Many social enterprises are becoming more commercial, adopting the techniques, funding or governance more usually associated with for-profit ventures. Social enterprises present themselves as hybrid organisations that try to combine these market and development dimensions.
About the course
In this online course, social enterprise and microfinance experts from Université libre de Bruxelles and their guests will shed new light on this trend. They will ask how commercialisation affects the management and operations of social enterprises, and which avenues could or should be used to avoid mission drift.
During the course, you will cover the following topics:
Why social entrepreneurs innovate: the motivations behind starting a social enterprise, new data related to inequality and happiness, the link between financial exclusion and poverty and how social innovation has tried to tackle these problems.
Microfinance practices: the basics of microfinance, covering its historical roots and evolution, and the current provision of financial and non-financial services.
When a not-for-profit becomes a for-profit organisation: how institutions evolve beyond the not-for-profit structure, case studies exploring the impact, both internally and externally, of such a transition and the concept of mission drift.
Sources of financing, mission drift and zoom out: how different sources of financing impact the social mission of microfinance institutions, the different strategies and practices to avoid mission drift in social enterprises, what is specific to the commercialisation of microfinance and what is common to all social enterprises.
What you will learn
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Describe the context in which social innovations (such as microfinance) emerge by relying on empirical data regarding poverty and financial exclusion.
- Explain the evolution and main features of the microfinance sector regarding products and services as well as organisational structure.
- Describe what happens when a non-profit organisation becomes a regulated for-profit company.
- Identify the practical implications of the transformation from a non-profit organisation to a for-profit company.
- Identify the managerial implications related to the shift of the business model or to commercial sources of financing.
- Discuss the managerial implications related to the shift of the business model or to commercial sources of financing.
- Produce different strategies and practices in order to avoid mission drift in social enterprises.
- Identify what is specific to the commercialisation of microfinance and what is common to all social enterprises.
This course is designed for students and practitioners in social enterprises or microfinance, and more generally everyone who wants to know more about social enterprises and microfinance.
About the instructor
Marek Hudon is a Professor at the Solvay Brussels School (SBS-EM), Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is the founder of the European Microfinance Programme (EMP) and the co-director of CERMi and CEESE.
Starting date: 4 September 2017
Duration: 5 weeks, 3 hours per week
Instructors: Marek Hudon
Institution: The Université Libre de Bruxelles