Portal:Social entrepreneurship/Curriculum/General/Collaboration and Partnerships/Activities

Collaboration and Partnerships

for aspiring social entrepreneurs

Select activities which best meet your needs and take a look at the Resources page for tools which might help.

This part of the curriculum covers two broad aspects of collaboration and partnering:

  • Teamwork in you own project
  • Collaboration and partnership with stakeholders and interested and affected parties.

For both of these explore the general concepts and practical approaches which may be applied in student social entrepreneurship projects.

Design activities which enhance understanding of the benefits and provide practical advice etc.

Reflect on your own experiences of collaboration edit

  • Can you think of an experience of achieving more or making a more significant contribution with a team than you could have on your own?
  • How did the cooperation come about?
  • What made this cooperation successful?
    • What energised you and the other participants?
    • What can you say about the participants (individually and as a team)?
  • Did the collaboration lead to longer term relationships?
    • If so, have you developed those relationships in further activities?

Teams and Networks edit

  • What is a team?
  • What is a network?
  • Discuss the similarities and differences.
  • What are some of the critical elements in a team/network?
    • Read Teams and Networks and reflect on your own experience trying to identify other beneficial elements of a team/network.
  • How can you use teams and networks to reach common goals?

Communities of ____ edit

Explore the following (and related) concepts:

  • Club
  • Community of Interest
  • Community of Practice
  • Network of Practice
  • Social network
  • Association
  • Organisation
  • etc.

Social Networking edit

Online Academic edit

  • Join a new (or revisit an) online social network
    • Search for and create links with other social entrepreneurs, students of entrepreneurship or groups
    • Join a social entrepreneurship group within this network
      • Discuss and share learning.

Reading group edit

Find a few fellow learners - face to face, by e-mail, social networking (see for example Power.com), etc., agree to read and discuss the following:

  • ...
  • ...

Suggested discussion points:

  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

Approaches to Collaboration and Partnering edit

Informal edit


By contract edit


Client as Partner edit

Some highly successful companies have a policy of "client as partner" to get away from this contract-delivery paradigm (we pay you to deliver for us).

This attitude of client as partner (or community as equal partner) is particularly important for community-based and services-based learning ...

Experiential Learning edit

This is your next step towards community engagement. Activities here will be extended in future modules/units and build on previous.

The pattern will generally be:

Preparation and planning ... field work/ quest ... learn ... come back and share ... create links under Community ....

Form or Join a Fellowship edit

How this happens will depend on your institution or other circumstances. The course manager/instructor may have a process which you are required to follow. If so, start there.

The important thing is to assemble a balanced team with a range of skills and capabilities. Recognise your strengths and weaknesses, and find ways to enhance the effectiveness of the team via collaboration.

Some of the techniques described below may be useful in your team's deliberations.

Explore Community Structure edit

By now you may have met some community members and have an idea of the structures and dynamics.

Discover existing networks, engage with them ... in creative dialogue.

Seek to understand.

What questions could be asked at this stage?

  • Is the community actually asking for anything?
  • Do you feel welcome?
  • Regarding the existing initiatives in the community
    • Are there any you would like to support/join?
    • How much buy-in is there among community members for these initiatives?
      • Were they initiated from within the community or externally?
  • Who do we contact in connection with ... (with a view to joining or supporting the initiative in some way).
  • If we do anything, who needs to know?
  • When can we meet again?

Record your activities, learning and plans emerging from this quest.

Outputs edit

This may be the start of a cycle of successive meetings which will become the real essence of your project.

Depending on the nature of your project the meetings and actions may result in one or more of the following (or something else entirely):

  • Memorandum of Understanding
  • Contract
  • Document describing collaborative arrangements
  • etc.

You would do well to document everything thoroughly every step of the way to ensure you have all the material needed for these outputs and other reports.

What Next? edit

The next module in this course is Developing a Social Entrepreneurial Idea|Developing a Social Entrepreneurial Idea.

Alternatively, return to the main curriculum page and choose a different unit.