CATALYSE is (Community Action to Activate Learning your Social Enterprise) an adult education initiative to assist social enterprises to develop new tools so they can integrate societal and environmental values with traditional economic dimensions.

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CATALYSE provides social enterprises, their communities and adult education with the resources they need to will help them add to the social and economic fabric of their communities by way of social impact. Recipients are equipped to invent, develop, and manage innovative solutions to address the most pressing societal issues faced in their communities. They will…

  • Gain the skills they need to support community development and develop new and existing innovative solutions
  • Be able to address unique challenges, they face particularly social, digital, environmental, and entrepreneurial
  • Know how to scale, replicate, and build healthier, more competitive more inclusive communities where everyone has access to opportunities such as education and jobs

CATALYSE does this through its suite of Open Education Resources, designed to optimise and mobilise the socio-economic strategic response at regional and community levels. They are digital, interactive, downloadable, editable, practical, actionable, easy-to-use, and people-centred so that they can support aspiring and existing social entrepreneurs to approach current environmental, economic, digital and societal challenges.

CATALYSE OERS are innovative, they

  • Respond to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). It enables social enterprises to align, adapt and be part of the SDG movement. They too will be in a position to be recognized internationally as a strategic implementation unit of the SDGs.
  • Frame training in the context of social economy. CATALYSE presents participants with a common framework through which they can meet increased societal expectations of more responsible business behaviour and practice, and advance commercial, environmental and social objectives.
  • Build a more holistic program using the social economy as a guide with the potential to improve environmental outcomes and enhance socio-economic impact in local communities
  • Ensures training and support can be accessed by all (e.g., employing online measures, accessible language, and easy learning paths)

CATALYSE is developed for key target groups that will assist existing social enterprises with the capacity and ability to make a cornerstone positive impact in their communities and areas now and into the future.  These groups can be identified (but not limited to)as.

  • Target Group 1 Existing and future social entrepreneurs, social start-ups; adult learners, low-skilled/qualified adults, community workers unemployed, early school leavers, disadvantaged minorities and migrants
  • Target Group 2 Adult Education providers and those who deliver Community Services Programs (CSPs), community training, Comprehensive Schools, and Community Schools
  • Target Group 3 Social community leaders, Not for Profit, Volunteer and Community Support organisations
  • Target Group 4 Local Support Organisations, local authorities, local development organisations, socio-economic actors, regional skills authorities, local government and wider stakeholders at the local government level


Number of Modules 7 (complete with exercises and assessments)
Skill Level all levels
Language English
Assessment self


Module 1 Social Enterprise Start-Up and Formulation

  • Section 1: Community Social Enterprises definitions, complemented with examples, Case Studies, explainers and diagrams.
  • Section 2: Idea generation and how to select the best social enterprise idea by developing, testing and refining an idea to ultimately implement an idea.

Module 2 Bringing Your Social Enterprise Idea to Life

  • Section 1: How to further develop and refine an idea before developing a social enterprise’s vision, mission and values.
  • Section 2: Customers’ needs and expectations and learn how to improve an idea so it meets these needs better.
  • Section 3: Develop a social enterprise vision and mission statement so that you can set up and develop your business with your values and what’s important to you in mind.

Module 3 Building Your Social Entrepreneurial Potential

  • Section 1: How social entrepreneurs are uniquely different to other individuals and traditional entrepreneurs. Learn how they are already changing the world for the better even when faced with unique challenges.
  • Section 2: Characteristics, traits and skills needed for social enterprise success. Yes, social entrepreneurs are similar to traditional entrepreneurs but they also have different motivations, challenges and priorities.
  • Section 3: Develop key social entrepreneurial skills that are specific to social enterprise and how to use their passion and ideas to develop new approaches to address market gaps
  • Section 4: Unlocking your social entrepreneurial potential g., how to adapt to change and overcome challenges by getting support and joining a supportive network

Module 4 Implementing Social Enterprise Innovative Technologies

  • Section 1: How social entrepreneurs are the individuals driving social innovation using technologies and digital tools to unlock solutions to challenges and create sustainable efficient business practices.
  • Section 2: How technology has revolutionised the way social enterprises conduct business. Technologies have enabled robust solutions that help create new solutions, scale up, streamline processes, support engagement and manage the impact.
  • Section 3: Explore how digital software solutions are helping entrepreneurs make better decisions, especially in challenging times. They are now able to monitor, evaluate and measure their impact anywhere, on any device at any time. These digital solutions are key to enabling social enterprises to be future-orientated and sustainable.
  • Section 4: Develop and implement a Digital Transformation Strategy so that you can come up with a practical actional plan to implement your digital and technology solutions strategically.

Module 5 Social Enterprise Business Models

  • Section 1: Defining and Understanding Social Enterprise Business Models and finding the balance between social impact to trade, deliver and manage a business
  • Section 2: Design and Develop a Social Business Model Canvas as a strategic management tool so you can understand the complexities of a social enterprise and how it could operate sustainably. Learn about customer orientation and partnership approaches to developing a social business model. Learn how to sell value propositions to various customer segments.

Module 6 Social Enterprise Finance and Funding Models

  • Section 1: How to legally set up a social enterprise, what you need to qualify and consider before your final decision
  • Section 2: The different types of finance and funding, how different money is used for different things and know the pros and cons
  • Section 3: Different legal structures and funding models work together and the unique challenges each scenario presents
  • Section 4: How to work with Impact Investors in a way that builds a partnership motivated by the same social mission and business strategies

Module 7 Social Enterprise Mission Marketing and Story Telling

  • Section 1: How social enterprises have the opportunity to use powerful strategies unique to them in comparison to the ‘typical commercial company’.
  • Section 2: How Mission and Impact Model should be at the centre of your brand and storytelling
  • Section 3: How to develop content that will stand out and emotionally connect with your audience
  • Section 4: How to deliver content that will reach the hearts, minds and hearts of your audience

How to use these Modules!

These Modules can be adapted, modified, shortened, extended, or combined however you think they will work best for you and your student’s learning. Please respect copyrights, branding and acknowledgement that these resources and materials were developed by CATALYSE with the funding and support of the Erasmus+ European Commission.