January 2018 marked the launch of our first incubator-style social enterprise development intensive workshop. This four day session brought together coaches and social enterprises to co-create a plan of action that will help the social enterprise launch, grow or stabilize their venture.
The first day of the intensive workshop was reserved for coaches only, where there was a review of social enterprise developer competencies, coaching, process skills, adult learning, and the general flow of the upcoming three days.
The next three days were based on a four step process that includes tools that bring together best practices in business development and social impact work:
- Developing a social impact framework
- Social enterprise business model canvas
- Gap analysis – identifying key development gaps between their current situation and their desired future state, as outlined in their success equation and business model canvas
- Development plan – an annotated Gantt chart that identifies what they will need to do, when and with which resources. (This plan will integrate lean startup methodology.)
At the completion of the four days, the enterprises and their ‘matched’ coaches were ready to take action and continue on the development journey together.
This pilot program includes up to 48 hours of coaching for each enterprise over the course of the year with the same coach that they co-created their plan with. Curriculum from the Social Enterprise Institute, an online learning platform, will be used as one of the goals of the program is to build capacity in the organizations to successfully manage their own social enterprises.
This development programming offered by Social Enterprise Manitoba is in response to our belief that capacity building is a cornerstone of community economic development, of which social enterprise is a valuable tool. The original model we used for social enterprise development relied more on consultants to provide business plans or feasibility studies to organizations wishing to grow social enterprises. This model was effective, but did not build the capacity needed for organizational sustainability, nor did it provide ongoing implementation and trouble-shooting support.
By moving to a coaching / incubator-style process we believe that we will increase engagement at the early stage, increase capacity within the organization and specifically in those tasked with operating the social enterprise, and thus create more sustainable models that can more easily adapt to changing circumstance.
We’re very excited, so stay tuned for further updates. We also anticipate offering a second round of this intensive workshop this fall, so please get in touch if you would like to be put on the waitlist.
And here is a great read about using a break-even analysis to inform pricing decisions.
Social Enterprise Program Manager