The University of Southampton

MANG6240 Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Module Overview

Social entrepreneurship is a rapidly growing movement and it has attracted an increasing attention nationally and internationally in recent years. Numerous institutions such as international organizations (e.g. World Bank), world-class universities, governments, public agencies, private corporations and entrepreneurial firms are paying attention to the phenomenon and dedicating resources to social entrepreneurship. The central driver for social entrepreneurship is the social problem being addressed in an innovative and entrepreneurial way, with an objective to create and sustain social and economic value. Such value creating activity can occur within or across the organizations in the third sector, private, or public sectors (Austin et al., 2006; Zahra et al., 2009) or hybrid organizations that mix elements of non-profit and for-profit organizations. A wide range of employers are increasingly seeking individuals that can apply entrepreneurial and innovative solutions to social and environmental problems. This module is designed to raise the awareness, and develop understanding, of social entrepreneurship and the emergence of a new form of organization – social enterprises embedded within a changing national and international socioeconomic and political context. The emphasis is on the entrepreneurial skills and frameworks required to create and manage a growing social venture. You will learn the role that social entrepreneurs play in society and the key challenges that they face in their work; and examine leadership, organizational and structural aspects of social entrepreneurship that are important for the formation and sustainable growth of social ventures.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to enable you to develop an understanding and awareness of this process of social entrepreneurship that can be applied in a wide range of business contexts and sectors, by understanding the role of social innovation and creativity in pursuing social-entrepreneurial opportunities and recognising the challenges in leading, managing and growing social ventures

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • social entrepreneurship and enterprises with a focus on sustainable social and economic value creation;
  • social economy and policy making for social entrepreneurship
  • the notion of triple bottom line (i.e. social, environmental and financial) underpinning social entrepreneurship;
  • different organisational forms, leadership and strategies in forming and growing social enterprises.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work in, and contribute to, more effectively, a wide range of organisations seeking entrepreneurial and innovative solutions to social and environmental issues, having raised your awareness and understanding of social entrepreneurship and gained skills and frameworks to apply such entrepreneurial knowledge and insights.
  • Develop effective strategies and practices in pursuing social entrepreneurship underpinned by triple bottom line logic.
  • Recognise the challenges facing social entrepreneurs and enterprises and identify techniques to tackle those challenges
  • Develop in-depth and critical evaluation skills using multiple and competing perspectives in constructing written and oral arguments.
  • Carry out more effective searches for both qualitative and quantitative information using a wide range of information sources.
  • Develop good interpersonal (and team-work) skills in carrying out the group work
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • examine the social entrepreneurship process and social enterprises from the perspectives of social innovation and sustainability
  • diagnose international and national environments by identifying key factors leading to the rise of social entrepreneurship, evaluating characteristics of social economy and policy making for social entrepreneurship
  • critically evaluate underpinning concept of ‘triple bottom line’ and its implications on the establishment and successful management of social enterprises;
  • compare and contrast different organisational forms pertaining to the nature of social enterprises in terms of structures, leadership, governance and accountability issues.


• Key dimensions of social entrepreneurship • Typologies of social enterprises • Multiple bottom line concept and its implications on establishing and managing social enterprises • Sustainable growth of social enterprises • Organisational forms of social enterprises • Social innovation, CSR and links to social entrepreneurship

Special Features

Develop a feasibility study for a local social enterprise if any projects are available by our external contacts/social enterprises. If they choose not to work with an organisation, they will be able to complete a similar piece of work which addresses the ILOs, but does not require interaction with external organisations. Working with ‘real’ case studies may involve students visiting the sites of businesses, or representatives of organisations visiting the students on campus. Social enterprises with premises which will be most accessible to students with special needs will be chosen, where possible. If students are not able to attend the visit due to unforeseen circumstances, it may be possible for the student to visit the organisation at a later date, or discuss relevant issues related to the assessment with a manager. However, this will be contingent on the availability of personnel at social enterprise.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A number of teaching methods will be used in lectures in order to cater for a variety of learning styles and address the learning needs of the diverse student population. The teaching methods are primarily the lectures that will combine several learning activities. Lectures will typically start with a set of learning objectives or specific questions for the session. Student participation, small group activities and other teaching methods will be integrated in the lectures as warranted. Learning activities will include learning tasks and mini-presentations as groups, online discussion platforms, case study analysis and problem solving activities, directed reading, examination and group report. Lectures will be concluded with an overview of lecture’s learning outcomes. In order to enable more efficient listening, participation and note taking in class, you will receive electronically a small package of information for each weekly topic on a session by session basis, which will include copies of any power point slides, essential reading and suggested further reading and preparation for end of module assessment. This will be available on Blackboard. Blackboard is a web based online learning platform that is used to support some or all of the modules that you are studying. The web address for Blackboard is You will find information on how to access Blackboard at Although printing out these lecture notes is optional, you are expected to prepare in advance for lectures, which will involve discussions of the reading material. The module aims to combine theory and practice by balancing the academic expertise of the teaching staff, with the discussions and insights from practitioner speakers. The lectures will provide the foundation by delivering key concepts and analytical frameworks. Building on this foundation, lectures will also enable you to take a deep approach to learning through appropriate learning activities, such as case study examinations, problem-solving exercises and group discussions. You will learn from practising social entrepreneurs or managers in social ventures through invited lectures.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change (2006). Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change. 

Social Entrepreneurship: How to Start Successful Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Based Initiatives for Advocacy and Change (2010). Social Entrepreneurship: How to Start Successful Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Based Initiatives for Advocacy and Change. 

Management for Social Enterprise (2009). Management for Social Enterprise. 



Set exercises - non-exam


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 60%
Group report  (3500 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 60%
Individual report  (3000 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%
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