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2015/2016  KAN-CSIEO2005U  Social Entrepreneurship

English Title
Social Entrepreneurship

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc of Social Science
Course coordinator
  • Ester Barinaga - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
Last updated on 25-11-2015
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: By the end of the course, students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an ability to analyze the social entrepreneurial process.
  • Use the concepts and tools seen in the course to identify the elements that need to be considered to develop and strengthen entrepreneurial initiatives aiming at social change.
  • Explain and defend a position on issues concerning the social entrepreneurial process in situations that are yet unsettled by research.
  • Use the theoretical perspectives discussed in the course as a means of deciding questions involved in social entrepreneurial initiatives.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
There will be a mid-course evaluation based on a group assignment for class, graded pass/failed by one examiner.
A pass is required to participate in the regular exam.
Social Entrepreneurship:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

Social entrepreneurship is a world-wide movement. From micro-finance initiatives to youth houses, fair trade soaps, and community-based art initiatives. There is however no agreement on the definition nor on the nature of the phenomenon that is being called “social entrepreneurship.” Yet, the increase of the discussion and the variety of initiatives do all have one thing in common: a will to achieve social change. The core of this course is social change through the parallel notion of social entrepreneurship. That is, we will look at entrepreneurship as a particular form of organizing for social transformation.
Some of the questions that we will explore throughout the course are: How should we think when designing initiatives aiming at social change? In what instances does a market rationality serve us better than a communitarian one? What conceptual and practical tools can be used in our strive to improve the lives of people and the health of our communities? How can the social be re-articulated in our efforts to catalyze social change?
In sum, we will be looking at rationalities, strategies and tools aiming at social change. For that purpose, we will be using the intellectual tools handed to us by the social sciences to both understand the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship and apply them to thecreation of students’ own social entrepreneurial ventures.
This course is venture based: It will be based on a social venture that students co-create. First because the most effective way to understand social entrepreneurship is to practice it. Second, because the course aims to promote a creative and proactive stance toward the society you live in, not merely an adaptive or critical one.
Thus, this course takes an experiential approach and students are expected to interact with civil society and the social entrepreneurial community, participate in class discussion, and be active participants in the teaching/learning process. Topics will include understanding the problem you want to address, assessing the opportunity, acknowledging the implicit theory of change, considering the venture’s organizational form, funding your initiative, building your board, pitching your initiative, and start assessing social impact.
This course appeals to students with a strong desire to become social entrepreneurs, or work in a social startup, early stage or social entrepreneurial minded company that may be pursued now or later in their careers. It is also for those students who are considering obtaining jobs in consulting, social venture capital, or social foundations where they are dealing with new or relatively new social ventures.

Teaching methods
The course will combine a variety of methods all within the environment of Studio-based pedagogy.
Expected literature

Barinaga, E. 2012. “Overcoming inertia: The social question in social entrepreneurship.” In D.Hjorth (ed.) Handbook on Organisational Entrepreneurship. EdwardElgar.

Baumol, W.J. 1990. “Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive.” Journal of Political Economy, 98(5):893-921.

Brown, T. & Wyatt, J. 2010. “ Design Thinking for Social Innovation.” Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Dees & Andersson. “ Framing a theory of social entrepreneurship: Building on two schools of practice and thought.” In Research on Social Entrepreneurship, pp.39-66.

Dewalt & Dewalt. 2011. “Informal interviewing in participant observation”, pp.137-156 in Participant observation: A guide for fieldworkers. Altamira Press.

Emerson, J. 2003. “The Blended Value Proposition: Integrating Social and Financial Results.” California Management Review, 45(4):35-51.

Garrette, B. and Karnani, A. 2010. “Challenges in Marketing Socially Useful Goods to the Poor.” California Management Review, Vol. 52 (4): 29-47

Granovetter, M. 1973, “ The strength of weak ties.” American Journal of Sociology, 78: 1360-1380.

IDEO: Human Centered Design Toolkit (free download)

Kirk, M., Hickel, J. & Brewer, J. 2015. “ Using Design-Thinking to Eradicate Poverty Creation.” Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Lakoff, George. 2004. “Preface: Reframing is Social Change”. In Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, pp.xv-xvi. Chelsea Green Publishing.

Parmar, B. 2012. “How to better frame problems.” Darden Business Publishing. Reference no. UVA-G-0630. To be bought at TheCaseCenter.org.

Prahalad, C.K. and Hammond, A. 2002. “Serving the world’s poor, profitably.” R0209C ed.: Harvard Business Review,

Putnam. R.D. 2000. “Thinking about social change in America.” Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. Chapters 1, pp. 15–28.

Snow, D.A. et al, 1986. “ Frame Alignment Processes, Micro-mobilization, and Movements ParticipationAmerican Sociological Review, 51(4):464-481.

Last updated on 25-11-2015