Business Strategies for Social Impact
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
When is it good business practice to invest for social good? What are the most innovative and effective business strategies for developing positive social impact around the world? Designed by renowned Wharton professors Katherine Klein and Chris Geczy to help individuals, organizations, and investors bring about societal change, this course introduces the fundamentals of impact investing, and developing a business strategy that drives social impact. You’ll learn how to become a leader who cultivates purpose and inspires change, measure societal impact through evidence-based models, and invest in ventures effectively and meaningfully. By the end of this course, you’ll have a deep understanding of the realities of leading an organization with purpose, and be able to build successful strategies that bring impactful change to the world.
- Module 1: Purpose-Driven Leadership
- In this module, you’ll learn how to define your purpose and develop a plan to cultivate purpose for your organization. You’ll gain a deep understanding of the critical importance of purpose-driven leadership in a successful organization and why businesses can and should pursue a larger social or environmental purpose. You'll also analyze the five models of social purpose, from generous contributors to impact investors. Through close examination of case studies such as Daily Table and TOMS shoes, you’ll learn how to test your assumptions and find the winning situation for your investors, employees, and customers. By the end of this module, you’ll have a more clearly defined understanding of the purpose your organization wants to pursue and how to prepare for successful implementation.
- Module 2: How Business Drives Social Impact
- What is the relationship between impact and financial performance? Does it pay for a company to drive impact? In this module, you'll learn various methods businesses use to create social and environmental impact. You’ll identify the different components of impact measurement: valence, focus, depth, breadth, and cost-effectiveness. With Nick Ashburn, Senior Director of Impact Investing of Wharton Social Impact, you’ll discuss real-life examples such as Starbucks, Campbell’s Soup, and Warby Parker, and the impactful decisions they made in employment, operations, and investment. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to refine the method in which your business can reduce environmental challenges and/or ensure fair and equal opportunity, and create a plan for your company to drive both impact and financial performance.
- Module 3: Impact Measurement
- In this module, you’ll examine the criteria and standards of evidence developed to measure the true social impact of your organization. You’ll identify the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Environmental Social and Governance Criteria (ESG) to be able to better answer the question “What is the Impact of X?” By examining the Nesta Foundation Framework and its standard of evidence, you’ll explore the different levels of rigor for each logic model using real-life examples and learn to accurately assess your organization’s inputs, outputs, and impact. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to calculate the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of your enterprise and be able to strategize an effective plan for your business.
- Module 4: Impact Investing
- This module was designed to introduce you to the basics of impact investing. By analyzing global trends on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), classic models of impact investment such as microfinance, and actual research data, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the current models of impact investment and which model would work best for your organization. Through exploring other benefit corporations and the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, you’ll discover how NGOs, government, and shareholders and their roles in impactful investments. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to gauge the risk and rewards behind impactful investments, and be able to navigate these issues effectively while exerting sustainable and meaningful impact.