Innovation & Enterprise


Setting up a social enterprise: the essentials

Explore what’s involved in setting up and running a social enterprise with this free course. You don't need any business experience or an idea for a social enterprise to attend.

This free course will help prepare you to set up or work for a social enterprise.

You’ll learn about the specific language of social enterprise, what’s involved in starting one, and how others have gone about this.

You’ll also develop valuable professional skills which you can apply to whatever career you choose.

This course is part of our ‘Inspire’ series of courses.

Who it’s for

This course is for UCL students, staff and recent graduates (within 3 years of graduating) who are new to social enterprise and interested in:

  • developing an entrepreneurial mindset 
  • exploring if they want to be a social entrepreneur
  • setting up a consultancy, charity or online business in the future
  • working as a sole trader or having a hybrid career

You don't need any prior business experience or to already have an idea for a social enterprise to attend.

You’re advised to attend 'Introduction to creative thinking and ideation' before attending this course, but it’s not essential.

What you’ll learn

This course will help you understand:

  • the specific terminology of social enterprise entrepreneurship
  • the processes associated with starting a social enterprise
  • how to use various frameworks and models for starting a social enterprise   
  • if starting a social enterprise is a possible career route for you

You’ll also develop skills to help you: 

  • take calculated risks and pivot ideas if they don’t work
  • work effectively within a team
  • analyse and evaluate data in a team setting
  • think critically and solve problems creatively within the context of a social enterprise challenge

What to expect

This is an interactive, activity-based course. You’ll take part in workshop sessions and group discussions, and explore case studies.

The course has three 2-hour sessions. You don't need to attend all three sessions, but we recommend you do.


Session 1: What a social enterprise is and how to set one up

During this session we'll examine the role, purpose and scope of social enterprises. We’ll also discuss key essentials and the processes associated with starting a social enterprise.

Session 2: Evaluating and communicating ‘social impact’

Evaluating and communicating ‘social impact’ is very important for all social enterprises, however due to lack of resources it often does not get enough attention. During this session we’ll discuss impact models and identifying key performance indicators for social enterprises. 

Session 3: Funding sources for social enterprises

A thriving social enterprise sector needs access to suitable forms of finance. This session will focus on exploring different types and sources of finance specifically for social enterprises.

About the tutor

Yuliana Topazly is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, business advisor and educator with a broad experience of helping businesses start and grow. She’s a founder of My OutSpace and Buddy With and was named one of the Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs in the UK by The Sunday Times in 2016.

Dates and times

Booking has closed for this course. New dates will be published here when confirmed. 


UCL BaseKX, 103c Camley Street, London N1C 4PF.

Related courses

If you're interested in starting your own business or social enterprise, sign up for Build your own business 1: Discover and develop your entrepreneurial strengths.

You might also be interested in our course on Startup innovation models: Finding the right model for your business

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UCL Innovation & Enterprise reserves the right to make changes to the programme, location and/or speakers without prior notice. Such alterations are occasionally necessary due to circumstances beyond our control.