Social Entrepreneurship

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Social Entrepreneurship

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Business, Entrepreneurial Management, Management Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Social Entrepreneurship: making a real difference looks at the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship, its origins, manifestations and practical implications. Social entrepreneurship as a subject has evolved through two academic routes; the study of entrepreneurship and the study of social enterprise/nonprofit sector. This is still a developing subject of study but is increasingly relevant in the current economic environment with reduced public-sector expenditure and increasing social demands. The use of entrepreneurship and business models to achieve social value appears to be an increasingly important phenomenon in Ireland and Europe.

    The programme is split into 3 elements: theoretical underpinnings (session 1-4), an understanding of the implementation of social entrepreneurship in practice (sessions 5-8) and the practical assignment (social entrepreneurship in action) (sessions 8-11). This module is designed to give students an insight into the nature of social entrepreneurship and its application in various organisational settings. Much of the learning from practice will be done through role play and other exercises which will allow students apply the material presented and apply it to individual case studies.


    Week 1: Course Introduction
    (tba) Introduction to social entrepreneurship; concepts and definitions
    Social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship
    Earned-income strategies and where it fits in
    Social entrepreneurship outputs: organisational types
    Introduction to practical assignment and guidelines

    Week 2: Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise in the International context
    (tba) Historical context
    American versus European traditions
    Pressures since the 1970?s
    Commercialism, professionalism and entrepreneurial governance
    The current situation

    Week 3: Social enterprise in Ireland
    (tba) Historical background and traditions
    The Community and Voluntary Sector (CVS)
    Social Partnership and the ?Social Economy?
    Social enterprise programmes
    The extent of social enterprise in Ireland
    The forms of social enterprise in Ireland

    Week 4: Theoretical understanding
    (tba) Social capital
    Economic theory
    Entrepreneurship theory
    Institutional theory

    Week 5: Setting up a social venture: Internal issues
    (tba) Defining social and economic objectives
    Social mission
    Stakeholder engagement
    Defining the business structure
    The role of the social entrepreneur in the process
    Culture conflicts
    Mission drift

    Week 6: Funding and developing issues
    (tba) The funding options
    The funding mix
    The public sector
    The private sector
    Other options
    Transition to alternative management ? moving on

    Week 7: New Initiatives
    (tba) Social Economy Task Force
    Social Entrepreneurs Ireland
    Accountability: social auditing and social return on Investment (SROI)

    Week 8: Social entrepreneurship game
    (tba) Role play/team competition

    Week 9: Practical assignment: introduction and planning session

    Week 10: Practical assignment

    Week 11: Practical assignment

    Week 12: Conclusion and wrap up
    (tba) Presentation of learning from practical assignments
    Final comments

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.