The Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) provides short, on-demand eLearning on a variety of topics that address planning and operational needs of new and mature social enterprises alike. This includes aspects of planning, marketing, pricing, operation and more. Courses have clear learning objectives which are developed through practical activities, and each course is a great gateways for learning with clear direction on where to learn more. Five measurement courses, developed by Bryn Sadownik, have now been added to the Institute's website.
Measuring Business Performance
The starting point for every social enterprise in measurement is usually the financials: to set up an accounting system to track money in and money out. But extending measurement beyond this to include other aspects of business performance and organizational sustainability, can help you to uncover the ingredients of your success, how to better manage for future, and how to balance business success with your social impact. Through a number of activities, this course will help you to identify a set of indicators that you could apply in your social enterprise to do this and that relate specifically to sales and marketing, human resources, as well as to other aspects of your operations and to organizational sustainability.
Among competing management and planning priorities, it is not always easy to make time for improving systems to measure and communicate the success of the social enterprise. Yet having good measurement in place that relates to both your business performance and your impact can support sound operational decision making, long term planning, and enable you to tell your story effectively with evidence. Through the use of real-world examples and activities, this course covers the basic of determining what to collect, how to collect and how to use the information effectively.
Measuring Environmental Impact
Through new products, services and ways of doing business, social enterprises are reducing negative environmental impacts and helping to create a more sustainable economy. Measuring and understanding this impact can inform good operational and strategic decisions and demonstrate the value of these new business models. Through a number of activities, this course will help you to clearly articulate and measure your impact, and guide you to indicators and tools already exist that can help you not start from scratch.
Better Data Management
Data collection and management is an integral part of managing operations, whether it is in a business, non-profit or social enterprise. Working out how to do this effectively and efficiently, can ensure that you have the information on hand, when you need it, without headaches. This course focuses on how to improve data collection processes that you already have in place as well as how to critically evaluate and buy new systems, including calculating a return on investment. Through the use of examples and activities, you will be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses your current data processes and pinpoint ways that you can improve them.
Measuring Social Impact
For social enterprises that have social justice or social inclusion mandates, it can be challenging to track your social impact in terms of how individual people’s lives are transformed. Many indicators and tools already exist that can help you not start from scratch. This course looks in some detail at those indicators and tools. Through a number of activities, you will be directed to what indicators and tools are most useful to your situation. It is particularly relevant to social enterprises that provide employment and economic opportunities to people who may be marginalized in society, or for example, provide products or services to an underserved community.