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Lean Startup Principles for the Social Sector, Acumen+ Online Course

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    Profile photo of Craig Zelizer
    Craig Zelizer

    Lean Startup Principles for the Social Sector

    Apply the innovation methods from Silicon Valley to social issues


    Course Details

    • Price: FREE
    • Start Date: SEPT 11, 2018
    • Time: 2 hours/week
    • Duration: 5 weeks
    • Partner: Sasha Dichter

    What You’ll Learn:

    • Uncover how social enterprises and organizations successfully run experiments, pivot, and remain lean and innovative while ethically serving their customers and prioritizing social impact
    • Use the value proposition canvas to map out your customers’ pains, gains, and jobs to be done
    • Create and test hypotheses to refine the value proposition of your enterprise or initiative


    In this course, you will learn how to test, validate, and adapt your vision of change to ensure you’re creating the greatest impact and meeting the needs of your customers and stakeholders.

    This course is ideal for experimenting with lean methodologies to start a new enterprise or build a new program within an existing organization. The lean approach relies on validated learning, experimentation, and iterative product releases to shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and gain valuable customer feedback.

    These principles aren’t just for high tech startups but tools for any innovator, especially those determined to solve the world’s toughest social problems.


    • Team-Based Course: We strongly encourage (but do not require) that you form a team of 2-8 people to take the course with. It works best to find friends or coworkers who can meet in person. Need to find team members? You can post to the discussion forums a month before the course starts.
    • Platform: NovoEd (+Acumen developed the course. We host this course on the NovoEd platform.)
    • Timing: This course will be open for 5 weeks. You can work through the materials at your own pace during the time the course is open. There are no required times for you to log in. There will be suggested deadlines for you to complete each assignment. The final deadline is the final day of the course.

    Course Syllabus

    Supported By

    Sasha Dichter is Acumen’s Chief Innovation Officer. In this capacity, he oversees Acumen’s work in Leadership and the spread of ideas. Sasha is also a noted speaker and blogger on generosity, philanthropy and social change.

    What People Are Saying

    Afzahl Habib

    “The lean startup course was a game-changer for us. It challenged our thinking, got us to approach the problem in new ways and gave us confidence to take our idea and put it into action. The result: Kidogo!”

    Afzahl Habib, Co-founder of Kidogo
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