Social Entrepreneurship



  • Dr. Ray Subhasis, Professor, Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB)

  • Dr. Aray Yulia, Senior Lecturer, Department of Strategic and International Management, Graduate School of Management, St.Petersburg University



36 contact hours


General knowledge in business management and an interest in learning about and using business models to solve the social and environmental challenges of our world

Course Description:

The Social Entrepreneurship course encourages students to identify real-life global problems (poverty, inequality, hunger, illiteracy, waste, pollution, climate change) and innovative solutions to address them. It is about using business models to make a positive change in our society- creating a better society while achieving profitability. The course introduces the concept of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship to students. Through examples drawn from various sectors and countries, it discusses how social entrepreneurs around the world are creating a new space and perspective for solving pressing problems of the world. By working with all stakeholders- government, community, traditional for- profit companies, not-for-profits- social entrepreneurs hope to create shared value and sustainable solutions.

At the end of the course, students are expected to have an understanding of
• The field and nature of social entrepreneurship
• Social opportunity recognition and assessment tools
• Strategic plan development for a social venture
• Nature, strengths and limitations of different organizational structures in social entrepreneurship
• Challenges of funding social ventures and measurement of social impact
• Scaling strategies and enhancers in social entrepreneurship

Course Content (Topics and subtopics):

1. Mapping the field- social enterprise, ethical business, non-profits, voluntary sector, civil society, NGOs, co-operatives.
2. Similarities and differences between social entrepreneurship and business-as-usual
3. Types of social opportunities
4. Enterprises and business models used by them
5. Developing a strategic plan for a social venture
6. Organizational Structure
7. Funding social ventures
8. Measuring social impact
9. Scaling the social venture
10. Key Issues and challenges in building, sustaining and scaling social enterprises

Course Organization:

Beyond conceptual briefing about the evolving field of social entrepreneurship, we will use a Socratic method- heavily based on discussions and debates around real-world problems, case studies, documentaries. Student led discussion, collaborative presentations and investigations will be interspersed with limited lectures.  Profiles, bio-sketches and interviews of social entrepreneurs will be shared to develop an understanding and appreciation of their worldview. Finally, social entrepreneurs working in Russia will be in the classroom- giving their own perspectives about building socially good enterprises in emerging markets.

Course Reading (the full list):

Core reading:
• Course materials set published for the students on the Course Blackboard page

Supplementary reading:
• Course materials set published for the students on the Course Blackboard page

Exam format:

A 15+ page (excluding bibliography pages) final paper that examines a venture, drawing on the course readings and other sources, describes a specific plan for how to launch, lead, manage, and evaluate the venture. This final paper must include collaboration with at least two other students in the course or relevant outsiders, who will read your paper and contribute specific, critical comments and suggestions on the plan. The final paper may describe a completely new venture, or a plan to improve an existing venture.

Grading Policy (% or points):

• Class participation- 30%
• Case Presentation- 20%
• Final Paper - 40%

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