The Altruistic Entrepreneur Project

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Stephan Chambers The Marshall Institute, 5 Lincoln's Inn Fields


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Social Business and Entrepreneurship. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

     This course crystallises the academic learnings from across the degree programme into an applied experience.  It runs concurrently with course delivery across all modules.  Students will work in groups of four or five, supported by faculty, to develop an entrepreneurial business proposal for social impact, moving through idea generation, initial design and formal proposal.  The proposal may be a new organisation or an activity within an existing organisation with explicit social benefit. 

     The project creates a space for real world application of students’ learning; development of the project concurrently with programme delivery enables substantive interaction between project work and core skills learning.  The course mirrors the development of the programme overall by requiring students to address questions of context (and relation to state and private actors), questions of strategy and market development, financing, and reporting as well as personal leadership, communications and persuasion.  Projects are designed in the expectation of potential real world implementation.

     Working in a group is an essential component of this course.  Students will be expected to reflect on how their groups form, how they establish principles for working effectively, and how they resolve conflict or disagreement.  They will be asked to reflect on their own group dynamic and how it might be a function of culture, mission, and measurement.  Students will be asked explicitly to reflect in their essays on the process of selecting a topic and assigning roles. Since so much of their professional life will involve impromptu and non-elective group working we consider this aspect of the course particularly important.


Teaching will take place over the duration of the programme.  There will be whole cohort teaching sessions of three hours each module, plus tutorial meetings for each project group.

Formative coursework

Formative work, through presentations and discussions in tutorial meetings, will be continual for the duration of the programme.  Students will be asked to submit a draft outline of their final summative essay.


Essay (50%), presentation (35%) and proposal (15%).

Assessment will be through a group presentation (35%), group composition of a business model canvas (15%), and an extended essay of 5,000 words at the end of the project (50%).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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