ELE 3702 Social Entrepreneurship


ELE 3702 Social Entrepreneurship

Responsible for the course
Tor Haugnes

Department of Innovation and Economic Organisation

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

The key issue in this course is social entrepreneurship as establishments of business with the core idea of solving a social or cultural problem through business means. The students will be exposed to dilemmas and ranges of options that distinguish social entrepreneurship from purely commercial entrepreneurship. The students will also learn about ways to identify spaces for social action, try out tools and methods for making change, and deliberate on how to balance economic and social ends. Cases and ethnographic material for discussion and comparison will be drawn from all over the world. The course is an option for students who contemplate the establishment of a social enterprise. It is also suitable for international students who want to develop their ability to work as social and cultural innovators in their home countries, as well as Norwegian students who consider careers in national companies other than purely commercial ones, or abroad.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
The students shall acquire knowledge of:

  • Main theories and concepts in the field social entrepreneurship.
  • the added gain and strain of social entrepreneurship compared with commercial entrepreneurship.
  • Social entrepreneurship as it is practiced in different parts of the world.

Acquired skills
After completed course students should have:
  • Creativity in identifying opportunities for social entrepreneurship
  • Communicative skills through working with diverse groups of people
  • Practical experience with tools and methods to identify spaces for social action and innovation

The student shall be able to demonstrate:
  • critical assessment of ideas and procedures related to the establishment of social enterprises
  • awareness of ethical dilemmas in the practice of social entrepreneurship


Compulsory reading
Bornstein, David. 2007. How to change the world. Updated ed. Oxford University Press. Kap. 1. Restless people. Kap. 2. From little acords do great trees grow. Kap. 3. The light in my head went on. pp. 1-40
Social Enterprise Alliance. 2010. Succeeding at social enterprise : hard-won lessons for non-profits and social entrepreneurs. Jossey-Bass. pp. 1-304

Collection of articles:
2010. Collection of articles - ELE 3702 Soscial Entrepreneurship. Handelshøyskolen BI.
- Barth, F.. 1967. Economic spheres in Darfur. in Firth, R. (ed.). Themes in economic anthropology. A.S.A Monograph 6. Tavistock Publications. pp. 149-174
- Barth, F. (ed.). 1972. The role of the entrepreneur in social change in Northern Norway. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Introduction - pp. 5-18
- Light, Paul C. 2008. The search for social entrepreneurship. Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution Press. Chapter 1. Declaring assumptions, pp. 1-29
- Nicholls, A.. 2006. Social entrepreneurship. In Carter, S. and Jones-Evans, D.(eds.) Enterprise and small business. Principles, practice and policy.. Prentice Hall. pp 220-242
- Spinosa, Charles, Fernando Flores, Hubert L. Dreyfus. 1997. Disclosing new worlds : entrepreneurship, democratic action, and the cultivation of solidarity. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press. Chapter 3. Entrepreneurship. The skill of cultural innovation. pp. 34-68
- Lindh de Montoya, M.. 2000. Entrepreneurship and culture. The case of Freddy the strawberry man. Swedberg, R. (ed.) Entrepreneurship. The social science view. Oxford University Press. pp. 332-355

Recommended reading

Course outline
    • Introduction to the field of social entrepreneurship
    • Social entrepreneurs
    • Market, state and civil society
    • Global movements and networks of transformation
    • The moral in the social enterprise
    • Political and cultural conditions
    • Setting up a social enterprise
    • Entrepreneurship as social practice

Computer-based tools
YouTube and WikiNo are required.

Learning process and workload
There are three main means of learning in this course.
    1. The first is to read compulsory literature in order to get a grasp of basic concepts and key dilemmas of social entrepreneurship. The learning outcomes of this activity will be supported through It’s Learning exercises (quizzes and a multiple choice test). A reading plan will be provided at the start of the semester.
    2. The second learning process consists of discussions and assignments during class. Tools for active listening and group development will be shared in class. There will also be visits from social enterpreneurs.
    3. The third learning process is a case study according to a template that will be distributed at the beginning of the semester. Groups of students gather information about, prepare and present a social entrepreneurship case in class.

    Recommended workload in hours
    Participation at lectures
    Case work including 12 hours in classroom
    Assignments at Internet and communication
    Work on syllabus and readnings
    Recommended total workload

      A three-hour individual written exam concludes the course.

      Examination code(s)
      ELE 37021 - written exam that accounts for 100% of the final grade in ELE 3702 Social Entrepreneurship - 7,5 ECTS credits.

      Examination support materials
      No support materials allowed.

      Re-sit examination
      A re-sit examination is offered the next time course is scheduled.

      Additional information