MBA with a specialty stream in Social Enterprise Leadership

Program Summary

Our MBA with a specialty stream in Social Enterprise (SE) Leadership was developed in response to the growing demand for SE leaders by some of Canada’s leading practitioners.

Our students include Executive Directors for major international non-profit organizations and Constituency Assistants within the House of Commons. Many students enter the program with several years of experience in the non-profit or NGO sectors, while others are just discovering their passion as they work toward incorporating the triple bottom line.

Students in the Social Enterprise sphere develop the capabilities to:

  • Lead an organization by focusing on a blended value return on investment;
  • Balance sustainable profitability with a social mission;
  • Work effectively with a Board of Directors and key stakeholders; and
  • Financially manage a social enterprise.

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 (58 credits)

Level A – Foundation Courses (40 credits)*:

MBA 5000 – Orientation

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of the online collaborative learning environment and course delivery methods.

MBA 5005 – Leadership Theory and Practice (4 credits)

This course gives students the foundational knowledge they need to critically assess leadership concepts and their utility. Students survey the leadership theories of key thinkers and practitioners in the field, learning about the empirical, theoretical and pragmatic strengths and limitations of each approach. Through case studies and exercises, students develop an understanding of organizational leadership. They will also learn a comprehensive set of leadership practices that will have immediate value for application at work.

MBA 5010 – Accounting for Managers (4 credits)

This course offers a comprehensive, graduate level exploration of managerial accounting. The course utilizes case studies and audit reports to focus on the use of appropriate accounting systems and the application of accounting data in the management of an organization. In conjunction, what accounting data are interesting or relevant-to-task, and how such data might be used is dependent upon what the manager is seeking to accomplish and what other information may or may not be available.

MBA 5015 – Managerial Finance (4 credits)

All managers are required to possess a basic understanding of financial concepts. This course explores the principle role of finance via its concepts, calculative applications, and capital market analyses. In addition, the basic concepts of the time-value of money, rates of return, and valuation are covered. Students will learn how capital markets function, what different securities exist, and how to manage cash flow. Credit, risk, working capital, and analysis of financial statements receive particular attention. Cases are used throughout the course to provide students with hands-on experience in the use of financial tools. Unlike other finance courses, this consists of half concept and half mathematics. Besides providing basic math skills, this course should provide students with an excellent introduction to financial management concepts.

MBA 5020 – The Global Economic Environment (4 credits)

Systematic understanding of the internal and external economic environments of an organization, and the ability to analyze them as a basis for sound decisions, are core pre-requisites of sound leadership. This course reviews basic macro and micro-economic concepts (e.g. supply and demand, elasticity, production function, competitive environments, pricing, etc.), and illustrates their impact on decision making and strategy formulation. Students will learn how to think through economic challenges and opportunities presented to their organization.

MBA 5025 – Leadership in Change Management (4 credits)

Leading and managing organizations requires knowing something about changing them. This course will assist the learner in understanding the drivers of successful organizational change and development; clarify the components of an effective and healthy organization – the meta-goal for any change effort; and understand the skills to successfully design, launch, nurture, and lead change.

MBA 5031 – Systems Thinking and Organizational Design (4 credits)

As you move higher in your organization, leaders are being asked to think beyond their own function. They are being asked to consider the implications of their analysis and decisions beyond their function to that of other functions and even the entire enterprise with all its stakeholders. This, coupled with the increasingly complex global environment, leaders need to think more holistically, using concepts of systems thinking, design thinking and performance excellence. The learned ability to comprehensively analyze leadership, strategy, operations, and performance will prove invaluable to organizations’ leaders. This course, Systems Thinking and Organizational Design, gives us the knowledge and skills to understand the inter-relationship and impact of decisions across the organization.

MBA 5035 – Strategic Marketing Planning (4 credits)

This course focuses on the strategic marketing planning process from the perspective of two key roles in the organization, i.e., the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the Brand (or Product) Manager. Leaning heavily on external and internal analyses and the CEO’s strategic guidance, we examine how these managers refine the company’s long-term go-to-market strategy, at both the corporate level and the product level. We also briefly examine which leading edge digital applications are most useful with respect to intelligence gathering, analysis, decision-making and/or implementation.

MBA 5040 – Strategic Operations Planning (4 credits)

This course focuses on the operational planning process from the perspective of the Chief Operating Officer (COO). Leaning heavily on external and internal analyses and the CEO’s strategic guidance, we examine how the COO develops the company’s long-term operations strategy, comprising decisions about supply-chain logistics, production, customer service, quality assurance (QA), distribution and field support. We also briefly examine which leading edge digital applications are most useful with respect to intelligence gathering, analysis, decision-making and/or implementation.

MBA 5045 – Strategic Human Resources Planning (4 credits)

In today’s global context the rate of change is accelerating, and personnel have to be world-ready, and organizations have to be change-ready. This course examines the human resource recruiting and development function and the organizational design function within a global and organizational lifecycle perspective, emphasizing how personnel and designs must change as projects and divisions evolve. This dynamic approach to organizational development prepares students to diagnose mismatches between existing personnel and designs versus changing demands, and to develop personnel and designs to accommodate new realities.

MBA 5050 – Strategic Information Systems Planning (4 credits)

In today’s 24/7 global operating environment, the possession of sufficient and correct information about the relevant external and internal environments, obtained and circulated to the right decision-makers in a timely fashion, can spell the difference between success and failure. This course introduces the main concepts of management information systems (MIS), examines how the design of MIS can affect the performance of an organization, and explores the process of information systems planning from the perspective of the CIO.

Level B – Specialty Stream (12 credits)**:

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.

Plus one of (6 credits):

IP 6999 – Enterprise Integration Project (6 credits)

The Enterprise Integration Project Capstone is a 14-week capstone course involving student teams and senior executives from a business organization. The required comprehensive analysis of the organization draws from the key concepts that students will have learned in the Foundation courses.

The primary goal of the Enterprise Integration Project Capstone is to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and critical insights learned in the program through a comprehensive analysis of an organization’s leadership, strategy, business operations, and performance. The Capstone results in a report and presentation to the organization’s senior leaders, identifying the organization’s strengths, opportunities for improvement, and recommendations. This demanding project brings together the many dimensions of today’s business environment into an understanding of the organization as an integrated system.

Under the supervision of faculty members, each small team of students will approach and establish a formal project relationship with an existing business organization and one of its senior executives. Students will draw on material acquired in the Foundation courses to analyze and make recommendations for strategic adjustments to the organization.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of all Level A and Level B courses.

IP 6998 – Global Capstone (including International Field Study)

The Global Capstone is a 14-week capstone program involving the development of a comprehensive business plan for doing business globally. The focus of the Global Capstone program is to develop capable and ethical business leadership through an experience in global operations, helping students to understand how to meet the demands of an increasingly global, multicultural, and complex world. Working in small teams, students will have the opportunity to focus on global challenges, including market, economic, governmental, cultural and political systems, and their implications for an international business plan.

To maximize the global learning experience, students attend a 9-day session at an international location and participate in in-person seminars and/or conferences with experienced leaders from global organizations.

Drawing on material from the Foundation courses and a multitude of presenters, the team of students will develop a global business plan for a product/service of their choosing.

There will be concept reflection, synchronous vClasses, and during the International Field component students will also experience group workshops and varied executive presentations. The exposure to executives and international topics will provide critical concepts for the global business plan. As a learning experience, these executives are presenting critical concepts to their own business operations, offering insights for the program project.

Please Note

*Students are expected to complete all 10 foundation courses before entering a specialty stream. In exceptional circumstances, students can submit a request to the Dean’s Office to take specialty courses prior to completion of foundation courses if eight foundation courses are already completed.

**Students are expected to complete all 10 of the foundation courses and three stream-specific specialty courses before entering the Integration Project. In exceptional circumstances, students can submit a request to the Dean’s Office to do the Integration Project prior to completion of specialty courses if all foundation courses are already completed.

Upcoming MBA Start Dates

Application Deadline Course Start
February 21, 2020 March 23, 2020
May 8, 2020 June 8, 2020


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