Kelly Kornet | School for Social Entrepreneurs
Professional Futurist and Design Researcher. Helping organizations generate forward-looking solutions.
futurist, toronto, kelly kornet,
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School for
Social Entrepreneurs

School for
Social Entrepreneurs

Advisors: Helen Kerr and Nabil Harfoush
Team: Ksenia Benifand, Krittika Sharma & Kelly Kornet

How might we create social impact and support intrapreneurs in the SME sector? An innovation proposal for the School for Social Entrepreneurs – Ontario.


Founded in London, UK in 1997, the School for Social Entrepreneurs expanded into Ontario in 2011 and launched their first cohort of students in 2012. The school for social innovators is open to everyone, regardless of their education, age, income, and background. It runs non-traditional, transformational education programs that provide action-based and practitioner-led learning, mentorship programs and project visits. The organization operates under a charitable status and currently relies on Ontario Trillium Foundation grants for approximately 70% of their funding, while the remaining sources come from student fees and donations. SSEO asked us to help define new funding models and opportunities that can help them to become self-sufficient and sustainable. They were especially interested in how they can develop a program for corporate change makers - Social Intrapreneurs.


The initial process involved meeting with the clients, unpacking the information provided and accessing their current capacity using Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas. With several ideation sessions, the team developed a series of options for business models, exploring all possible patterns that might open up revenue opportunities. For added sense-making, a set of design criteria were created to guide the performance of the concepts against the current priorities of the organization. After narrowing the options of business models with the client, the team researched funding opportunities in Ontario and interviewed potential clients regarding the importance and role of employee engagement and CSR. The amalgamation of the information gathered resulted in converging towards key insights and the creation of personas.


The proposed recommendations created consisted of a short, medium and long-term growth plan that would allow SSEO to address short term financial issues and diversify offerings, gain more visibility in Canada, while fostering inclusivity and accessibility and become a prominent player and develop long term impact. Common Ground Impact is a series of workshops, weekend challenges, networking events and programs that will enable SSEO to expand their reach and impact by fulfilling needs for small to medium enterprises (SMEs). These diverse program offerings will pair SMEs and at risk youth through a curated curriculum in order to address needs and find solutions for an under-served and relatively untapped market. This initiative supports disruptive innovation at the local business and community level, enabling grassroots transformation through collaborative innovation. Currently, SSEO are in the process of implementing the proposed recommendations.

Scope of Work

> Design Thinking
> Service Design
> Facilitation
> Business Model Development
> Organizational Innovation


June 25, 2014


Design Thinking, Innovation