Social Entrepreneurship Skill Lab

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Centre for Social Initiative and Management


United Way of Chennai
Launches Social Entrepreneurship Skill Lab

at  Madras School of Social Work

The social sector has seen some significant changes in the last two decades. One such change has been the shift from a ‘charity model’ to a ‘revenue model’ among NGOs for their sustainability. Another shift has been in the creation of for-profit social enterprises which are socially responsible businesses that impact society through their services. The application of business and management principles in social enterprises facilitate them to perform their best and bring about social change. This also enables infusing professionalism into the organization which is increasingly recognized as prerequisite to solving many of society's social, economic and environmental challenges. 
Social entrepreneurship is a mechanism to create human capacity in the development sector. It is a conscious, committed effort based on strategic thinking with a problem solving mindset to bring about social change. Social entrepreneurship is about working within the current constraints, creating an operating model that will adapt and sustain itself to serve the cause in any situation. 

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems.  They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change. Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to move in different directions.

CSIM with the support of United of Way of Chennai has launched a Social Entrepreneurship Skill Lab at Madras School of Social Work on 2nd August 2016.

This Lab will provide an opportunity for the youth to find out more about social enterprises and get involved in developing ideas that will provide solutions to societal challenges. The lab will offer training, placement, and incubation of social enterprises for the college students. It will also focus on research and advocacy in the field of social entrepreneurship.


Objectives of the Programme

  1. Provide an active learning environment for students to learn about Social enterprises and develop competencies to work in them.
  2. Offer an opportunity to ideate - test hypotheses around the creation of social ventures, and thereby develop a first-hand understanding of how the field works. 
  3. Provide  exposure to social research - conduct stakeholder interviews, research competitive landscapes, and test prototypes. 
  4. Offer Placement for interested students in social enterprises.
  5. Serve as accelerators for early-stage social entrepreneurs - to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges through  SE incubation cell
  6. Facilitate the process of review through periodic social impact assessment.

About United Way of Chennai

United Way of Chennai (UWC), a registered society under the Societies Registration Act of Tamil Nadu 1975, in Chennai, is a secular, non-partisan, non-political, non-profit, non-government, organization dedicated to improving lives in Tamil Nadu by identifying and addressing the long term needs of communities by promoting and encouraging voluntary charitable service and volunteerism.

UWC is a part of the worldwide United Ways (UWW). UWC aims to help develop, support and strengthen community service projects and improve lives by acting as an intermediary between the corporate and the development sector, promoting corporate social responsibility and working as a catalyst to increase the flow of resources from all parts of society for community and social development projects. For more information, please visit:

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