University of Florida Innovative Sustainability & Social Impact Initiative is launching a distance learning course on social entrepreneurship, ENT4934 "Venture Planning for Social Entrepreneurs," endorsed by and created in partnership with Ashoka Youth Venture, through which students interested in answering this call can earn two credits from UF, which are transferable to other colleges and universities.
This course is built around practical exercises that lead up to the creation or improvement of an action plan from which you can launch and scale your own social venture. This is an opportunity to bolster your knowledge, build your network, and increase your impact. The course is available online 24/7 to fit around your schedule.
This course is an experiential process for guiding you students towards launching a Venture that addresses an social, environmental, or economic problem you want to solve. This course is constructed to facilitate a process of inquisitive dialogue - one that is driven and shaped by the opinions, ideas, passions, and contributions of its participants. It is through dialogue, creativity, and engagement - as individuals, in small groups, and a class altogether- that we encourage you to learn, explore, develop and prepare to launch your our own Ventures.
Within all of the tools and activities contained within this course lies an essential clarity of purpose – to support and guide you as you prepare and then launch a Venture. With this intentionality, we developed activities that are sequenced to complement and build on each other, eliciting increasingly complex and nuanced modes of thinking and analysis. As you engage in this process you will be encouraged to think about and reflect on who you are, and on your relationships with others; to listen to the perspectives of your peers, and to understand the value of engaging with individuals who may hold different or competing opinions; to think creatively; to problem-solve; and to work together to construct and then answer your own questions.
In doing so you will be able to:
• Understand what is - balancing positive and negative attributes of the world in which you live
• Imagine what could be - understanding and identifying with the change you will initiate
• Create what will be - translating what you want to see into what you will do.
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Seed capital support through a revolving fund will be distributed in the form of cash or social products loans, depending on team preferences and action plan alignment. By affording the teams an opportunity to tap into start-up capital and support initially with the stipulation that they repay the loan when their venture has gotten off the ground, we are hoping to help teams think more intentionally about sustainability and take seriously their social business models – an exercise that both appeals to venturers’ sophistication and brings better quality into Youth Venture's cohort of teams.