MANAGEMT 750 - Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship is about creating and leading organizations and companies that strive to advance social change through innovative solutions. Entrepreneurship is a high-risk endeavor in which 8 out of 10 new ventures are expected to fail.  Yet, against these odds, social entrepreneurs are trying to accomplish some very long-term and ambitious goals: end inner-city poverty, improve public education, reduce global warming, and improve healthcare around the world, to name a few.  How do successful social entrepreneurs achieve long-term, sustainable change and impact?  And how do social investors pick the best of them to invest in and nurture?

Broad Cross-Sectoral Context.  While the term “social entrepreneurship” has gathered much attention around the world from entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, foundations and consulting firms, it refers to a very diverse set of activities in different sectors with different goals. Social ventures range from for profit companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield Farm, and Newmans’ Own, to nonprofits earning significant portions of their money through revenue-generating businesses, such as Juma Ventures, Working Today or the Doe Fund, to organizations like Teach for America or Citizen Schools, nonprofits using entrepreneurial tools to ramp up their impact. The common factor among the ventures we study is a commitment to advancing social change through entrepreneurship.

Case Studies Cover Life-Cycle of Social Ventures.  Through case studies and exercises, students will explore the common strategies and pitfalls in creating stable, sustainable, and successful social ventures. The course follows ventures through their entire life cycle – from conception, through start-up to scaling and then exit – with an emphasis on how business considerations, strong social change theories, and financial tools are critical to achieving social and financial goals.  Throughout this process students will assume two primary roles: that of the social entrepreneur and that of the social investor. Students will also be challenged to think about their role as entrepreneur of their own careers.  The course contains many ways for them to gain exposure to practitioners and focus their own interests.  Students will screen social venture business plans for the and meet guest social entrepreneurs and investors as part of the cases.  Students will also complete a team project in which they design a promising new social venture.

Essential Frameworks and Tool for Social Venturing.  This is an essential course for students aiming to build, work for, invest in, or consult to nonprofit or for-profit social ventures at any point in their career path. Simply put, if you want to change the world and came to business school to get the skills and network to do it, this course will equip you with frameworks and tools you need to understand and create real change.

Instructor:  Cathy Clark, Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship; Director, CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing; Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke

Additional Information
If you are curious about this course and interested in learning more about what is meant by "social entrepreneurship," you may want to read the short piece found at: For additional information and resources, please visit the website for the (CASE):

Course Web Page
Course webpage will be on Fuqua Sakai.

NOTE: This class now meets twice a week and runs only in the Fuqua Spring 1 term.