At the SSE we use a variety of learning methods to provide the tailored personal development and organisational support that social entrepreneurs need. Learning is "by doing" and throughout each course students learn from their peers, build new networks and are challenged by practitioners, staff and each other to become the most successful social entrepreneurs they can be.
The SSE’s experience is that social entrepreneurs develop their business and life skills through applying their learning directly to their project, through practical action not academic theory.
A core part of all our courses, action learning sets consist of students working in small groups to tackle any issues and problems that they've come across. Students take turns in sharing a current challenge and are supported to reflect on the issue from different perspectives by peers posing questions in a non-judgemental atmosphere.
At the SSE we use 'witnesses' to share their own experiences with the students that we have on our programmes. These witnesses are themselves social entrepreneurs and can share the mistakes they made, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
In some areas, we recognise that students need the best possible advice and guidance. We bring in experts from fields such as financial management, business planning, sales, marketing, managing people and partnering for students to listen to and question.
Where appropriate, the SSE uses mentors to offer students offer personal advice and guidance, coaching, information, support and contacts. These relationships often continue long past the SSE programme.
We give students the opportunity to see for themselves projects that have been established in their local area, often run by Fellows of the SSE. These project visits provide students with an excellent opportunity to question and seek inspiration from fellow social entrepreneurs.