LESSON PLAN

THE ENTREPRENEUR: Purpose-Driven Businesses

Social enterprise and the modern entrepreneur. Students will learn different types of social business models and how to create basic business concepts and company mission statements.

Benefits

  • Understand and critically evaluate a social issue.
  • Collaborate with peers.
  • Exercise presentation and communication skills.
  • Engage with the ecosystem of a social issue and apply learning to one’s own community.
  • Define and understand organizational structures.
  • Practice creativity and entrepreneurship.
  • Create a formal business presentation.
  • Practice technical IT skills.

STEP 1: INTRODUCTION Business as a force for good

Present the concept and global trends behind the idea of using business as a force for good. Using the list of additional resources, introduce concepts such as Social Business and B Corporations. Use the following image to clarify the different concepts with your class: 

Ask students to discuss the pros and cons of each model:

Name some examples of companies and organizations in each model, especially in your own community or region.

Why would any given entrepreneur choose one model over another? Are there some issues or problems that are better managed by one model or another?

In each of the models, who decides what social impact is desirable and what population shall be affected by the work?

STEP 2: INSPIRATION Innovative entrepreneurs

Screen the chosen film(s) to your class. Ask your students to write down their thoughts, questions and epiphanies as they watch the films. Pause between films to share these responses. 

Lead a discussion using the following prompts:

What entrepreneurial solution was showcased in each film? 

How were these businesses able to address specific social or environmental issues?

What was the connection between the entrepreneur and the issue? What did the entrepreneur want to help?

Hint: Assign students to research the businesses in the films to learn more details about their approach, and to see how they communicate their message and work.

STEP 3: CO-CREATION Make good work

Divide the class into groups of 3-4. Designate each group a specific social/environmental issue (or allow groups to select their own topic) and prompt groups to design a social enterprise that addresses the social issue.

Ask students to brainstorm and define the key aspects of their social enterprise, including: 

Purpose and mission

Product or service

Audience, target population

Revenue generating mechanism

Organizational structure 

Logo and slogan

Hint: Introduce and provide the tool B CANVAS to facilitate the creative process. B Canvas is a visual tool for designing business models with purpose.

 

STEP 4: PITCH Sell your idea

Students pitch their project to the class. Provide a simple rubric for classmates to use for feedback:

What questions or clarifications do you have?

What were the strengths of the presented project?

What suggestions do you have for improvements? 

What is your favorite thing about the presentation?

Hint: Consider the Ignite Talk format for these presentations for an extra challenge. Groups present up to 20 slides in 5 minutes (4 slides per minute) to communicate the business idea visually, verbally and concisely.

Duration

This lesson plan requires 3-4 class periods and the resulting project could be expanded to cover the entire semester. One class period should be reserved for clarifying definitions, the film screening, and the post-screening discussion. One class period should be reserved for project instructions, group assignments, and brainstorming. One class period should be reserved for presentations.

Preparation

Review the resource links at the end of this lesson plan and familiarize yourself with the concepts. Select 1 or 2 films from the Business for Good Spotlight to screen in the classroom.

Bonus Option

Assign your student to focus on a local business and ask them to design an idea for that business to have a greater positive impact in the community. For example, students could be paired with a local restaurant and explore ways the restaurant could donate meals to a nearby shelter, reduce food waste, etc. For the presentations, the educator could bring in representatives from different backgrounds to act as judges, including managers of the local business. The judges would vote on the best project and the groups could be incentivized by a prize. (money to implement the project, feature in a local newspaper, etc.)