Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Management
  • Application code SS-MG105
  • Starting TBC
  • Short course: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Please note: This course will not be running as part of the 2021 programme. However, you may be interested in our confirmed courses.

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has encouraged a new generation of social entrepreneurs who contribute to this vision through innovative initiatives, and by setting up important new social businesses, NGOs and social movements.

Based on recent leading-edge research, this course will give you the concepts, insights and tools necessary to successfully start up, manage and scale-up innovative, sustainable businesses which are designed for social good. Using interactive case studies and working in teams, you will examine social innovations and their impact in a variety of different sectors such as solar energy, microfinance, gender and youth equality, mobile banking, and online education.

This course will give you a grounding in the fundamentals of social innovation and entrepreneurship which can be applied in different contexts. The focus will be on emerging economies where social and environmental problems are most extreme, including South Asia, Africa and South America. By the end of the course you will have designed and planned a new social enterprise with your peers allowing you to apply the content to real-world challenges.

Session: TBC
Dates: TBC


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 100 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One written examination (50%) and one group project (50%)

Typical credit*: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional but may be required for credit by your home institution. You will need to check with your home institution that this course meets their credit requirements. 

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Key topics

  • Social innovation

  • Understanding social problems

  • Social goals, performance measurement and revenue models

  • Partners and ecosystems

  • Inequality, growth and oppression

  • Revolution as social innovation

Programme structure and assessment

This course is delivered as a combination of lectures, case studies, class discussions, presentations and readings. It allows you to integrate your learning using real-world case studies and by designing your own socially-impactful business. As a result, active participation from students is vital to get the most out of the course.

The course is assessed through a final group report where you present your social enterprise design (50%) and a final examination (50%). Additionally, you will be expected to prepare a class presentation for feedback. This will not count towards your final grade but will help you prepare for the final group report and examination.


Course outcomes

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the social innovation and entrepreneurship sector

  • Understand the conditions where social enterprises create positive social impact

  • Analyse local social problems and develop a theory of change

  • Understand how to design a social enterprise that achieves both social change and economic goals

  • Design an innovative and impactful social organisation, sustainable business with a social purpose, NGO, or social movement

Is this course right for you?

This course is suitable if you have no previous experience in the field of social innovation and entrepreneurship, but want the skills and theoretical understanding necessary to design an impactful social business. The course is especially useful for students wanting to start their own business, work in the NGO sector, or make a meaningful difference in the public sector. 

Your department

LSE’s Department of Management unites four subject areas – Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour, Information Systems and Innovation, Managerial Economics and Strategy, and Management Science. It thereby combines the study of business and management with LSE’s renowned social sciences perspective. LSE is ranked 2nd in the world for social sciences and management (2020 QS World University Rankings) and the Department of Management, along with the Departments of Accounting and Finance, was ranked as the UK leader for Business and Management Studies in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

Our world-class record of multidisciplinary management research gives students a solid understanding of the global business environment. Whether learning the fundamentals of management or gaining advanced insights into specific aspects of strategy, negotiation, marketing or human resources, students will develop a competitive edge for their future career.

Your faculty


Professor Harry Barkema
Professor of Management, Department of Management

Dr Alpa Shah
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

Reading materials

There is no set text for this course. Students will be given electronic access to text/articles.

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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