School for Social Entrepreneurs is a charity that supports people with tackling complex social problems by helping them to start, sustain, and scale social enterprises, charities and community projects. It runs learning programmes and courses, provides advice and support, gives grants, builds partnerships and shares evidence and insights.



SSE commissioned CAN Invest and Investing for Good (IFG) to support its impact measurement strategy. They wanted:

Theory of Change (ToC) & Impact Proposition: A coherent narrative on what impact the organisation seeks to achieve and how it achieves it

Social Impact Review: To measure the impact of a large national programme and share the results

Impact framework guidance: To identify gaps and inform strategy to guide future impact measurement strategy

CAN Provided:


Theory of Change: CAN ran a workshop with Chief Executives from each of SSE’s network of schools to create an initial draft of its vision for change and a user journey for the entrepreneurs they support. Through project meetings and phone calls, CAN challenged SSE’s assumptions and helped to tease out the unique elements of its approach. The ‘spheres of influence’ and ‘spheres of control’ dimensions were developed which have proved useful distinctions for SSE strategically (see image or download in full).


CAN Invest, measuring social impact for the Social for Social Entrepreneurs

  • Impact Proposition & Social Impact Review: CAN worked with IFG to produce an Impact Proposition and input into a Social Impact Review for funders. The Impact Proposition articulates the ToC in further detail and outlines some of SSE’s impact to date.


  • Impact measurement guidance: CAN provided a range of innovative potential approaches for impact measurement in the future; considering practicality, proportionality and the varying needs of SSE themselves and the entrepreneurs they support. These ideas form the basis of an exciting tool for SSE and the organisations it supports whilst also adding consistency to SSE’s data collection across the global organisation.

Outcomes of the project


SSE schools can now share what they do and the impact they have in a more consistent and coherent way. They now have:

School for social entrepreneurs on working with CAN Invest