Building Social Enterprises

Learning about the key concepts and regulations that shape social enterprises, as well as enable them to systematically plan for the establishment of a social enterprise.

In the last few decades, the term social enterprise’ has become popular in academic circles, among social sector organisations, development practitioners, and in the policy- making spheres. Social enterprises are designed to address social and ecological issues either as for-profit or non-profit entities. The non-profit models work towards resolving an identified set of issues through collective action and innovation. Social enterprises, while formed as privately-owned / small-group-led for-profit entities, emphasize a fairer distribution of surplus across the entire value chain. The for-profit models in the form of cooperatives and producer companies help the disadvantaged population to engage with the market from a position of collective strength and gain better prices for their produce.

The strength of social enterprises in producing social good is well known. In recent times
they are also creating effective models to address various ecological issues ranging from
solid waste management to safe drinking water to sustainable agriculture. They adopt a
hybrid approach of producing social good while also creating an economic value, which
in turn leads to sustainable and measurable impacts.

Given that one of our key programme objectives is to nurture thoughtful development practitioners, it is appropriate to offer an elective on building social enterprises to postgraduate students. The course also touches upon the basics of the social audit process to ensure that the students are aware of ways and means to measure social impacts as well.

The course will be offered in the third semester. Being a practical-oriented course, this
prepares the students to contribute to the social change process by improving their skills
in designing and running social enterprises. It also propels the actualisation of a possible-
alternative future for collective action and social innovation through sustainable financial