fbpx Social Entrepreneurship/Social Enterprises 101: How to Go from Start-Up to End Up | Harvard Kennedy School
Jim Bildner Photo

Jim Bildner

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy


Kiva, One Acre Fund, Sanergy, Sirum, Muso, Kinvolved, Report for America, and Education Superhighway all have achieved enormous impact in the world and all started out as early stage social enterprises led by a visionary. MLD-836M is a foundational and integrative course that is intended to introduce students to the core skills they need to master in order to move from start-up to scale and achieve impact in the world. The course focuses on four basic skills necessary to lead or operate a sustainable social enterprise: 1) developing a problem-centric approach to analyzing societal problems; 2) creating the right type of organization that can address these challenges including organizational design, human resources and developing relevant strategic public/private partnerships; 3) identifying relevant sources of funding for these kinds of organizations and  how to use financial data to operate and manage these organizations;  and 4) how to measure and evaluate impact in order to achieve long term sustainability and scale. A critical component of the course will be a set of closely related co-curricular and curricular panels featuring leaders in the sector who can provide real time context and relevancy and speak first hand to the challenges they faced as they mastered each of these four critical skills.

The course meets the requirements for eligibility for students to qualify for a number of HBS and university social enterprise challenges.