Kenyan university offers Higher Diploma in Social Entrepreneurship

By | April 1, 2013


Riara University near Nairobi in Kenya is offering a new course for social entrepreneurs. The rationale for launching the course is explained by the Business School:

Riara_University_screenshotAmidst us though albeit informally, social entrepreneurs have sprung up to create sustainable change for improvement of the social conditions, quality of work life and dignity of people by harnessing  opportunities that  supports communities, improve environment, increase fairness and improve livelihoods. These enterprises focus on economic, social and environmental good of a community. 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 take new leaps. Although most social enterprises are small, the sector has generated growing interest from policymakers, young people, entrepreneurs, funders and established businesses. Today it is emerging that social enterprises are generating more jobs than the business sector by far, yet most of the available academic curriculums have neglected the area. The higher diploma in social entrepreneurship attempts to fill this gap by focusing on various aspects of starting and managing social enterprises.

The program aims to:


  • Enable learners to develop a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of issues relating to the operational aspects of managing a social enterprise including strategy, governance, financing, staffing, and their social impact.
  • Provide a basket of opportunities to learners to start own for-profit social enterprises to serve a social cause.
  • Equip learners with skills on how to prepare a suitable business plan and provide information on how to seek required funds to start a social enterprise.

Prof. Abel Kinoti, Dean of the School of Business and Friend of the Erasmus Mundus Social Economy project, explains who would benefit from the course: “The programme is ideal for budding entrepreneurs intent on setting up social enterprises, social workers, environmental activists, corporate and non-profit sector managers, philanthropists, central and county governments’ employees and natural resource managers”.

It is very encouraging to see a university responding to local need and providing opportunities for social entrepreneurs to gain the expertise they need to lead and manage their enterprise. We would be very interested to hear of the plans and experiences of others in higher education in promoting and enabling social enterprise.

Margaret Meredith


2 thoughts on “Kenyan university offers Higher Diploma in Social Entrepreneurship

  1. Mike Calvert

    I recommend readers to follow the work of Gill Walker who has embraced social enterprise in the North East of England. I hope to introduce her to the work that is being done in York.

    Also, in a week’s time, I am attending a free conference in Copenhagen that addresses anti-neo-liberal policies and I am sure they will be interested in your work. The conference website is at (not concrete as Google insists on finding). I will suggest the organisation is represented at the next conference in 2014 wherever that is held.

    It is interesting that I am in discussions this week with academics from Slovenia and one of them mentioned specifically yesterday the need to have models in place when neo-liberal approaches to education are finally seen to not work. She will be coming to York in July.

  2. Margaret Meredith Post author

    Many thanks, Mike. I really appreciate you drawing people’s attention to the project.
    I would be very interested in meeting your Slovenian colleague when she comes to York. I am convinced that there are many people in higher education and beyond who are looking for ideas about how to manage our economic affairs which are more intrinsically sustainable and fair than the current dominant model. The wonderful thing about this project is that we can see this trend in many regions of the world. The project and the blog are partly about ‘joining the dots’, allowing us to learn from each other and make the knowledge and experience of those in the social economy better represented in higher education. If your colleagues and contacts would like to contribute an article to the blog or sign up as friends of the project, that would be great!

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