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This subject explores how business insights can be used to solve social and environmental problems. The subject focuses particularly upon the start-up, social enterprise business model, where social entrepreneurs apply innovative, market-based strategies to solve social or environmental problems. A social enterprise is a business model that understands the critical role of economic sustainability, yet has the creation of social/environmental benefits as a primary or equal goal to that of profitability. The subject first explores the background of traditional attempts to solve social and environmental problems, before then addressing the social enterprise business model and the complex relationship between profitability and social/environmental goals. It introduces students to a range of social and environmental problems and supports students’ development of innovative solutions to these problems. The subject then provides marketing and managerial guidance to develop these solutions into a successful social enterprise. Students will apply knowledge gained in the course to develop a business plan as the first step in creating a social enterprise. As well as addressing theory and practice, the subject will draw upon case studies and the practical experience of current social entrepreneurs.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Identify and analyse the variety of social and environmental problems to which social entrepreneurs may attend;
- Critically evaluate the complex relationship between achieving social/environmental goals and profitability, including an understanding of how social entrepreneurs can successfully balance these goals;
- Generate social entrepreneurial ideas through formalised processes of lateral thinking and problem-solving; and
- Apply the above learnings within a formalised business plan, taking into account project planning and management, funding and finance, and measurement of social/environmental and financial performance.
On successful completion of this subject, students should have improved the following generic skills:
- Critical thinking about societal and environmental problems;
- Oral and written communication;
- Innovative problem solving and collaborative learning; and
- Synthesis of data and other information.
Last updated: 2 December 2019