Build a Social Enterprise Workshop: Recap

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Matthew Manos, Founder & Managing Director, verynice June 22, 2016

Over the course of two days, students from various departments across the ArtCenter College of Design collaborated with students from the USC Marshall School of Business to develop a new social enterprise from scratch. 

On Day 01, our workshop experience began by leveraging the Models of Impact methodology in order to generate ideas for new socially impactful business ventures. Within 3 hours, the group invented 50+ business models, resulting in 20 potential business concepts. After selecting which business model and concept the team wanted to move forward with, students developed a business plan, and even engaged in a futures exercise in which they imagined the positive and negative repercussions of their concept. 


photo by Kate Manos

On Day 02, participants were challenged to develop prototypes for their social enterprise, validate their concept, and ultimately encapsulate their findings from the whole experience into a 3 minute pitch. Our guest judges included industry leaders across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors representing Swipe Out Hunger, Fresh Conceptual, The City of West Hollywood, and No Right Brain Left Behind. The pitches were fantastic, with concepts ranging from alternative energy solutions to methods for integrating victims of human trafficking into society to coffee trucks owned and operated by the homeless to systems for reducing landfill waste.


photo by Kate Manos

The future of social enterprise is bright! Students walked away with a strong understanding of everything it takes to launch a social enterprise, and are reminded that the next wave of social entrepreneurs must focus on the future in order to design a better “now.”


This program was made possible in part by support from the Designmatters Educational Program Grant from the Autodesk Foundation.