Bring key concepts of impact finance into your classroom
Modular teaching materials for incorporating impact investing into your course.
Tactical, hands-on tools to give students real-world learning from the perspective of a funder or entrepreneur.
Guides for students to evaluate real or hypothetical impact enterprises in the classroom or a case competition.
Social entrepreneurship and impact investing are hot topics on campuses around the world, but getting beyond the hype to core concepts and skills for students to master can be challenging. CASE Smart Impact Capital is a comprehensive online curriculum covering all aspects of capital for social enterprises and direct impact investing, from diligencing an impact enterprises’ plans and investment readiness to identifying a fit with an investor and closing the right deal with terms that enhance both growth and impact.
Engaging format. You and your students will appreciate the format: each module contains high-quality short animated videos to make concepts clear, tools to download and use for real-world learning, guides on the processes impact enterprises take, and links to a curated set of additional resources from the impact field. All resources are numbered so they can be assigned in a syllabus easily. Most tools are downloadable so students can fill them out and submit them offline. As a course instructor, you can use the faculty-developed online toolkit and teaching materials to design a lecture, group exercise, a coaching program for entrepreneurs, or even create a full course on social entrepreneurship or impact investing.
Widely used. Smart Impact Capital has been widely used in both undergraduate and graduate-level courses and programs by higher education institutions including Duke, ESADE, Harvard, London School of Economics, MIT, Stanford, and Yale.
Smart Impact Capital content is applicable to:
- Courses in social entrepreneurship and social innovation
- Courses in impact investing, impact finance, and microfinance
- Courses in entrepreneurial finance
- Courses in sustainability
- Traditional finance courses that want to integrate an impact lens
- Student case competitions
- Community engagement programs
- Student-run direct investment funds
How it Works
Registering for a group membership account provides you and your students with online access to the full toolkit for the duration of the class and for a few months after (6 months total). Once you register and become a group owner, you may enter or upload emails on our site to send unique individual log-ins to your students, co-faculty or TAs, and as the group account owner, you will have control over your memberships — you can assign them and reassign them within your account as you wish. Add more individual licenses and/or renew them online whenever you want!
Our free Academic Guide includes more detail on what’s in each module and ideas for how you can incorporate pieces of the curriculum or the full course into your classroom. If you reserve 20 or more seats in your group membership, we will provide additional plug-and-play classroom materials to make incorporating content easy.
Want to review the materials yourself first? Purchase one license on our signup page. Then email CASEsmartimpact@duke.edu when you are ready to purchase for your group. We can credit you the initial license by providing you a discount code. This way you can take as much time as you like to explore the toolkit so you can plan how you’ll incorporate it into your course.
Running an accelerator program at your university? Visit our Accelerators & Funders page for more information.
A group membership gives students access to all 9 modules:
1: Impact Capital 101. Discover what makes impact capital different and how it changes hands in the market, from asset holders to intermediaries to impact enterprises. This is the foundational understanding of impact capital, including the size and scope of the impact investing marketplace.
2: Articulating Strategy to Investors. What’s the venture’s strategy for growth and impact? Learn how to assess an impact enterprise’s growth across 7 dimensions and download a reusable tool to evaluate real or hypothetical organizations. Also contains tools to understand how enterprises evaluate impact and explore standard ways to communicate to investors with different impact evidence preferences.
3: Calculating Your Funding Gap. Learn entrepreneurial finance in four short videos – this CFO-built module helps students master the key elements of an investor-friendly financial projection model. Contains excel-based templates and step-by-step instructions so students can practice building a working financial model from scratch. Students can also start with a sample model for an impact business and explore how changes in inputs like costs, price, and units sold impact the company’s bottom line AND the funding gap over a period of years.
4: Types of Capital. The impact capital market includes grants, debt, and equity, as well as a number of alternative finance vehicles specially designed to meet the needs of impact enterprises, including pay for success, variable repayment debt, and crowdfunding. Our short, easy-to-digest primers on 13 types of capital and our decision tool help students evaluate which vehicles are most aligned with a venture’s needs.
5: Investor Triage. What’s the difference between a CDFI, a foundation, a fund, a family office, and an INGO? We provide a guide on 11 types of impact investors, including their common financial and impact motivations and the types of vehicles they tend to use. Students learn best practices on how to evaluate what investors may be a good fit for the specific needs of an impact enterprise based on knockout and fit criteria.
6: Scenario Planning. Building on the excel-based financial model from Calculating Your Funding Gap, students understand how to pressure test an actual investment offer, seeing how different investment terms impact the bottom line and funding gap of an enterprise. Guides on scenario planning and sensitivity testing allow students to put themselves in the position of an entrepreneur who needs to negotiate for deal terms that truly meet their needs.
7: Investor Outreach. Impact enterprises have to tell a coherent story that combines their growth and impact goals. Four distinct types of investment stories – such as high growth vs. delivering impact at scale – form the basis for learning about how entrepreneurs can best communicate to investors. Students can use templates to craft their own executive summary, short pitch deck, and longer business deck, or evaluate the documents of others.
8: Investor Cultivation. What do the interactions between investors and impact entrepreneurs look like? We provide tools and guides for the frequently long process of cultivating a funder to the point of ultimate investment. Students understand and calculate the “back-pocket” metrics every entrepreneur should have on hand, learn how to interpret what investors are saying, and review tools to keep potential investors engaged in the enterprise.
9: Due Diligence and Beyond. The due diligence process between investor and enterprise can be long and involve a lot of back-and-forth. Students have access to the real due diligence checklists used by a host of impact investors currently working in the field. Real-world term sheets for different investment vehicles provide examples students can practice deciphering, and a guide to terms makes that process easier.
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