The Difference between Having a Good Idea and Changing the World

Jeffrey Simons

Social Entrepreneurship Certificate ProgramThe Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Program at StraighterLine

By Jeffrey Simons

Let’s face it: good ideas are a dime a dozen. Everybody gets them all the time. Especially when it comes to the “save the world” kind of good ideas.

Does this sound familiar? You and a bunch of your friends are hanging out and someone brings up some recent news story that just sucks. Like the fact that there’s a giant swirling vortex of garbage in the Pacific Ocean that is hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions, of square miles in size. And then you and your friends spend the next half hour coming up with brilliant ideas to harvest the garbage and recycle it into product packaging, or clothing.

And then you go on with your lives.

What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you could get the skills and training to turn your brilliant idea into a reality? What if you could make it your job to fix what’s broken in the world?

Guess what? You can. Social Entrepreneurs are out there changing the world every day, and now you can learn how to join them.

You Can Learn To Be a Social Entrepreneur

It turns out that there’s a skill set to becoming a Social Entrepreneur. StraighterLine has partnered with Ashoka, the global pioneer of the social entrepreneurship sector and the world’s biggest network of changemakers, to offer our first Startups For Social Entrepreneurs Program.

The program consists of 4 courses, and when you’ve successfully completed them, you’ll earn a “Social Entrepreneurship Certificate.” More importantly, though, you’ll know everything you need to know to start and run a business created to address a social, environmental or economic problem. You’ll even learn how to find seed money to fund your social venture.

You’ll take Venture Planning for Social Entrepreneurs (ENTR101), facilitated by Dr. Kristin Joos. Think of her as an expert at making Social Entrepreneurs. In 2005 she founded the Innovative Sustainability & Social Impact (ISSI) Initiative in the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida. She’s currently the Director of the Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability High School Summer Program at UF.

And to round out your business skills set, you’ll take 3 self-paced courses from StraighterLine, each worth 3 credits: Introduction to Business (BUS101), Business Communications (BUS105), and Business Ethics (BUS106).

The class isn’t just reading about social change. It’s about inventing it. You’ll conceive, plan, and create your own company. Together with your peers (the Venture Planning for Social Entrepreneurs class is cohort-based), you’ll work together to turn all of your ideas into actionable realities. (Speaking of cohorts, Venture Planning for Social Entrepreneurs also has a fixed start date of June 17th. It ends on August 23rd, but you have a total of 4 months to finish your other 3 self-paced courses.)

Once you’ve successfully completed the Startups For Social Entrepreneurs Program, you’ll be able to create your own social venture and manage your business. You will have improved your written skills for business communications and explored the ethical issues that you’ll encounter in the business world.

You Can Make a Difference… Instead of Just Talking About It!

Social entrepreneurs have invented new methods for clearing minefields to save innocent children. They’ve come up with soccer balls for third world villages that, after playing with them for a day, build up enough energy to power lights and other household appliances at night. And they’ve figured out ways to turn that floating plastic garbage dump into packaging and clothes, just like you and your friends could have.

Enroll in the Startups For Social Entrepreneurs Program at StraighterLine and get to work. I promise you there are still plenty of problems out there just waiting for a solution that only you can create.

Remember, this program has a fixed start date of June 17th. If you want to change the world, start by enrolling today.


Jeffrey Simons has been in advertising since the mid-1980s, when faxes were “new technology” and portable computers were the size of suitcases. Now, as Storyteller-in-Chief for his own social media consultancy, JL Simons Marketing & Advertising Consulting, he gets to tell true stories to interested readers for deserving brands.

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