Unlike traditional companies, social enterprises also seek to generate value for society, beyond mere economic benefit. Social enterprises have more democratic organizational structures and a social and transformational vocation. In the words of Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the most relevant actors in the creation of microfinance and social enterprises, “social businesses are companies created to solve problems”.
Traditionally, society has linked social and environmental problems to the NGO sector and governments. However, companies today are beginning to understand that consumers positively value products and services that include the mission of improving our society and our planet. Thus, in recent years, the increase in social initiatives in Spain reflects the interest of many Spanish entrepreneurs joining the revolutionary concept of social entrepreneurship.
Despite the fact that the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Special Report on social entrepreneurship revealed optimistic results in terms of the number of companies with social objectives in Spain, the rates remain below the European average. One of the main problems in the area of social entrepreneurship is the lack of funding. Precisely because of its social objective, traditional investment and its mechanisms do not fit the new paradigm. That is why new financing tools must be created and, at the same time, awareness must be raised that social entrepreneurs can also generate economic returns in addition to job creation and their positive impact on society.
In order to try contribute to mitigate those challenges and to promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region of Extremadura, la Junta de Extremadura hired GlobalCAD to develop and facilitate two MOOCs on social entrepreneurship. The first MOOC focused on how to create a social entrepreneurship project and the second on how to create and manage social enterprises. About 200 participants registered for both online training courses to receive training in social entrepreneurship. Among the participants of the MOOCs were social entrepreneurs who are dedicated to providing employment to victims of gender violence and people from rural areas, creating natural cosmetics, an ecological farm project, among others.
As a result of these two training actions, which took place between October and December 2019, these participants acquired the knowledge, tools and competencies needed to create and manage social entrepreneurship projects and social enterprises, in addition to helping traditional companies adopt social entrepreneurship as a new business management model.