For students

Exploring social enterprise

Keen to make a social or environmental impact through business? Use these resources to find out more about social enterprise business models.

The Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) is ‘The World’s School for Social Enterprise’. It is a digital learning platform that provides high quality, on-demand e-learning for global Social Entrepreneurs and Social Enterprises using video and easy-to-use, action-based tools and resources. Enabled by funding from the Scottish Government, the University of Edinburgh students and recent alumni are now able to access these 8 e-learning courses that will help you to plan, build, and launch a successful social enterprise.

The courses include a toolkit of resources to start and expand your Social Enterprise on the following topics:

  • 1: Defining the Problem
  • 2: Planning Your Social Impact
  • 3: Building Support For Your Cause
  • 4: Testing Your Ideas on a Small Scale
  • 5: Finding Your Customers
  • 6: Designing Your Business Model
  • 7: Securing the Funding
  • 8: Getting Ready for Take-Off

Only take what you need, when you need it.


The Social Business Model Canvas is a great tool for creating a solid business model around your social enterprise. It also helps you to effectively communicate different business models with your stakeholders. 


The Social Impact Canvas is a tool that helps you plan, measure and account for the changes you want to bring about in the world. 


Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for startup social entrepreneurs and social enterprises. The agency provides a package of useful services that cover seed funding, business advice and connections to help social entrepreneurs make their ideas a reality.

Unltd also provides support to social ventures. Its wide range of services includes funding, business advice, one-to-one support, investments and mentoring.