Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

Return to Course Catalog

Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship will expose students to innovative solutions to social problems. Using the "case study method" typically used in MBA programs, students will examine the challenges of structuring, launching, funding, and counseling social ventures through the eyes of the entrepreneur, investor, attorney and community leader.

The course will explore the intricacies of remaining mission driven, talent, board relations, managing and sustaining growth, the changing role of corporate governance, and leveraging private sector partnerships and resources. Students will learn about nonprofit and market-based social enterprises, including an introduction to emerging legal structures such as the Benefit Corporation, Flexible Purpose Corporation and L3C. Students will also explore innovative public / private sector partnerships and the challenges and opportunities of engaging diverse partners with differing agendas.

The course will include expert guest speakers who are nationally recognized from the fields of law, business and the social entrepreneurship. Throughout, students will explore the valuable roles that attorneys can and have played in such ventures and have the opportunity to serve as consultants on real world projects with social entrepreneurs.

The class will meet some but not all days during the winter term. Days on which class is not held will be reserved for team and other meetings related to the course. Team meetings also will be scheduled during the spring term. The course will culminate with final presentations on April 18th-19th.

Subject Areas: Business Organization, Commercial Law, and Finance .

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.