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Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing

In partnership with
Program Code: GVOL0763U

Course Information

Next start date

Weekly on Mondays

Enrollment closes


Course frequency

Every week



Time Commitment




Optional Extra

GVI Program Abroad


£100 scholarships available. Book by 31 July*

Flexible Payment

Options Available


How can you turn a strategy for making an impact into real, positive change? You need to be able to understand how social development practices have evolved and how recent innovations can be utilised.

This online course is designed for anyone looking to get into the nitty-gritty of contributing to real-world impact projects. Our Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing course, which is offered in partnership with the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, will show you how to evaluate which approaches are demonstrating positive results and impact.

You’ll be introduced to concepts such as behavioural science, systems innovation, human-centred design, impact investing and social entrepreneurship.

Skills you’ll acquire

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • evaluate different approaches and tools used in social entrepreneurship
  • apply appropriate reasoning and tools to decision making processes
  • discuss the four phases of human-centred design (HCD)
  • understand some of the challenges involved in social development and how to overcome them
  • evaluate impact investing opportunities to decide which to pursue.

Is this course for you?

This online course, and our Impact Measurement course, is designed for anyone looking to get into the nitty-gritty of contributing to real-world impact projects. This specific course is for those who would like to learn more about impact business models, best practices and impact investing. This includes everyone from high school, college or graduate students who’d like to learn how to actively promote or fundraise for a cause they care about to corporate professionals who’ve been tasked with managing a project aligned to environmental or social objectives.

Course Curriculum

Start the course by learning about a creative approach to problem-solving that can be applied to challenges across industries and sectors. You will learn about the key mindsets and four phases of human-centred design (HCD). And you’ll gain access to a comprehensive practical toolkit for diving deeper into HCD.

Find out about behavioural science and how alternative data can be used to predict behaviour. You will learn about the ethics of influence and choice architecture, and get to grips with behavioural design methodology.

Discover the fundamentals of social entrepreneurship as you study first-hand stories and advice from entrepreneurs who are developing solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. You’ll learn about different types of business models that create impact, and access practical resources to get you started on your own entrepreneurship journey.

Next, you’ll learn about the exciting and rapidly growing industry of impact investing. You’ll get to grips with the landscape and core characteristics of impact investing, and hear from global investors on how they are generating social or environmental impact as well as financial returns.

Finally, you’ll explore the wider systems in which sustainable development challenges exist. You’ll grasp basic systems dynamics to see how efforts on the ground could contribute to a wider, systems-level theory of change.

You’ll wrap up the learning of the above concepts by discussing all these theories in the context of real-life case studies, helping you to ground your understanding in the practical realities of fieldwork.
Orientation to our online learning platform
Module 1: Social Entrepreneurship
Module 2: Human-Centred Design
Module 3: Behavioural Science
Module 4: Systems Innovation
Module 5: Impact Investing

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

This course includes material related to these Goals

Earn a certificate

Want to show colleges, universities and employers that you’ve got the knowledge and skills covered in this course? Once you’ve successfully completed any of our courses, we’ll send you a digital certificate of completion at no additional cost. The certificate will feature the official name of the course and your name. Add the certificate to your college application, your graduate school application, your job application or your LinkedIn page.

Your course expert

Debbie DiVirgilio

Nonprofit Consultant
Debbie DiVirgilio has 25 years of experience in leadership roles across the non-profit sector, and is currently a non-profit department chair and an adjunct faculty member. Debbie teaches nonprofit administration and grant writing classes at a graduate level and public speaking, ethics and sociology classes at an undergraduate level. Debbie is also a certified grant professional and governance trainer.

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