Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Are you a social entrepreneur or working in a social enterprise looking to learn and share with others about starting and running a business?
Besides being a social enterprise, in the last few years we have researched, investigated and accumulated enough evidence about the possibility to train social entrepreneurs differently.
The RISE training programme, which is starting next month, aims at changing the approach towards entrepreneurship education.
The traditional approach in training entrepreneurs (not only social entrepreneurs), gravitates around the formulation of a business plan. Business planning has been, for the last several years, the main method used to train entrepreneurs in setting up and running a business.
While planning helps in running and administrating an existing business, it is not the right tool for testing and validating a new business idea.
It is not a case that in the last 10-15 years more and more businesses are adopting tools borrowed from other disciplines e.g. design, anthropology, psychology, to understand their customers' needs, and then prototyping and testing new solutions.
Growth is essential for any business, yet, sustainable growth is still the ultimate challenge for entrepreneurs looking to generate profits while creating a positive impact in the community.
The level of awareness around social problems ignored both by existing businesses or government has never been higher, with more and more people trying to create viable solutions to those problems.
The RISE training programme brings new tools to social entrepreneurs. In the six sessions you will discover the value of listening and observing the customer, looking for hints on how to solve an existing problem. The impact we want to achieve with the RISE project though is beyond solving a problem - we want to equip you with the right tools to frame and re-frame a problem.
The RISE program focuses on creative thinking which is the essence of the entrepreneurship journey.
The lack of attention and focus in business education (at any level from entrepreneurship to management) towards creativity has pushed businesses to solve predominantly straightforward and clear problems. This is sadly the main reason the private sector and government not only struggle but frequently fail societal and environmental issues (which are by nature complicated and wicked).
The RISE project aims specifically at helping entrepreneurs to create sustainable business models tackling complicated issues or pursuing new and hidden opportunities for value creation.
What is a complicated or wicked problem? It is a problem which doesn’t have a specific definition, this makes it difficult to state the problem.
Creative and design thinking, two methods we will explore in the RISE programme help in refining and re-framing the problem/opportunity we want to tackle. Only after having refined and homed in on what the problem could be, we pass to prototyping and field experimentation and testing.
Quick prototyping de-risks the innovation process of entrepreneurs. By getting their users and customers experiencing a future that is not yet ‘real’ entrepreneurs can quickly and cheaply tweak the prototype (and their assumptions about it) based on the received feedback. There is conventional wisdom in the saying ‘’fake it till you make it’’.
The image below summarises the four main stages of the design process we will use in the RISE training programme.
If you see an opportunity to start a business generating and scaling a positive impact, the RISE training programme is for you. As learning is a social activity, this is an amazing opportunity to learn, connect, teach and share your journey with other change makers.
The Rise training programme starts in March, we have a limited number of places available, apply here before they are all gone.