The Business School's exciting partnership with FutureLearn, the popular UK-based social learning platform, has attracted over 20,000 subscribers in its first six months. The School's three online social enterprise courses teach learners how to design, deliver and sustain their own long-term social enterprises.
The three courses are on Business Doing Good, Turning Ideas into Action and Growing a Sustainable Business. More than 40 contributors - including existing social enterprises and experts in the field - have participated in creating the course content.
The programme is delivered as three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which allow very large numbers of people from around the world to study a subject through structured online learning.
Sara Calvo, a Lecturer and the Social Enterprise Coordinator at the Enterprise Development Hub in the Business School, approached FutureLearn about developing the programme in 2015 after identifying that there were no social enterprise courses being offered on their learning platform.
The Business School prepared the programme in collaboration with researchers at the Jindal Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship in India and the UK social enterprise Living in Minca, and with funding from the British Council.
Sara is delighted at the success of the social enterprise courses so far, and sees them growing with future worldwide promotion.
“I am delighted that our University is now a FutureLearn partner. It is recognition of the social enterprise expertise we have here at Middlesex," she says.
"I am using one of the courses for my first year students - they have to pitch a social enterprise business idea - and they have found the MOOC extremely useful in completing their coursework.
"In the first round we also ran a social innovation competition and shortlisted three social enterprise business ideas in Croatia, United Arab Emirates and the UK. Each of them received free consultancy through the platform."
The flexible courses are accessible for free on desktop, tablet or mobile and are delivered over three weeks of learning. Once students have completed all three courses and bought a Certificate of Achievement for each, they will earn a FutureLearn Award.
Daniel Hordejcuk, a first year BA Business Management student, thought the online courses were a fantastic introduction to the world of social enterprise.
"I'm so happy to be able to learn more about social enterprise. I will use this knowledge for my university assignments as well as in real life."
To learn more about the three social enterprise courses visit the FutureLearn website.