Online course designed for high school students

Social Entrepreneurship: The Business of Helping Others

Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset and want to make a difference? Then this online course in Social Entrepreneurship is a must. Discover how social entrepreneurs get started, build a value proposition, find customers, identify problems, come up with solutions and create a team. Ideal for future business majors, budding entrepreneurs and anyone with a social conscience.

Female entrepreneurs helping others with clothing

Program Dates

Multiple two- and four-week sessions


For students ages 13+



Learn how to do good by doing business

What is social entrepreneurship?

Learn how this type of business is different from philanthropy, non-profits, social work and government support. Practice the steps outlined in the value proposition matrix to write a value proposition for social entrepreneurship. Pick your favorite brand and identify its value proposition.

Know your audience

Understand how social entrepreneurs identify their customers, and how they fit into the value proposition. Do a deep dive into a successful social venture, “We Can Code [IT]” and understand how it serves the needs of its audience. Identify types of customers for popular brands.

Identify pain points

Gain insight into how social entrepreneurs pinpoint the problem their organization is trying to solve. Learn how to use the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development as a guide. Create a list of five specific problems you see in your community that social entrepreneurs could solve.

Be a creative problem solver

Explore how social entrepreneurs come up with solutions that are different from those of non governmental organizations and charities. Come up with your own solution to a problem and describe how it is unique. You’ll learn to test whether your assumptions are valid.

How to build a social entrepreneurship team

Determine what skills and assets you’ll need from your team. Learn to put your value proposition to work to guide your team in solving problems. See how successful social entrepreneur teams accomplish their goals.

Prepare for a future in social entrepreneurship

Topics covered in this course offer a good background for those thinking about pursuing a future in business, entrepreneurship or cause-related government or non-profit careers.

How You Will Benefit

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  • Discover how a social entrepreneurship differs from NGOs, charities, government programs and not-for-profit groups.
  • Be able to create a value proposition.
  • Identify the ideal customer for a social entrepreneurial business and the pain points your product or service addresses.
  • Know how to assemble a team of people you’ll need to ensure that you meet your goals.
  • Learn asynchronously: Lessons by your professors are delivered as videos so that you can tune in whenever your schedule allows—the ultimate in flexibility.
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion from Case Western Reserve University.

3 Learning Advantages Designed for You

Final Project

The course culminates in a final project in which you will 

  • Create a value proposition for your own Social Entrepreneurship
  • Be able to analyze the value propositions in the social entrepreneurships we’ve studied 
  • Get feedback from your mentors on your work
  • Use video, text, or a presentation to complete your project.


You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience. You can expect: 

  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments
  • Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you succeed
  • Brainstorming to help as you prepare for your final project

Flexible Learning

  • 100% online, works with your schedule
  • 20-25 hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support
  • Asynchronous: you’ll learn through engaging video. Tune in anytime that works for you.
  • Regular live online group sessions with a mentor
  • Meet fellow students from around the world

Course Designed by Case Western Reserve University

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Michael Goldberg

Associate Professor, Design & Innovation

Goldberg is an experienced venture capitalist and entrepreneur whose teaching is focused on the fields of entrepreneurship and early-stage finance. Goldberg is an associate professor of design and innovation at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Goldberg is also the inaugural executive director of the university’s Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Decorative: Headshot of Megan Buchter

Megan Buchter

Director, Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit 

Buchter has been part of the Fowler Center for over 10 years, first as a student volunteer while pursuing her Case Western Reserve undergraduate degree in economics where she participated in the Second Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit held in June 2009. Then, Megan returned to the Fowler Center as a graduate assistant while completing her Weatherhead School of Management MBA. During that time, she was named one of the inaugural Fowler Family Fellows, supporting the Third Global Forum and co-authoring the teaching case "Food Donation Connection: Profitably Scaling Food Waste Reduction."

Course Mentors

Decorative: Headshot of Harry, mentor for social entrepreneurship


CWRU undergraduate studying electrical engineering and computer science. He is a founder and the Executive Director of ENTP+, CWRU’s Entrepreneurship Club, where he is working to develop the student-driven side of his university’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. In high school, Harrison built an organization to market and sell air quality monitors and raise awareness about the air quality issues in his city.

Decorative: Headshot of Sunayana, mentor for social entrepreneurship


CWRU undergraduate with a major in biomedical engineering and minors in polymer science and engineering, chemistry. She is the Communications Director of CWRU's Entrepreneurship Club as well as the founder of a Cleveland-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting one of her other passions, classical Indian dance, particularly at the collegiate level.

Decorative: Headshot of Bryce, mentor for social entrepreneurship


CWRU undergraduate majoring in biochemistry and minoring in entrepreneurial studies. He's worked on venture capital investing for the past two years.

Decorative: Headshot of Patrick, mentor for social entrepreneurship


CWRU undergraduate majoring in business management.

Decorative: Headshot of Kelly, mentor for social entrepreneurship


Undergraduate at CWRU studying economics and chemical biology with minors in medical anthropology and public health. She's a member of the Resident Hall Association, Period (advocates for menstrual equality), and the Advocates for Cleveland Health.

Want to Know More?

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Frequently asked questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you get to turn around a project? When do you found out if you're accepted?

Find answers to your questions


We offer need-based pre-college program scholarships in each cohort to students who need assistance with the program cost. The scholarship application is a part of the overall program application. 

If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

  • haven't applied to the program, applications will open and become available Dec. 2021. 
  • applied to the program and didn't fill out a scholarship request, reach out to us at for assistance.
  • are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at for assistance.