Master Certificate in Social Enterprise Leadership

Why is this program needed?

A Social Enterprise is generally understood to be a business operated or owned by a non-profit organization, established at least partly to supplement its public funding and charitable donations. The growth of the Social Enterprise sector is strong, and the need for capable and seasoned leaders even stronger. But leading such businesses is arguably more complex than leading a for-profit business – rather than having a single focus on profitability, Social Enterprise executives must achieve a “blended value” return on investment, balancing sustainable profitability with a social mission. Our online Master Certificate in Social Enterprise Leadership has been developed with the advice of some of Canada’s leading practitioners to meet the sector’s specific needs.


The Master Certificate in Social Enterprise Leadership is comprised of 4-courses:

  • 3-Social Enterprise Leadership curriculum courses
  • 1-Consulting Project course

Finish the program in 7 months:

  • 7-weeks per Social Enterprise Leadership curriculum course
  • 7-weeks for the Consulting Project course

The Online Experience

To maximize the global learning experience, students participate in exclusive vClasses (virtual classes) instructed by accomplished leaders from global organizations and post-secondary institutions. Students work on case studies and projects with colleagues from around the world, allowing them the unique ability to grasp complex concepts from a global perspective.

Online learning can be unfamiliar for many students, and we understand that. If you have any questions, we recommend signing up for our next Information Session:

Online Info Session Registration

Social Enterprise Leadership Curriculum:

SEL 8030 – Introduction to Social Enterprise

This course introduces the foundational characteristics of the social enterprise, beginning with the core concept of “blended value”, which comprises both financial value and social value. We follow with a detailed examination of: a range of evolving legal frameworks and performance measures; financial and social value forecasting; and important analytic decision-aiding concepts used for feasibility assessment and strategic business planning. We wrap up with discussion of appropriate organizational structures, and how to effectively manage internal cultural change and internal and external stakeholder communications.

SEL 8031 – Current and Emerging Tools for Financing the Social Enterprise

Prerequisite SEL 8030 – Introduction to Social Enterprise

The establishment and growth of a social enterprise requires substantial finance investment which must come from sources other than charitable donations. This course undertakes detailed examinations of which current and emerging financial tools are appropriate for which types of social enterprises at which stage of the enterprise’s life cycle, and an analysis of how the investor may conduct a risk-return assessment of the social enterprise seeking financing. Included in this examination will be a review of social impact bonds, and managing social enterprise investor relations.

SEL 8032 – Social Enterprise and Public Policy

Prerequisite SEL 8031 – Current and Emerging Tools for Financing the Social Enterprise

This case-based course examines key examples of the socioeconomic results that social enterprises have directly generated through their operations, as well as the enterprises’ strategically planned communications and public relations campaigns. By observing and measuring such social impacts, we can begin to better understand how governments might view social enterprises as valuable instruments of public policy, and how governments have in fact behaved, and how they might behave. This course will also address topics of special interest such as Social Impact Purchasing Policy, and the financial and social effects of free trade policies.


MC 9000 – Consulting Project

The Master’s Certificate consulting project is a capstone course undertaken individually or with one other student. Under the supervision of a faculty member, the student will cooperate with a current organization and identify one or more issues with which the organization needs help. The project will involve the integration and synthesis of relevant knowledge acquired during the three other courses in their Certificate program. The consulting project is practically oriented rather than academic, but the student will need to include a literature review and include a discussion as to why the project is important in their area of study and how they will be applying the new knowledge from their specialty. The final deliverable is an approximately 25-35 double-spaced report which identifies one or more issues the organization faces and well-justified suggestions for how to remedy this situation. Alternatively, the students can write a business startup plan analysis if they themselves want to start a company or a non-profit organization.

Chris Stone, MBA alumnus

“The fully online format saved time that I would have otherwise spent commuting to class or team meetings. Time is a scarce resource for me, so anything that saves time, and allows me to work more efficiently is valuable.”

Read Chris's full testimonial


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