Study Programmes 2015-2016
Financing Social Enterprise
Duration :
30h Th
Number of credits :
Certificat d'université en Management des entreprises sociales5
Lecturer :
Sybille Mertens de Wilmars
Language(s) of instruction :
English language
Units courses prerequisite and corequisite :
Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
Course contents :
The financing of social entreprises, conditions the development of their activities and the achievement of their goals. Generally, social enterprises face the same financing needs that conventional firms. They, however, have to face specific difficulties in access to resources (need for partial non-market resources, difficulty of raising capital, incompatibility of certain modes of financing their purpose). Conversely, they have privileged access to certain sources of funding (public funding, philanthropy, socially responsible investing). By linking the funding arrangements for capital gains generated by individual or collective social enterprise, this course offers students the opportunity to become familiar with major sources of financing of social enterprises while developing their capacity to utilize it.
Learning outcomes of the course :
- To understand the economic rationality of different methods of financing social enterprises,
- To acquire a thorough knowledge of operational modes of financing (public financing, pricing, fund-raising),
- To develop the ability to design and implement the financing mix in the context of developing a business plan for social enterprise.
This course contributes to the following Intended Learning Outcomes :
ILO-1 : To strengthen knowledge and understanding of management disciplines and its legal, policy and social context
ILO-2 : Gaining the knowledge and understanding of one of the proposed fields of concentration or to gain deep knowledge in the field of the management being already specialized thru a first University Master Degree . 
ILO-3 : To understand, in management situations, the transversal tools of quantitative reasoning, information systems and project management
ILO-5 : Integrate autonomously researched information, tools, knowledge and context to build and propose, either individually or as part of a team, original, creative and viable solutions to concrete complex management problems, whether real or simulated, taking into account, when necessary, the human, social and legal context.
ILO-10 : Developing a transversal, global vision 
ILO-13 : Professional capacity for written communication  
ILO-14 : Faced with a management problem, suggesting solutions that are ethical and socially responsible and that respect the principles of good governance.
Prerequisite knowledge and skills :
- An introductory course of social economy and, if possible, a course on public economics and an introductory course in entrepreneurship.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :
The course is structured in three parts. In the first part, theoretical presentations discover the theoretical framework of the financing mix. In the second part, students are invited to explore the various sources of funding for social enterprises through workshops that bring together on thematic issues: teacher, manager of social enterprise and an expert. Finally, a third party invites the student to apply knowledge through developing a business plan for social enterprise.
Recommended or required readings :
The course is based on two reference works: - Young, D. (2007), Financing nonprofits, Putting Theory Into Practice, Altamira Press, Lanham. - Mertens, S. (2010), La gestion des entreprises sociales, EdiPro, Liège.
Ppt presentations of the various sessions will be posted on the interface Lol @.
Assessment methods and criteria :
The evaluation will combine two elements:
  • The development by a group of two students of a business plan (50% of overall score). This work will be submitted to the contest "Feasibility study of social enterprises" in the project Impulcera ( The best projects will participate in an international competition.
  • A written examination (50% of overall score).
Work placement(s) :
Organizational remarks :
Contacts :
Sybille Mertens Cera Chair- Center for Social Economy HEC-Management School - University of Liège - B33/box 4 - 4000 Liège Tel : + 32(0) 4 366 27 51 -