This course provides a detailed introduction to the emerging sector of impact investing, equipping students with vital, practitioner-focused skills in the following areas: 1) equity, debt and alternative investment structuring for early- through late-stage social ventures; 2) assessment of impact and financial value for companies and investment portfolios; 3) legal and governance strategies to preserve mission-focus throughout organizational scale; and 4) role of investment funds and philanthropy in building the impact investing marketplace. The course content is split into three modules, covering the key finance techniques, funds and infrastructure and market-level issues and opportunities. Sessions are almost exclusively case-based and students will be required to prepare multiple investment proposals for the case studies used. Overall, the course aims to communicate the complex dynamics between investors and social ventures in valuation and structuring, the challenges around defining and measuring social impact and finally the inevitable conflict between financial and social return that occurs regardless of business model. Impact investing is a rapidly evolving sector and up-to-date publications and articles will be provided throughout.
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In less than a generation, we have witnessed a tectonic shift in the way people think about and work toward social change. The groundswell of new activism — social entrepreneurship — is manifest across society as innovative change makers test new solutions to entrenched social, economic, and environmental problems. This course is designed for students who are interested in understanding and participating in social entrepreneurship, whether they pursue careers (or avocations) in the nonprofit, private or public sectors. The course gives an overview of the field, with in depth examples and case studies of innovative change makers and organizations in the nonprofit, private and public sectors that illuminate the traits and tools of the new activism: a heightened emphasis on measurement and evaluation; an embrace of competition in a number of forms, including the design and implementation of market based instruments like prizes and challenges; the development of ‘laboratories’ to foster social innovations which can then be brought to scale; experiments with technology and the use of open and crowd source solutions to social change; and a new thinking about asset management and investment, the nature of social value and returns, and the sources of capital available to address chronic social problems. The course also explores the opportunities and tensions inherent in cross-sector work: the definition of public goods, and the respective roles that philanthropy, government and commercial actors play in providing them. Classes will combine lectures, class discussions, and presentations by some of today’s most innovative social entrepreneurs.
The course is divided into three sections:
1. Social Entrepreneurship in the Nonprofit Sector examines the emergence of a new kind of service provider, a new breed of funder – the so-called venture philanthropy – and the business models each employ to advance social change;
2. Social Impact in the Private Sector explores the infusion of social sector values into profit-making activities from the enterprise and investor perspectives, including the emerging field of impact investing and the growing number of firms that seek to create societal or environmental benefit – “shared” or “blended” value – through commercial business; and
3. Social Innovation in the Public Sector includes case studies of entrepreneurship within government, and the use of various policy tools to identify and scale proven solutions to entrenched problems, foster innovation, and enlist the energy and resources of private (nonprofit and commercial) actors to common purpose.
This course provides an overview of the entrepreneurial process. The focus is on identifying and evaluating ideas and learning the steps and competencies required to launch a successful new venture. Students are challenged to consider the appropriateness of an entrepreneurial career for themselves. Specific topics include characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, techniques for finding and screening ideas, entrepreneurial finance, the politics of new ventures, valuation and deal making, writing a business plan, buying a business, family business dynamics, and managing crisis and failure.
This course examines both traditional and new approaches for achieving operational competitiveness in service businesses. Major service sectors such as health care, repair / technical support services, banking and financial services, transportation, restaurants, hotels and resorts are examined. The course addresses strategic analysis and operational decision making, with emphasis on the latter. Its content also reflects results of a joint research project with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, which was initiated in 1996 to investigate next-generation service operations strategy and practices. Topics include the service concept and operations strategy, the design of effective service delivery systems, productivity and quality management, response time (queueing) analysis, capacity planning, yield management and the impact of information technology. This seminar is intended for students interested in consulting, entrepreneurship, venture capital or general management careers that will involve significant analysis of a service firm’s operations.