Purpose and Profit: the Essentials of Social Business

The London School of Economics and Political Science

The London School of Economics and Political Science


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process of adopting and utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in order to boost business activity, improve safety, and...

Read more about Marketing

Marketing courses will plunge you into the vast field of marketing. In these courses, you will learn a variety of topics that cover each stage of runn...

Read more about Non-profit

These days management and financial factors play a vital role in the framework of non-profit organizations. Non-profit institutions no longer implemen...

Who should attend

Every firm, corporation, start-up, NGO or government in the world must grapple with profound questions of risk, purpose and social impact arising from climate change, energy, food, justice and other critical issues that affect our survival and flourishing. Capitalism is facing a crisis of legitimacy. It has shown remarkable capacity to create value, but too often that value has been captured by shareholders alone. To better serve people and planet, there is an emerging consensus that capitalism as it is – and the rules of commercial engagement – need to change. At the same time there is awareness that government, NGOs and charities are failing too, and that they can improve their social impact by utilising the power of business mechanisms and the market.

Organisations must get ahead of these changes or risk becoming obsolete. Staying relevant means understanding that what worked until now is no longer valid. And that the onus is now on every business to integrate social purpose with financial profit in order to remain competitive in the long term.

This course draws on LSE’s exceptional world-class faculty, our unique ecosystem of pioneering practitioners and our long-standing mission to understand the underlying causes of things. It mixes theory and practice, shedding light on the why as well as the how, to equip you with the knowledge and the tools, the understanding and the techniques to effect real change – within your organisation or at the helm of your own enterprise.

About the course

Build the insights, frameworks and tools to shift your firm towards social impact.

Social impact is fast becoming a defining issue for competitive advantage and long-term survival in today’s global business environment. With increasing focus from shareholders and customers on social return, the imperative to balance doing well with doing good has never been greater, whatever your organisation or industry. At the same time social purpose organisations are increasingly looking to market and business mechanisms to resolve social problems.

Purpose and Profit: The Essentials of Social Business gives you the expert understanding, insights and practical toolkit to steer your company towards a more pro-social orientation, to launch your own socially-focused entrepreneurial venture, or to invest for impact and social change. Intensely practical yet simultaneously enriched by the very latest theory on management and social purpose, this course is led by some of the world’s foremost authorities in economics, finance and impact investing, social entrepreneurship and public policy.

You emerge fully empowered with the strategic, leadership and entrepreneurial capabilities to create economic value while driving meaningful social impact.

Find out more about how to balance financial gain and social impact with this article, 'Is it time to rehabilitate capitalism?'

What will you gain from the course?

  • Identify new and emerging forms of social business and their social and political drivers, while distinguishing similarities and differences between the typical commercial corporation and social business.
  • Evaluate complementarities and tensions between different conceptions of “the public good.”
  • Grasp the importance of evidence and accurate measurement of social impact.
  • Understand the institutional environment in which social businesses operate and apply the impact continuum.
  • Analyse the roles of different organisations and mechanism in achieving both profit and purpose.

Course structure

Day 1: An Introduction to Purpose & Profit

  • Exploring the drivers of change: different types of social business; corporations and the market; social entrepreneurship; government; charities and society.
  • Understanding motivations and incentives, and organisational design.

Day 2: Using the market for good

  • Analysing how market start-ups address and resolve chronic social problems.
  • Examining how emerging social businesses leverage market mechanisms to deliver social impact.

Day 3: The conscious corporation

  • Investigating how to reform mainstream corporations for the public good while preserving profitability.
  • Practitioner session: Unilever.

Day 4: Financing for impact

  • Evaluating diverse sources and combinations of funding for the social business, including impact investing.
  • Practitioner session: Leslie Labruto, Acumen.

Day 5: Understanding impact

  • Exploring value: what is public benefit and what does a “good” society look like?
  • Reviewing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the impact continuum: ethics, Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) criteria and intentional impact.
  • Understanding impact measurement and why it matters.
  • Re-defining climate change as the paradigmatic social business challenge.
  • Practitioner session: Sonia Media, Head of Climate CIFF.

Virtual course structure

Rather than an intensive five-day course, the virtual courses will be delivered over four weeks and you will be able to manage them alongside your working hours.

Week one will be a course orientation where participants can access your pre-course readings and meet fellow classmates, as well as a live welcome session hosted by our world-leading faculty.

Following that, your course will be taught over the course of three weeks with 10 contact hours each week, matching the level of contact time you would get on an on-campus course. Teaching will typically occur on weekdays during regular UK university hours. During this time, you'll have dedicated slots to meet your fellow participants, a virtual event per programme, full technical support by phone, email or live-chat and a 'virtual graduation' ceremony to end the course


Jonathan Roberts

Awards 2013 Titmuss Prize: best PhD thesis in Department of Social Policy, LSE. Experience Keywords behavioural economics; charity; childcare; children''s centres; early years; education policy; philanthropy; schools; social enterprise; trust and public services; voluntary sector

Aunnie Patton Power

Aunnie Patton Power is the founder of Intelligent Impact, a technology for social impact advisory firm. She is also a university lecturer on innovative finance, impact investing and technology for impact. At Saïd Business School, she is an entrepreneur in residence at the Skoll Centre for Soci...

Stephan Chambers

Stephan Chambers is the inaugural director of the Marshall Institute at LSE. He is also Professor in Practice at the Department of Management at LSE and Course Director for the new Executive Masters in Social Business and Entrepreneurship. From 2000 to 2014 he directed the University of Oxford's...

Julian Le Grand

Julian Le Grand has been Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science since 1993. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2015 New Year's Honour's list for services to social sciences and public service. He is an economist by training, with a PhD in economics fro...

Videos and materials

Purpose and Profit: the Essentials of Social Business at The London School of Economics and Political Science

This course has no confirmed dates in the future. Subscribe to be notified when it is offered.

Something went wrong. We're trying to fix this error.

Thank you

Someone from the Coursalytics team will be in touch with you soon.


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Digital Transformation

When it comes to imposing digital frameworks and technologies, whether you’re trying to optimize particular units or the entire organization, you need to minimize the collateral damage in order to have a greater effect. However, it's not always that ...

Read more about Marketing

During Marketing courses, you will learn how to develop a business idea and create the right website to promote your product. You will gain the skills to analyze your business performance and make key decisions that improve the efficiency of your bus...

Read more about Non-profit

Courses on non-profit offer an excellent opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create an effective plan for addressing key challenges that are faced by all non-profit organizations. The courses mainly focus on the financial and...

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.