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Accelerate from Anywhere

Are you looking to grow your entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial competencies to create positive impact and prepare for a fast-changing job market? 

As the world looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for the entrepreneurially-minded to step up to address pressing social and environmental challenges, and to develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed.

CSI has teamed up with Alterna Savings to bring you Social Entrepreneurship 101: an 8-week, part-time online program that covers the foundations of social entrepreneurship, from making sure you’ve identified the right problem, to developing a solution, to turning your idea into a sustainable business model. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, invest in your personal and professional growth, and turn your idea into impact, this is the right course for you! 


Develop a network of fellow change-makers through a series of 8 weekly 3-hour sessions. Our highly-engaging sessions meet virtually on Zoom and communicate in our Slack workspace to build a community of practice for our learning journey together. Each session includes activities, tools, case studies, breakout rooms, and cohort-wide discussions. Additionally, this course asks participants to complete 2-4 hours of Action Work outside of our live-sessions to begin putting your ideas into practice. 

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participants reported that SE101 has been more impactful than other entrepreneurship programs they have taken

When and Where

Classes begin September 2021
Online: Zoom Classroom and Slack workspace

What You’ll Learn

Social Entrepreneurship 101 is an 8-week program delivered in two phases:

Phase 1 (Weeks 1-4): Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur. Discover your problem space. Map opportunities for impact.

Together, we’ll begin with some of the big questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I see so many urgent problems to solve. Which should I focus on specifically, and why?
  • There are so many things to do to get started. How do I prioritize?
  • What skills, knowledge, connections, and experience can I leverage to make an impact?
  • How do I move from idea to action?

Phase 2 (Weeks 4-8): Discover stakeholders. Build your business and financial models. Understand how to measure your impact. Explore funding options.

Questions answered during this phase include:

  • I have developed a clear idea of the impact that I want my enterprise to generate. How do I design my business to reach this impact?
  • How can I generate sustainable revenue (and profit) from my social enterprise?
  • What resources am I going to need to start my enterprise?
  • What funding models and options should I explore?

By the end of the 8 weeks, you’ll gain experience, confidence, and practice with core competencies in social entrepreneurship such as critical thinking, systems thinking, active listening, storytelling, decision-making, and business modelling.

What’s Included

In addition to the 8-week Social Entrepreneurship 101 online curriculum, participants will also gain access to online CSI community perks:
  • Invitations to ongoing CSI additional learning online workshops
  • Access to a SE101 community wide #Slack channel
  • Access to valuable tools, guides and worksheets for your future use

Who you’ll meet

You will connect with a cohort of changemakers who are similarly driven and committed to making an impact. SE 101 is open to everyone interested in making the world better through entrepreneurial thinking and approaches.

Social Entrepreneurship 101 was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and based on the learnings from over 10 years of training social enterprises.

If you want to learn the fundamentals of creating a social enterprise, and ensure you make the right decisions and set the right priorities this course is for you!

The program was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and based on the learnings of over a decade of training social enterprises.

You will feel more capable of driving your social enterprise idea forward with increased confidence. Come to connect with your peers and learn the building blocks of creating a viable social enterprise


Together, we’ll help answer some of the questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I see so many problems. Which should I focus on specifically, and why?
  • Do I have the right skills and enough knowledge to do this?
  • How do I move from idea to action?
  • There are so many things to do to get started, how do I prioritize?


  • Topic: What are my motivations for wanting to start a social enterprise?
  • Outcomes: I understand why starting my own social enterprise is a good fit for me.


  • Topic: What problem am I passionate about finding a solution to and why?
  • Outcomes: I have a framework to help me learn more about the ecosystem in which my problem exists.


  • Topic: Why are the current solutions to this problem not working?
  • Outcomes: I have learned techniques to help me connect with those affected by the problem so that I deeply understand what is not working and why.


  • Topic: Identifying opportunities for impact (new solutions)
  • Outcomes: I know (or am closer to knowing) where I can start to focus the efforts of my enterprise and with whom so that I can generate real impact.


Together, we’ll help answer some of the questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I have developed a clear idea of the impact that I want my enterprise to generate, how do I design my enterprise to reach this impact?
  • How can I generate sustainable revenue (and profit) from my social enterprise?
  • How do I move from idea to action, what areas of my enterprise should I focus on building first?
  • What resources am I going to need to start my enterprise?
  • What funding models should I explore?


  • Topic: What is the vision and impact goals for my enterprise and who are its stakeholders?
  • Outcomes: I have a first draft of my enterprise’s compelling vision statement and I know all of the stakeholders that I will need to engage with in order to start testing my ideas.


  • Topic: What is a business model?
  • Outcomes: I can start to get creative in imagining how my enterprise could deliver and generate value in order to achieve impact.


  • Topic: What resources will I need to start my enterprise?
  • Outcomes: I can do a basic financial model to determine what I will need in the short term to get my enterprise off the ground.


  • Topic: How could I get my enterprise funded, what options are available and what should I focus on doing next?
  • Outcomes: I understand some of the funding options available and have a clear idea of what I should focus on next in order to get my enterprise off the ground.

Core Entrepreneurial Competencies You’ll Learn

You will leave this training with some core entrepreneurial competencies that will support you in building an inclusive, meaningful and impact-driven enterprise. These include:

  • Critical thinking (the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment)
  • Systems thinking (understanding the numerous factors that contribute to a problem you are wanting to solve)
  • Decision making (selecting the best course of action that will bring about authentic impact).
  • Listening (giving one’s attention in order to learn new things without bias or judgment)
  • Storytelling (crafting and telling stories to better understand the impact that you want to generate)
  • Business Modelling (how to design an enterprise)

Tools and Guides You’ll Use

Some of the tools and guides we will be using include: Impact Gaps Canvas, Flourishing Business Model Canvas, Research Plan Template, Research Findings Template, Theory of Change, Evaluating Opportunities Worksheet, Enterprise Golden Circle.

We are offering this program at the significantly reduced rate of $100+pay what you can (PWYC)*, discounted from $450. We are also offering five fully-funded scholarships. These scholarships are intended to unlock access, opportunity, and impact for program participants who may face financial constraints to their involvement. All applicants (CSI Members, Non-CSI members, DECAs and PECAs) are eligible to apply. Find details below!
Pricing table for January 2021 Social Entrepreneurship 101 cohort
COVID-19 Considerate Pricing Option 1: $100. Thanks to our sponsor, we’re offering this program at the greatly reduced rate of $100 + Pay What You Can. Regular course price and value at: $450 Option 2: +pwyc. If you are able to pay more than $100, the difference will go towards subsidizing spots for others who may not be able to afford it. Thanks for helping to pay it forward. Option 3: Scholarship. We’re offering five, fully-funded scholarships. Please see details below and apply if you could otherwise not afford to participate.
*Why PWYC? If you are able to pay more for this course than the $100 minimum, your contribution will help others access the program for whom the cost would otherwise be prohibitive. Thanks for helping pay it forward!


In an effort to reduce financial barriers to SE 101 program participation, we are delighted to offer five fully-funded participant scholarships sponsored by Alterna Savings and Credit Union. All applicants (CSI Members, Non-CSI members, DECAs and PECAs) are eligible to apply.  Please note that scholarship recipients are expected to attend all 8 Social Entrepreneurship 101 Sessions (other than in extenuating circumstances). Scholarship recipients are also expected to complete all course surveys and commit to a post program interview for Alterna’s internal reporting use.

Our course curriculum and learning outcomes are available in the Program Overview tab!

Once you complete your Eventbrite registration, we will send you a compilation of ‘Pre-Course Work’ materials that will help you prepare for the 8 weeks of course work to come. Make sure to take the time to complete the work and invest in your journey ahead. Pre-Course Work will include a personal and professional values evaluation, a written reflection of your story of self and entrepreneurial motivations, and pre-course research topics on Social Entrepreneurship.

No, it is not required that you have a clear business idea to participate in SE 101. In fact, many participants use the first 4 weeks of the program to further research and discover the full breadth of their business ideas and potential solutions within the current landscape.

You will need to dedicate on average approximately 3 hours outside of class per week towards completing the work for the following class.

It is important that you show up on-time and ready to engage with the material, facilitator and other participants, having already completed your out of class work.

As a perk to this course, you will receive a complimentary day pass to work from CSI Annex for the remainder of your workday. You’re also invited to connect with CSI members and community at Salad Club on Wednesdays after class. Use this time to get to know your fellow classmates and colleagues and further develop your network.

This 8-week course is dedicated to sharing the tools of how to build a successful social enterprise. Upon completion of SE101, you will have developed working models of your social enterprise that will help you to understand how to structure your business for success!

There is a wonderful amount of research and modelling that must be done prior to completing your first business plan. Once you complete SE 101, you will have the foundational pieces to begin putting together a successful business plan!

The Centre for Social Innovation is a community, catalyst, and launch pad for social entrepreneurship and innovation. Accessing the entrepreneurial experience of facilitators, guest speakers, and the community at large offers a more meaningful opportunity for networking and deeper learning. SE101 also uniquely focuses both on personal and professional development.

You will need a laptop/ computer and access to an internet connection to be able to download and read through weekly materials. It is suggested that you keep a detailed journal to track your weekly progress and enterprise research. Come to class prepared to capture information shared through worksheets and slide shows. Please also bring pen, scratch paper, and post-it notes for your in-class time.

This course offers the most value to entrepreneurs who are in the “Ideation” and “Discovery” phases of their businesses.

Ideation: Entrepreneur with an idea, initial market and technology exploration

Discovery: Value proposition established, testing ideas, proof of concept achieved, identifying customers

This course is extremely useful to individuals wishing to learn more about what it means to be a social entrepreneur. You will learn how to holistically understand the roles and driving motivations of a thriving social enterprise and what it means to generate meaningful entrepreneurial impact.

Many successful social entrepreneurs begin as socially and environmentally aware citizens who are passionate and in search of meaningful solutions to the communities they are a member of or intending to generate solutions for. This is a great opportunity to gain access to incredible tools and learnings towards those outcomes!

Yes, it can be. If you are a part of a company where you want to generate impact for meaningful change, even within your own corporate culture, this is a great place to begin. SE101 gives you the opportunity to develop your storytelling skills, research abilities, and systems thinking approaches to understand and address complex challenges.

Get in touch with the SE 101 course facilitator, Peggy Sue Deaven, at PeggySue[at]​

“Ever wondered how to turn your professional and academic experience, personal values and ideas of social change and impact into action? This course is the place to start! You’ll be inspired and encouraged into action!” – Astrid Arumae – Réseau d’Entraide Covid-19 Help Hub – Montréal, QC

“Amazing course that allows all users to feel supported and comfortable sharing and encourages individual and group learning of self and business. You are thoroughly guided along a well lit path and emerge a stronger and more confident entrepreneur on the other side. Complete with resources and learning tools and a network of like minded business people that become friends.” – Tim O’Hara – Hulpr – Kingston, ON

Social Entrepreneurship 101 has laid the groundwork for ongoing self development in an optimistic and promising realm. It has helped me begin to build the muscle of financial thinking and offered a vocabulary that honors both my values and my needs.” – Siddan Chandra – Kidocracy – Toronto, ON

“My experience in the SE101 course was awesome! I was able not only to learn new things but also to get outside of my comfort zone. This course allowed me to understand how to transform ideas into feasible projects. I would recommend this course to any person that is looking forward to building connections or that is also starting a new project and would like to share their ideas with others. This course was one of my highlights of the year 2020 amids the COVID-19 pandemic! This was an opportunity for me to get outside of Ecuador and learn with an international cohort from my house!” – Mateo Tobar – LAB-XXI – Ecuador

“Social Enterprise 101 is about more than the nuts and bolts of building your social enterprise – don’t be surprised if you find yourself (pleasantly) challenged to do a lot of looking inside yourself, understanding your story and seeing how that is a major lever to achieving your dreams.” – Lee Weiler – Edmonton, AB

“Social entrepreneurs are going to be essential to help author a new social contract and reset the economy. If you’re looking to make your mark on the universe, using business as a tool, SE 101 is a great place to start.” – Michael Szego – Third Party – Toronto, ON

“As SE 101’s instructor, Peggy’s consistent energy during weekly classes and proactive effort to keep attendees engaged was commendable! In terms of various topics covered, I felt that storytelling exercises sprinkled through the 8 weeks was a solid way to help build/hone this critical business skill. Other than that, my favorite course topics based on coverage and discussions were – Desk Research, Discovery Interviews, Gaps Canvas, Enterprise Golden Circle, FBCanvas, Business Models, and Financial Models. Behind-the-scenes, Peggy was always available to address queries, offer follow-up discussions and reviews, and go above and beyond my making introductions to other entrepreneurs (or aspiring ones) in the same ecosystem and creating a Slack channel specifically for the ecosystem I plan to be in. Keep up the good work!” – Vishal Asthana – Toronto, ON (CSI DECA)

“SE101 strikes a thoughtful balance between the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of social entrepreneurship. The deep knowledge of the facilitator and the thoughtful support and engagement with the other participants was invaluable. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in social entrepreneurship.” – Ashley Goff – Raising Giants – Edmonton, AB

“I started with a vague idea and throughout the SE101 course, it got more focussed and clear. I don’t know whether I’ll see my idea grow into a real social enterprise or a charity, but I’m committed to it becoming SOMETHING. It made me aware of opportunities for connection and collaboration with others that I probably wouldn’t have noticed. It gave me the confidence to talk about my idea in a short and snappy elevator pitch, and articulate a connection to my deepest values. I felt honoured to be with so many passionate, dedicated and visionary people developing their own ideas to make the world a better place.” – Edelweiss D’Andrea – Occupational Therapist – Ottawa, ON

“Ògo Tàwa Inc., would not have the successes that attract strategic alliances, partners, influencers, and funders towards our organization today without the help of Social Entrepreneurship 101, CSI staff, and my fellow Social Entrepreneurship 101 comrades. The Social Entrepreneurship 101 course is a game changer, a venture booster, the essential preparation and nurturing environment for any intelligent-minded, ambitious social entrepreneur. It is best in class. Take it from me, a Harvard trained professional, this course is of Ivy-League standard, with leadership training skills, hands-on interactive learning, and competitive edge to propel social entrepreneurs towards exponential business successes that solve society’s pressing problems while ferreting out rewarding financial resources. Overcome your business woes with this course! Guidance from Peggy Sue Deaven the CSI program facilitator is like having access to a business super-power! I really have been more impactful with her guidance.” – Khalidah Bello – Ògo Tàwa Inc. – Toronto, ON

Alterna is guided by a commitment to support the well-being of their members, employees and communities. They promote community economic development through micro-lending initiatives, financially literacy training, charitable activities and by continually strive to be transparent at every level of their operation. We are grateful to have their sponsorship for CSI’s Social Entrepreneurship 101 Program!

Gonzalo Duarte speaking to SE101 students at CSI Annex

Roll up your sleeves, invest in your growth, and turn your idea into impact

Part of the CSI Educates Initiative

At CSI, we equip people, organizations, and systems with the skills, knowledge, and networks to evolve their leadership skills and entrepreneurial competencies. Learn more about our approach here