Top 10 Executive Courses for Social Entrepreneurs and Nonprofit Leaders

Top 10 Executive Courses for Social Entrepreneurs and Nonprofit Leaders

Social entrepreneurship and nonprofit organizations are part of a rapidly growing movement that seeks to create societal value and protect the environment alongside generating economic value. A number of business schools offer excellent executive education programs for managers who operate in this dynamic and rewarding space. 

The programs typically offer a flexible schedule, practical application of classroom learning in the workplace and a sophisticated curriculum offering a strong foundation in nonprofit management and leadership. The executive courses help mission-driven leaders develop their strategy, financial and fundraising skills. Participants also learn a great deal from one another. 

The programs will either be either for social enraptures or nonprofit leaders. Participants who are social entrepreneurs will develop entrepreneurial skills, learning how to integrate design thinking and social innovation, in addition to measuring the impact of their social venture model.  The nonprofit executive courses focus on strengthening people’s leadership capabilities and encouraging them to spark innovation and lead change within their organizations. 

Fontainebleau, France

The INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme integrates theory and practice to create social and economic value for high-impact social ventures. Participants will hone the business skills and frameworks to build support among stakeholders and attract the investors needed to scale ventures and maximise social impact. The course runs for six days either in France or Singapore. 

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New York City, New York

New York’s Columbia Business School has several programs in social enterprise including the Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals. This highly interactive 20-day course offers participants a transformative experience and strategic management and leadership skills. Through intensive exercises, faculty interaction, executive coaching and collaboration with a diverse group of senior leaders, the program provides a rich learning experience.

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Boston, Massachusetts

Harvard Business School runs a number of nonprofit programs including its Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management course, delivered in person over seven days at the HBS campus in Boston. The key benefits including gaining the strategic perspectives, practical frameworks and leadership skills to boost organizational performance. Participants leave prepared to create a more responsive, successful and sustainable nonprofit. 

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Barcelona, Spain

The Management in Non-Governmental Organizations program is at Spain’s ESADE Business School. The course will strengthen people’s leadership capabilities and encourage them to spark innovation and lead change within their organizations. They reflect on their own executive and management experience, learning through peer groups in addition to top faculty members. The in-person program runs part-time over eight months in Madrid.  

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Stanford, California

Stanford offers the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship. Participants will be guided in testing their business idea, developing a business model, finding inspiration and funding, turning their dream into a reality. Participants develop entrepreneurial skills, learning how to integrate design thinking and social innovation, in addition to measuring the impact of their social venture model.  

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Evanston, Illinois

Kellogg’s Step Into Impact program introduces leaders to the social sector, which ranges from nonprofits to sustainability, social enterprise and more. Participants, senior executives from across sectors, learn how to apply their professional skills and experience in the impact sector. This means exploring pro bono engagements, volunteering, philanthropy and impact investment opportunities. 

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Durham, North Carolina

Duke offers an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership that leverages executive skills training, academic theory and reflective practices in an interactive learning environment. So participants master leadership skills and increase their confidence, as well as gain an awareness of emerging trends in the non-profit sector and how to grasp the opportunities. 

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College Park, Maryland

The Smith School at University of Maryland runs the Nonprofit Management and Leadership course, which is a graduate-level certificate program that prepares mission-driven leaders to develop their strategy, financial and fundraising skills. Participants learn a great deal from one another on this year-long part-time course for those from the education, environmental, healthcare, performing arts and philanthropic sectors. 

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

At the Fox School, the Board Leadership Program: Elevate Your Impact course is for prospective and current members of non-profits boards of directors. The online program includes executive speakers, structure discussions and breakout sessions that give participants the skills to serve effectively on boards. And, the school will even coach participants through a board search, clarifying their goals and passions. 

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Boston, Massachusetts

Boston’s Questrom School of Business offers a nonprofit management and leadership executive education program. The program aims to build the next generation of non-profit leaders through its flexible schedule, practical application of classroom learning in the workplace and a sophisticated curriculum offering a strong foundation in non-profit management and leadership. 

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