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Build Your Social Venture

Develop solutions to complex problems using our free planning tools, such as our newest module on systems thinking.

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Social Venture Planning Tools

There are many things to do before launching and operating a social venture – especially in the areas of planning and implementation. These free resources from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business can help you navigate the Path to Launch.

Strategy for Social Change

Learn how to develop and implement a strategy for social change that can maximize your social venture's impact. 

Thinking in Systems

Develop your capabilities as a systems thinker and gain the essential tools to analyze all kinds of systems—whether social, environmental, health, political, or economic.

Impact Compass

Conceptualize your impact across six key dimensions and identify where you can maximize impact.

Social Enterprise Legal Structure

Explore nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid models to discover which legal structure best fits the needs of your social venture.

Impact Business Model

Get help visualizing, evaluating, and refining your business model to achieve both social and financial value. 

Funding Sources

Find funding for your social venture including from traditional funders, accelerator programs, fellowships, and competitions. 

Purposeful Leadership

Consider how to mitigate the potential unintended consequences and risks of your social venture.

Impact Lexicon

Refine your understanding of terms used in the social innovation field.

The Path to Launch

Social entrepreneurs often skip steps in their rush to launch, which can cause trouble down the road. If you do the work to build a strong foundation for your social venture, you will be more likely to achieve social impact – and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

We've identified four core stages to complete before launching a social venture. Learn about the Path to Launch

1 Explore the Problem
2 Design for the Need
3 Develop Business and Impact Models
4 Build Foundations for Growth

The Center for Social Innovation

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At Stanford University's Center for Social Innovation, our mission is to bring social and environmental change to the world. Through research, education, and experiential learning, we strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations to develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

We envision a networked community of leaders actively working across sectors, frontiers, and disciplines to build a more just, sustainable, and prosperous world.