assignments

Individual Assignments

20% Overall Engagement & Group Contributions

10% One Page Case Briefs (10 briefs x 1 point each)

10% Workshop Deliverables (10 deliverables x 1 point each)

Overall Engagement & Group Contributions (10 + 10 = 20 points)

Your overall engagement in and contributions to our class discussion and your group projects will comprise 20% of your course grade. Engagement/Contributions to class discussions (10 points) will be self-rated (with feedback from me), while your group project engagement/ contributions (10 points) will be peer-rated.

Each class session will involve discussions with the entire class as well as one or more challenges addressed in smaller, breakout groups. The purpose of these breakout sessions, as with the group project assignments, is to provide you with the sorts of challenges faced by founders and funders of social ventures. You will work in small groups, develop your solution to the challenge, and then report back to the class so we can learn from each other.

One-Page Case Briefs (10 briefs x 1 point each = 10 points)

By 11:59PM EST the night before each class session during which we have a case discussion, you will turn in (via Collab) a one-page response to a question/prompt related to the case. The question/prompt for each one-page brief can be found in the schedule.

Each brief will be graded based simply upon whether the work is well-written and well-supported (i.e., use of analysis/evidence to support your position). The purpose of these briefs is two-fold: (1) practice being direct and concise with your written responses and (2) getting you in the right frame of mind for the discussion. 1 point for well-done responses, partial point for not-so-well-done responses, or 0 points if a brief is not submitted.

So everyone is on the same playing field for the Case Briefs, here are the basic specs:

  • Please put your first and last name in the header (just in case)

  • One-inch margins all around (i.e., left, right, top, bottom)

  • Font should be Helvetica or Arial

  • Font size should be eleven

  • Line spacing should be 1.5

  • If you copy-paste your text into Collab's editor, the above specs would be around 425 words for a full page.

Workshop Deliverables (10 deliverables x 1 point each = 10 points)

Most class sessions will involve workshops through which you engage with the sorts of challenges faced by founders or funders of social ventures. Our workshops will span topics including: design thinking, financial models, business models, etc. 1 point is awarded for deliverables that are completed, partial point awarded for those deliverables that are incomplete, or zero points if the deliverable is not turned in.

Group Assignments

60% Project Sprints (3 sprints x 20 points each)

By September 28 you will form teams of three individuals, and this team will work together on three group projects (aka, sprints) throughout the remainder of the term. Two of these projects will be submitted as recorded presentations that are viewed by all of us during class sessions, while the third of these projects will be submitted as a write-up during final exams.

Your clients in these sprints will be real founders with live social ventures, whether for profit, non profit, or hybrid. You will be asked to assist these founders as they look to grow their companies, developing your answers to the sorts of high-level challenges these founders are facing.

The topics for these sprints will be:

  1. Advisory Board and Theory of Change

  2. Funding Partners and Key Metrics

  3. Growth Strategy and Overall Impact

Sprint #1: Advisory Board and Theory of Change

For this sprint, we will work with Charity Dinko of Northshea, a skincare company dedicated to empowering Ghanaian women living in poverty. The project has two main components, with four parts in total. Your project deliverable will be (a) a video presentation no greater than seven minutes in length addressing points (1), (3), and (4) below, combined with (b) the emails (as a PDF file) described in point (2) below. All deliverables will due by 11:59PM EST on OCT 18, uploaded to Collab.

Advisory Board (10 points)

(1) Please identify five individuals that you feel could make meaningful contributions to Northshea as members of the company's advisory board, and provide the reasoning for your selection of each of these individuals. You might use general searches on the internet, LinkedIn, or other sources to identify these individuals. 5 points

(2) Please also compose a brief email (i.e., not greater than one page of text) that Charity might send to each of these individuals — meaning, five emails — providing introductory background on Northshea, the reason for the inquiry, and an invitation to connect and speak further. 5 points

Theory of Change (10 points)

(3) Please outline Northshea's Theory of Change, including the key inputs and outputs of the organization, as well as the desired impact outcomes—both direct and immediate ("first order") as well as indirect or spillover ("second order"). 5 points

(4) Provide evidence that supports a link could exist between Northshea's key outputs and the key, desired impact outcomes. Also provide a project design through which Northshea could confirm or deny the company is, in fact, achieving the impacts they would like to achieve. 5 points

Sprint #2: Funding Partners, Metrics, and Business Model

For our second sprint, our client will be Bluepirint Local, an investment enterprise working to blend financial returns with meaningful impact—particularly through a focus on projects in opportunity zones. Specifically, we will be looking at a proposed "Food Port" project in the Charlottesville area.

The project has three main components: Identifying potential funding partners, outlining a cohesive business model, and defining the metrics the team should measure. You deliverable will be (a) a video presentation no greater than seven minutes in length addressing the points below. This deliverable is due by 11:59PM EST on NOV 09, uploaded to Collab.

Funding Partners & Metrics

(1) Please identify three high-potential funding partners—whether grant-making organizations or investment funds—that would be highly interested in and a fit for this project, and provide your reasoning for the selection of each of these organizations. (three points)

(2) Define and describe the key metrics each of these funding partners would want the Food Port venture to measure. (two points)

Business Model

(3) Using the business model canvas as your guide, outline the primary ingredients for each of the nine components of the proposed Food Port business. Please provide your reasoning along the way. (fifteen points)

Sprint #3: Growth Strategy and Overall Impact

Your deliverable for our final sprint will be a written brief, five to seven pages in length with up to five additional pages for appendix materials. The project will have two main components: (1) outlining a growth strategy for the company, including your reasoning behind this strategy, and (2) estimating the overall impact — as social return on investment — the organization might wave were this growth strategy to succeed, including your evidence/analysis behind this estimate. This deliverable is due by 4:59PM EST on DEC 07, uploaded to Collab.