Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Challenges


BAI 3A Bachelor Affaires Internationales
Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Sustainability challenges
Contact hours
27 H
Number of spots
Open to visitors

Pedagogical contribution of the course to the program

LEARNING GOAL 1 : Students will know, understand, and use management tools appropriately.
Students will demonstrate knowledge of management tools in their scope of action.
Students will know how to implement their knowledge within an organization.
LEARNING GOAL 2 : Students will demonstrate awareness of ethical business practices, diversity and sustainable development.
Students will understand their business organization’s responsibility regarding diversity, sustainable development and ethics.
LEARNING GOAL 3 : Students will be able to adapt effectively in an international environment.
Students will communicate their ideas effectively, both orally and in writing, in French and in two additional languages.
Students will demonstrate their ability to learn and take action when working in intercultural teams.


Course language: English. Course format: ON-SITE + ONLINE. For further information, please refer to section "Plan / Sommaire". Society is increasingly prioritizing sustainability and, by extension, expecting sustainable value creation from entrepreneurs. In this regard, social businesses, defined as organizations that ‘pursue a social mission while engaging in commercial activities to sustain their operations’ (Battilana and Lee, 2014: 399), operate alongside regular for-profit companies. More and more social businesses (or social enterprises) are being created to tackle a diverse set of sustainability challenges (i.e. a series of societal and/or ecological problems) with their particular business model, and research in this context is accumulating. However, although expectations may have changed to some degree, to survive, such companies must also have a competitive advantage. This course adressess the particular challenges sucial businesses and their entrepreneurs face in order to achieve their dual mission by making use of real case studies of social entrepreneurs that are reflected against the backdrop of different theoretical frameworks. This course aims to generate a better understanding of the sustainability challenges that society faces and its implications for new social businesses and their business models. We will discuss and analyze the role businesses might play in solving social and environmental issues on a global and local scale. More specifically, we will have a look at the topic of sustainability from a social entrepreneurship angle. By focusing on social enterprises and their entrepreneurs, we will analyze how such companies and their founders target prevalent social and environmental issues. By making use of empirical insights (e.g. from Europe and Africa), we will analyze how aspects like external enablers (institutional conditions), the management of tensions, social identities, trust, different partnership designs, threats of mission-drift, and/or the social business model in general affects the potential impact of social enterprises. In other words, we dig deep into the topic of social entrepreneurship to uncover facets that benefit the flourishing of a 'humane' entrepreneurship and responsible management of social enterprises to solve sustainability challenges.

Teaching methods


- Lectures
- Tutorials
- E-learning

In group

- Oral presentations
- Case studies/texts


- Discussions/debates


No items in this list have been checked.

Learning objectives

Cognitive domain

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to
  • - (level 1) Identify challenges for businesses related to sustainable development
  • - (level 2) Explain how social businesses constitute a suitable vehicle to address some sustainability challenges
  • - (level 3) Demonstrate a solid understanding of the challenges and opportunities that arise from dual logics inherent to social businesses
  • - (level 4) Analyze how social entrepreneurs manage their businesses to achieve their mission
  • - (level 5) Incorporate your insights from real business cases (e.g. interviews with social entrepreneurs) to enhance your understanding of what an entrepreneur needs to do to create financial and social/ecological value simultaneously
  • - (level 6) Argue against the backdrop of provided theoretical foundations, which factors act as enablers and/or disablers to social value creation

Affective domain

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to
  • - (level 2) Discuss how business models of social businesses are catered to contribute to sustainable development
  • - (level 4) Compare different types of social enterprises and social entrepreneur's characteristics


SESSION 1: Part 1: Introduction: In Need of Sustainable Businesses!? Chapter 01: Teaser: Organizations and the Anthropocene Chapter 02: Sustainable Development and Business Ethics SESSION 2 (asynchronous (online)): Part 2: The Social Enterprise and its Entrepreneur Chapter 03: Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs Chapter 04: Social Enterprises as Vehicles for Sustainable Development Chapter 05: Psychology of (Social) Entrepreneurs SESSION 3: Project session 01 & 02: Research participation “Workplace Well-Being” + Articles: TBA + Q&A SESSION 4: Part 3: Qualitative Insights into Social Enterprises Chapter 06: In Search of a Better Understanding of Social Enterprises and Entrepreneurs (Introduction to Selected Topics of Social Entrepreneurship) Chapter 07: Working with Qualitative Data of Social Enterprises (Real Case Studies) + Information related to proof of performances + Team formation (Assigning students to their teams for their final proof of performance + Assigning interviews to individual team members) SESSION 5: Project session 03 & 04: Research participation “Legitimacy of Social Enterprises” + Articles: TBA + Coding guide instructions + Hands on and coaching on coding (including excel sheet template and exemplary proof quotes) + Working on team assignments + Q&A session (responsibility of students to raise questions to make full use of this session) SESSION 6: Project session 06: Hands on and coaching on coding (social enterprise insights) + Q&A session (Preparation of questions is responsibility of students; answers related to final proof of performance) SESSION 7: Final proof of performance + Discussion of students’ findings

No prerequisite has been provided

Knowledge in / Key concepts to master

Basic knowledge of management concepts and good command of English required (oral and written).

Teaching material

Mandatory tools for the course

- Computer

Documents in all formats

- Case studies/texts

Moodle platform

- Upload of class documents
- Interface to submit coursework
- Assessments
- Coaching/mentoring


No items in this list have been checked.

Additional electronic platforms

No items in this list have been checked.

Recommended reading

For each of the topics covered, slides referring to recommended literature will be provided online.

No reading material has been provided.

EM Research: Be sure to mobilize at least one resource

Textbooks, case studies, translated material, etc. can be entered
Ostertag, F., Hahn, H., & Ince, I. (2021): Blended value co-creation: A qualitative investigation of relationship designs of social enterprises. Journal of Business Research, 129, 428-445.


List of assessment methods

Intermediate assessment / continuous assessment 1Other (date, pop quiz, etc.) : Throughout the course
Written and oral / Individual / English / Weight : 30 %
Details : Active participation in course (e.g., involvement in discussion and attendance), short quiz(zes) about articles and content from chapters, and research participation (e.g., conscientious questionnaire completion)
This evaluation is used to measure LO1.1, LO1.2, LO2.1, LO3.2
Intermediate assessment / continuous assessment 2Last class
Written and oral / Group / English / Weight : 70 %
Details : Presentation of students' team work on social enterprises Discussion of findings (i.e., teamwork with identifiable individual contributions) Learning objectives: LO2.1, LO3.2, LO3.3
This evaluation is used to measure LO2.1, LO3.2, LO3.3
No assessment methods have been attributed to this course yet.