MG4J2      Half Unit
Designing Innovative Social Enterprises

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Nadia Millington NAB 3.14

Guest lecturers for the Contemporary Social Innovation seminars (5 x 2 hour seminars)


This course is available on the MSc in Management (1 Year Programme). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course can be broken into two parts:

The foundation (weeks 1-4)

During the foundational element, students will be provided with a theoretical overview of this young field, including but not limited to: definitions / taxonomies of social entrepreneurship /business models for social innovation/ understanding beneficiaries via the theory of change/ minimum viable offer approaches for social change/ social intrapreneurship/ drivers of success, social impact and impact measurement for social mission organizations. Throughout the course, examples are given of real social entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurial organizations in order give practical insight to complement the theory covered in these 4 weeks.

Developing a new innovation social enterprise (weeks 5-11)

Over the 6 teaching sessions students will focus on unravelling the problem/ opportunity, developing / assessing viable solutions, testing and developing a new business model.

As an overarching approach, students will be using a human-centred, action-oriented approach to real world problem solving working in collaborative teams to actively create solutions directly with users through prototyping and visualisation techniques in creative spaces. They will progress from an introduction to design thinking principles of problem solving to creating an enterprise through an iterative design process, including imagining, prototyping, testing, building, modelling, pricing, branding, marketing, resourcing, analysing financial viability and obtaining proof of concept. An additional benefit of the course for students will be their opportunity to discover that design thinking is an approach to problem solving that spans all disciplines and can be used by social scientists, engineers, policy makers, creative designers, entrepreneurs or anyone seeking an effective, human-centred focus to create a solution to a problem.

This approach strengthens the problem-solving competences of sense-making, designing,  analysis, and decision-making.  The pedagogical approach is problem-solving and students will be informed of ethical guidelines and considerations which they must employ to guide their projects in line with LSE standards and policy.


30 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

The ten Seminar hours ( 5x 2hour sessions) are interactive sessions with guest speakers/practitioners. Basically, it will be a short introduction to a contemporary topic eg the circular economy. Then will either be an individual or a  panel of experts who work in the area of circular economy presenting ideas, setting interactive exercises/ cases with the class and answering students' questions.  In terms of teaching support- at these sessions, there will be the guest speaker/s, the TA and the Programme Administrator. So there will be 3-4 individuals who will  work directly with students during the interactive exercises/ cases during the class.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

The formative essay is 800-100 words based on the evidence of intitial field research. We recommend that each team keeps a field work journal (electronic or printed) with dates of field work, names of interviewees, places visited, observations with photos etc to support the formative assessment.

Indicative reading

Essential readings (weeks 1-4)

• Hervieux, C.; Voltan, A. (2018).  Framing Social Problems in Social Entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Ethics, 151(2):79-293

• Margolis, J. D.;  Walsh, J.P. (2003). Misery Loves Companies: Rethinking Social Initiatives by Business. Administrative Science Quarterly.48 (2): 268–305.

• Mair,J.; Marti,I.(2004). Social entrepreneurship: What Are We Talking About? A Framework for Future Research. IESE Research Papers D/546, IESE Business School.

Essential readings (weeks 4-11)

• Maurer, I. and Ebers, M. (2006). Dynamics of social capital and their performance implications: Lessons from biotechnology start-ups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 51(2): 262–292.

• Ozcan, P., & Eisenhardt, K.M.( 2009). Origin of alliance portfolios: Entrepreneurs, network strategies, and firm performance. Academy of Management Journal, 52: 246-279.

• Prahalad, C., & Ramaswamy, V. (2008). The New Age of Innovation: Driving Cocreated Value Through Global Networks, McGraw-Hill.


Essay (50%, 1800 words) and project (50%, 6000 words) in the LT.

The essay is completed individually. The project consists of a group report and presentation. The group report grade will be a blended mark, 20% mark for the whole group and the rest (80%) based on the individual contribution of the student which equates to approximately 1000 words depending on the size of the group.   

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills