equip you with a few processes and tools to enable you to start planning your own business. It is designed as a practice-oriented interactive workshop, which will transfer knowledge as well as engage participants in creating their own plans. We will

  • explain the social enterprise model
  • generate social enterprise ideas relevant for your social cause
  • introduce processes of assessing the social and financial potential of enterprise ideas
  • introduce an impact focused business planning framework
  • explore the advantages and challenges that social enterprises face in the marketplace
  • discuss entrepreneurial approaches as possible strategies of financial sustainability
  • offer examples and case studies to illustrate successes and failures

This is NOT a workshop about general overall organisational sustainability or fundraising, although we will place earned income models and entrepreneurial activities in the context of organisational sustainability.

Learning outcomes of the workshop

As a result of the workshop you will be able to

  • define social enterprise and its articulate its relevance for your situation
  • generate social enterprise ideas
  • assess the social and financial potential of your enterprise idea(s)
  • place your enterprise model in your overall organisational sustainability
  • understand and apply impact focused business planning frameworks and lean start-up processes to your enterprise ideas
  • create an action plan for next steps

Description of the workshop

The workshop will be composed of two 3.5-hour morning webinars, which will take place in the virtual space. It will be a mix of presentations, breakout group work, discussions and Q&A sessions. We plan to invite social enterprise practitioners who can share their experience and answer questions from participants.

Between the two sessions participants will be asked to do some reading and work on a homework assignment individually or in pairs.

We will use the following methods and frameworks:

  • NESsT methodology for generating and assessing social enterprise ideas
  • Business Model Canvas and Social Canvas
  • Minimum Viable Product concept
  • Lean startup process

This workshop is free. Please note that in case we have more applicants than places available, we will select participants based on the application forms.

Only selected participants will be provided the online link.
This event can be attended only via Zoom (you will receive a link after you register).

Application Process
Applicants should fill in the Online Application Form before the deadline 1 May 2020.

Find application form here.

Workshop Details- You will need to be present for both the days of the workshop. 

Dates: 9 May 2020 and 16 May 2020

Time: 9:00 - 13:00 


About the facilitator

Eva Varga is an independent consultant with expertise in social enterprise development and social finance. She has helped design and run social enterprise development and investment readiness programmes and funds, managed multi-country research teams to explore the social enterprise ecosystems in Europe, provided policy input and designed capacity building tools for social enterprises.

Eva worked at NESsT for over 10 years leading the development and implementation of new strategies for a portfolio of social enterprises, capacity building, financing instruments and social impact management tools in Central Europe and Latin America. Eva has also been a member of various expert groups and over the years acted in an advisory capacity to EVPA, the OECD and the European Commission. She is the author of a number of studies and publications, among them A Recipe Book for Social Finance published by the European Commission in 2016 and 2019.

Eva was a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) for three years. She has a master’s degree in international affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University in the City of New York.

About NESsT

NESsT invests in social enterprises that generate dignified jobs for people most in need. NESsT uses an engaged approach providing tailored financing and one-on-one business development support to social entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

NESsT has been working for 23 years to provide dignified employment to lift people out of poverty in emerging markets. NESsT achieves its mission by raising philanthropic capital to invest in and develop small and growing businesses (SGB) that create employment and viable income opportunities for the poorest communities facing isolation, discrimination, lack of job skills and poor education. To date, NESsT has invited 187 SGBs to enter its portfolio providing them with an average of four years of support and investing more than US$15 million in capacity building and direct funding. Though this investment, NESsT has contributed to creating more than 49,500 dignified employment and sustainable income opportunities.

Learn more about NESsT here