Social Entrepreneurship: Introduction to Concepts and Methods

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Entrepreneurial perspectives & methods are commonly associated with market-based values and profit seeking. While typically deployed simultaneously, the association between entrepreneurship & market-based values is not required. In fact, as a method the tools of entrepreneurship can advance any organization's or community's values. That neutrality is possible as entrepreneurship is a discipline that specializes in reducing uncertainty for how to take action. It addresses the essential question of: what is to be done? From an implementation perspective, social service settings contain a tremendous degree of uncertainty. Leaders and social workers engage this uncertainty in their daily work. They encounter uncertainty as: populations' needs change, as local/national trends manifest in their communities, and as the people they serve move through their life course and evolve their identities. What is to be done in such a dynamic setting? How should theory be applied? What should we focus on first? How can we gain confidence that we're translating what we know into meaningful impact? This course will introduce the foundational concepts, perspectives, and skills of entrepreneurial methods into a social service setting. We will critique and contextualize those methods and ultimately decouple them from market-based values. Ultimately, we'll explore how to integrate those methods into the operational contexts of social services - from the perspective of both org mgmt & program design.

Courses are subject to change at any time. Please check mySSA for the quarters, days, and times that courses will be held, as well as room numbers.