Social Entrepreneurship


Course Objective

The aim of this course is to gain insight into the different forms of
social entrepreneurship in different social, cultural and geographic
contexts (e.g. social entrepreneurship in developing countries and in
industrialized economies). See also Appendix for additional information
on expected learning outcomes. More specifically, the learning
objectives are:

To attain profound knowledge of the nature of local and global social
and environmental problems that have fostered the creation of social
entrepreneurship, including the specific mechanisms and challenges
underlying this phenomenon. This knowledge will help to evaluate
similarities and differences between social and conventional forms of
Gain profound academic knowledge of the central concepts that are used
in social entrepreneurship research, both theoretically and
methodologically. This knowledge will provide the ability to design
science-based practical solutions regarding entrepreneurial initiatives
directed towards solving societal problems.
Develop a practice-perspective on the phenomenon of social
entrepreneurship by visiting a social enterprise, interviewing social
entrepreneurs, and solving real-life problems. This knowledge will allow
developing, managing and assessing actual social entrepreneurial
activities and promote a “social entrepreneurial mindset” in terms of
the ability to recognize and create opportunities to become a social
Acquire skills in executing and writing academic research (literature
review, data collection, analysis and reporting) on the topic of social
entrepreneurship in different contexts and addressing different social
Practice ability to critically reflect and assess the economic,
business, social, environmental, and ethical dimensions and societal
implications of different forms of entrepreneurial behavior, with a
focus on social entrepreneurship.

Course Content

This course deals with the question how entrepreneurial activity can be
a vehicle for creating a better world, an idea often described under the
umbrella term “social entrepreneurship”. Social entrepreneurship is a
form of entrepreneuring that aims at sustainably and innovatively
solving social, environmental and economic problems, and thus departs
from the classic understanding of entrepreneurship as “merely” oriented
at generating opportunities for profit-maximization or self-fulfillment.
Social entrepreneurship can be non-profit, for-profit or a hybrid form
and represents a phenomenon that has gained increased attention both in
practice as well as in academic research. The Netherlands in particular
hosts plenty of social enterprises that aim to address “local” social
problems such as homelessness, healthcare or education problems, as well
as social enterprises targeting “global” problems such as climate change
or even modern forms of slavery.

The course has a strong practical orientation that is based on a solid
theoretical foundation. It provides students with an in-depth
understanding of the changing social and environmental conditions that
gave rise to the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship and acquaints
students with such forms of entrepreneurship, and how they are different
from conventional entrepreneurship. In building on research-based
theoretical knowledge obtained throughout the course, students will
learn to analyze social entrepreneurship in real-life settings and
foster their ability to develop and assess actual ideas following the
spirit of social entrepreneurship. Multiple guest-lectures of social
entrepreneurs, field excursions, hands-on practice assignments as well
as a visit to a social entrepreneurship incubator will allow students to
better understand current developments and challenges in the field from
a practical point of view.

Teaching Methods

This course uses collaborative, action learning pedagogy. This means
that the course is designed in such a way that most of the learning of
concepts is done out of the classroom using individual assignments,
while in-class we can debate these concepts and understand where they
hold up and where they do not. We also use 'living' case studies of real
social entrepreneurs in Amsterdam, who are facing challenges to their
enterprise. Each week students prepare a case on the social enterprise
and present to the social entrepreneur their solutions to the case.

Method of Assessment

Assessment of learning objectives

This course is designed so that each of the learning goals listed in
section 3 are achieved through individual and group assessments.
Individual assessments make up 60% of the final score while group
assessment makes up 40%. To get a passing grade for the course, students
will need to have at least a 5.5 on average for individual assessments
and at least a 5.5 for the group assessment. The total average should be
5.5 or higher to pass the course.

Individual assessments (60% of final score)
Students will engage in two types of individual assignments throughout
the course that will make up 60% of the final score.
First, students will submit three QAQC essay assignments for scoring
(See QAQC Assignment Directions, Course Literature and Detailed course
schedule for complete details). Each QAQC will be evaluated using a
standard rubric form, and graded on a 0-10 scale. Submissions that miss
the deadline will not be accepted. Students must turn in each QAQC and
have an average of 5.5 or higher to pass the course, retakes are

Second, individuals are required to prepare answers to questions on
cases studies (4 total) and submit these via Canvas. Students will also
take turns in presenting their case studies to the class.

Group assessments (40% of final score)
There are two group assignments in this course worth 40% of final score.

Students will work in a team to do a ‘factory visit’ report, which
includes visiting a social enterprise of their choice.

Students will also receive final scores based on a group venturing
proposal and group presentation (see Final team assignment). The group
venturing proposal will be scored based on the rubric presented in
Appendix 9.6. The groups will pitch their venture proposals to a jury
during a seminar in the final week of the course.


Academic articles (to be announced)

General Information

Course Code E_ENT_SENT
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. N.A. Thompson
Examiner dr. N.A. Thompson
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: