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MGMT211 Social Entrepreneurship

Teaching organisation

12 weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Entrepreneurship does not take place only in for-profit businesses but also occurs when serious social and practical problems emerge in local and global communities. Social entrepreneurship is a rapidly developing and changing business field in which business and non-profit leaders design, grow, and lead enterprises with social and ethical missions. As the traditional lines blur between non-profit enterprises, government, and business, it is critical that business students understand the opportunities and challenges in this new landscape. Students in this unit will develop knowledge of social enterprise models, appreciate the role of social entrepreneurs in creating social and ethical change, making a social impact and deepen their understanding of the world around them.

This unit helps students effectively apply their skills and knowledge in business management to address complex social and ethical challenges. Its major aim is to develop a holistic understanding of the role of social enterprises and their associated entrepreneurial activities in creating value for local and global communities and societies and enhancing their sustainability.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe and apply the key concepts underpinning social entrepreneurship and social start-ups with the purpose of making a social impact (GA5, GA6)

LO2 - Critically discuss the opportunities, challenges, and issues facing social entrepreneurs and social start-ups (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - Apply business skills to the effective and ethical operation and standards of social enterprises and social start-ups (GA3, GA5)

LO4 - Reflect the demonstration of respect and responsibility to multicultural communities, investors, donors, and beneficiaries in a social start-up project. (GA1, GA5)

LO5 - Prepare an effective ‘elevator pitch’ along with a short proposal report to ‘sell’ a social innovation concept (GA5, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

  • The ecosystem for social entrepreneurship
  • Characteristics of social entrepreneurs
  • Social value creation
  • Social enterprise business models
  • Stakeholder engagement in social entrepreneurship
  • Funding social ventures
  • Challenges and opportunities for social entrepreneurs
  • Managing social enterprise staff, volunteers and investors relationships
  • Governance of social enterprises
  • Social innovation models
  • Making a social and ethical impact
  • Communicating in the social entrepreneurship context

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit adopts active, case study, problem-based and experiential (expert keynote speakers) learning approaches simultaneously to help students in acquiring and integration of knowledge and skills related to identifying and solving social problems by applying an entrepreneurial lens. Students will be able to learn the application of theories and concepts underpinning social entrepreneurship processes in a series of workshops along with the materials (videos, texts, exercises, and cases) provided through the online learning platform. Each workshop includes mini-seminars focusing on the core theories and followed by practical exercises. Few social entrepreneur experts will be invited throughout the semester as keynote speakers to share their practical experiences with students. In this blended mode of delivery, students- through individual and group activities- will be able to develop and accumulate practical knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurship theories/concepts.

Assessment strategy and rationale

To pass this unit, students are required to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks and achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking will be by a rubric specifically developed to measure student level of achievement of the learning outcomes for each item of assessment. Students will also be awarded a final grade which signifies their overall achievement in the Unit. The assessment strategy for this unit helps students develop their knowledge and skills in social entrepreneurship to the point where they can propose a solution to social problems from a social entrepreneur’s perspective. To accumulate this level of aptitude, students will practice the application of social entrepreneurship concepts and theories in a context of a real-world situation (Assessment 1), further analyse and explain the key issues in social entrepreneurship and managing entrepreneurial enterprises (Assessment 2), and finally put themselves in a position of a social entrepreneur to innovatively offer a solution to a critical social issue (Assessment 3).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Case Study Analysis

This assessment task consists of a 1500-word written case study analysis. This task requires students to apply social entrepreneurship concepts and theories in the context of a real-world situation Also, in completing this case analysis students need to pay attention to managing the relationships with communities, investors and all the involved stakeholders. Where needed students have to conduct research and use recent papers and other sources.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case Study Analysis

Artefact: Written analytical report


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 2: Analytical Essay

This assessment task consists of a 2000-word written essay. This task requires students to consult variety of resources and analyse and explain the key issues in social entrepreneurship and managing entrepreneurial enterprises which can be applied to real-world scenarios and provide with diversity of positive and ethical outcomes for stakeholders Where needed students have to conduct research and use recent papers and other sources.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Analytical Essay

Artefact: Written essay


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 3: Social Entrepreneurship Project (verbal presentation): This task consists of a verbal pitch/presentation along with slides. This task requires students to apply of social entrepreneurship and social innovation theories in a context of a real-world situation (a social problem faced by multicultural communities) and Assess ‘capstone knowledge of unit content and understanding of the application of the theories learned throughout the semester. These concepts and theories provide with a range of perspectives, competing and collaborative solutions to stakeholders of a social enterprise. Students need to allocate responsibilities within groups and share the information with the lecturer. After completing the presentations group members have to review each other’s performance and contribution.

Submission Type: Group

Assessment Method: verbal presentation

Artefact: presentation notes and slides


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Recommended references

Kickul, J., & Lyons, T. S. (2020). Understanding social entrepreneurship: The relentless pursuit of mission in an ever changing world. Routledge.

Bandinelli, C. (2019). Social Entrepreneurship and Neoliberalism: Making Money while Doing Good. Rowman & Littlefield International.

Cuta, N. (2019). Dey, Pascal & Steyaert, Chris (Ed.): Social Entrepreneurship. An Affirmative Critique. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2018, pp. 328).

Beugre (2017), Social Entrepreneurship: Managing the creation of Social Value, Routledge.

Samson, D & Gloet, M 2015, Innovation and entrepreneurship: creating new value, Oxford University Press Australia, Melbourne.

Drucker, P 2015, Innovation and entrepreneurship, Routledge Classics, London.

Breuer, H & Ldeke-Freund, F 2016, Values-based innovation: innovating by what we care about, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingtstoke, England.


Social Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

Strategic Entrepreneurship

Journal of Business Venturing

Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research

Small Business Economics

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies

The Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

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