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2010/2011  KAN-CM_K72  Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Social Change Using the Power of Entrepreneurship

English Title
Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Social Change Using the Power of Entrepreneurship

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn
Pending schedule: Wednesday 09.50-12.25, week: 36-41, 43-46
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course Coordinator
Kai Hockerts
Main Category of the Course
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Experience economy and service management

Taught under Open University-Taught under open university.
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
At the end of the course students should be able to
a. Discuss the differences between the social entrepreneurship theories discussed in the course.
b. Explain how these theories link to social performance.
c. Enumerate which variables impact the social performance of social enterprises
d. Apply these theories to the analysis of social entrepreneurship in a wide range of case studies.
Basic knowledge of business policy and strategic management are advantageous.
Individual Project, 15 pages
Exam Period Autumn Term
The course concludes with a 15 pages individual project exam/home assignment.
As a prerequisite for the exam case assignments have to be handed in and need to be presented and discussed in the case sessions.
Prerequisites for Attending the Exam
Course Content

The domain of social change is no longer reserved to students of political sciences and development studies. Increasingly business students are recognized as possessing important skills that can drive social change. This new discipline is often referred to as Social Entrepreneurship (S-ENT). S-ENT describes the discovery and sustainable exploitation of opportunities to create public goods. This is usually done through the generation of disequilibria in market and non-market envi­ronments. The S-ENT process can in some cases lead to the creation of social enterprises. These social ventures are hybrid organizations exhi­biting characteristics of both the for-profit and not-for profit sector. People engaging in S-ENT are usually referred to as social entrepreneurs, a term that describes resourceful individuals working to create social innovation. They do not only have to identify (or create) opportunities for social change (that so far have been unexploited), they must also muster the resources necessary to turn these opportunities into reality. A typical example is Prof. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank (Bangladesh) and recipient of the Nobel Peace price in recognition of his contribution to poverty alleviation through the invention and popularization of Micro­finance. Other examples include fair trade or car-sharing. Today many foundations aim to identify and promote social entrepreneurs. Two pro­minent examples are Ashoka and the Skoll Foundation. So called venture philanthropists adopt methods from the domain of venture capital, for example, encouraging social entrepreneurs to provide detailed business plans and to measure and report systematically on their social performance. Social Return on Investment (S-ROI) analysis is an example, for an emerging tool aiming to describe the social impact of S-ENT in dollar terms, relative to the philanthropic investment made.

The course´s development of personal competence:

Participants in this course will learn what role management students can play in the initiation of social change. In particular they will become skilled at how to identify opportunities for social change and how to develop plans for their exploitation. They will also acquire the basic skills needed for launching and growing social enterprises.

Further Information

What past students have to say about the class: “I would recommend this course to anyone remotely interested in creating social benefit and even those interested in economics, innovation and business models. Since taking the course I have built a non-commercial volunteer website (SEEK Volunteer) and now I am beginning work for a social enterprise unit running a second hand online bookstore and cafe whose profits are used to build better services for Australia's poor.” Olivia Whitty, Melbourne Area, Australia (took the class in 2007)

“This lively class gives a great overview of the field of social entrepreneurship. The class project reveals which strategies are successful for businesses in the field. This was a great course and I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning how to use business ventures to address social issues. ” Benjamin Rose, North Carolina (took the class in 2008)


· Bornstein D. 1998. Changing the World on a Shoestring. The Atlantic Monthly. 281(1): 34-39.

· Drucker, Peter, 1989: What Business Can Learn from Nonprofits. Harvard Business Review, Jul/Aug89, Vol. 67.

· Dees JG. 1998. Enterprising Nonprofits. Harvard Business Review. 76(1): 54-66.

· Prahalad, C. K.; Hammond, Allen, 2002: Serving the world's poor, profitably, in: Harvard Business Review, Sept 2002.

· Yunus M. 1998. Poverty Alleviation: Is Economics Any Help? Lessons from the Grameen Bank Experience. Journal of International Affairs. 52(1): 47-65.

· Porter, Michael E., Kramer, Mark R., 1999: Philanthropy's New Agenda: Creating Value, Harvard Business Review; Nov/Dec99, Vol. 77(6): 121-130

· Robert S. Kaplan, 1999: New Profit, Inc.: Governing the Nonprofit Enterprise, HBS Case, 9-197-036.

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