7 free online courses for the inspiring social entrepreneurs


A couple of years ago, I was working long hours in a wonderful, although challenging, job. I missed my time at university studying for a Bachelor degree. I felt lost. How could I keep on learning in my professional and busy life? 

Then, I discovered edX, a website that provides free online courses from the world’s best universities. I enrolled in “International Women’s Health & Human Rights“, a course from Stanford University. I absolutely loved it. Three evenings a week, I would sit down at my desk after work and listen to the classes of Anne Firth Murray – the director of the course, but you might know her better as the founding president of the Global Fund for Women. This experience is the reason why I decided to start studying for a Master’s degree one year ago.

I understand that trying an online course can be difficult while working, especially for those who have crazy schedules. However, some of the classes listed below only require a couple of hours of your time every week. I have compiled the ones that start relatively soon, so that you can sign up already. They all seem so exciting and interesting that I had to stop myself from registering to every single one of them:

Entrepreneurship courses:

Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action
What is it about? “How can you turn a social enterprise idea into action? In this course, you will identify the problem your idea is trying to solve, design your social enterprise venture model and prepare to take it to market. This course is a must for anyone who wants to launch a social enterprise.”
Starts on: July 16, 2018
From: Middlesex University Business School

Thinking & Acting like an Entrepreneur
What is it about? “Discover the entrepreneur inside of you – learn what it takes to turn an idea into a real business and how to put this approach to use within your own company.”
Starts on: August 6, 2018
From: RWTH Aachen University

– Technology Entrepreneurship: How to Start a New Venture
What is it about? “Being entrepreneurial is an exciting challenge and will help make your technology-based idea a reality. In this free online course, you’ll learn from experienced technology entrepreneurs and educators from the University of Twente how to address three crucial questions along the path towards a financially sustainable venture. You’ll find out how to recognise, evaluate and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities.”
Starts on: September 3, 2018
From: University of Twente

Courses on ethics and social development:

Gender and Development
What is it about? “This online course explores why gender matters in contemporary international and community development, asking: what does gender have to do with international development? Is ‘woman’ the core of gender and development? What brings gender and development together? What is the history of women in international development?”
Starts on: available now!
From: Deakin University

Vulnerable Populations
What is it about? “Learners in this course will explore the multi-dimensional factors related to healthcare ethics of vulnerable populations. Examine the frameworks utilized in the practice of ethical deliberation on topics of specific concern in vulnerable populations, such as healthcare disparities, chronic mental illness and end-of-life care.”
Starts on: July 17, 2018
From: Doane University

Human Rights Activism, Advocacy and Change
What is it about? “In this course you will explore the role of social movements, advocacy groups and different forms of activism in bringing about change. It covers a range of social movement theories and concepts and explores specific movements and campaigns to illustrate the diversity of movement philosophies, methods and outcomes.”
Starts on: July 23, 2018
From: Curtin University

– Ethical Leadership: Character, Civility, and Community
What is it about? “This course provides theoretical and practical approaches to the development of character, civility and community for leaders and emerging leaders in education, business, nonprofit, academic, religious, and other professions. The course examines the personal, public and spiritual dimensions of leadership within the context that Fluker calls “the intersection of lifeworlds and systems”; and outlines principles and practices of ethical leadership from a diverse field of leadership theories.”
Starts on: September 4, 2018
From: Boston University

Let me know what you think. Have you ever enrolled in an online course? What was it like? 

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