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MAN 635 Social Entrepreneurship (Fall 2021)

  • 24.08.2021 - 20:00
MAN 635 Social Entrepreneurship (Fall 2021) Thanks to

Course Outline

This seminar briefly summarizes the evolution of social entrepreneurship as a method of organizing change: the application of entrepreneurial theory to the founding of non-profit and for-profit organizations, which seek to build 'social capital'. Given political and economic uncertainty, the anticipated exit from nuclear energy sources in an era of scarce resources on the one hand and the social implications of the IT and financial revolutions on the other, the focus will be upon ”ecopreneurship” and ”frugal or reverse innovation.” Students will create their own sustainable 'green designs' in the fields of their choice (in groups of not more than 4).


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, the students understand how innovative ideas and practical business models can achieve major social impact, how social entrepreneurs can build sustainable organizations, and why social entrepreneurship has become a contagious global movement.



Please register via the Student Portal during the central registration period (by September 2). In case of excess demand for a class, there will be a central lottery/ spot allocation conducted by the Dean's Office of the Business School of the University of Mannheim. We cannot influence the outcome of this student allocation. Please do not ask us for exceptions or waiting list positions before the course allocation has been completed. Participation is binding as of session 1 or your spot will be given to a student on the (potential) waiting list! Course decisions are final.


Place & Time

The sessions will take place as according to the schedule below

Place: Zoom room only with video always on (attendance requiered given only 7 sessions)

Time: Wednesday, 1:45pm - 5:00pm



Sustainable business plan: 60%

Active Attendance and participation in discussion of required reading: 20%

Group oral presentation of green design: 20%


Persons in Charge

Lecturer: Professor Dr. Robert Isaak (visiting professor)


Course Load and Language


Language: English


Readings & Resources


  • Alexander Brem & Pierre Wolfram, ‘Research & Development from the Bottom up’ Journal of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, 2014:3:9 (available online via Google)

  • Arthur Brooks, Social Entrepreneurship: A Modern Approach to Social Value Creation (Pearson)

  • David Bornstein, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas (Oxford) (IF YOU BUY JUST ONE BOOK, BUY THIS ONE)

  • Stanford News, `Stanford Student Helps Design Ventilator for COVID 19 Patients in Peru, April 23, 2020

  • Corona Entrepreneurship—Bing Video. Html (2020)

  • Karen Maas & Ceclia Grieco, `Distinguishing Game Changers from Boastful Charlatans: Which Social Enterprises Measure their Impact?, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2017 (online on Google).

  • Malcolm Gladwell, The Outliers

  • Robert Isaak, Green Logic: Ecopreneurship, Theory and Ethics (Kumarian)

  • R. Isaak, ’The Making of the Ecopreneur’, in M. Schaper, ed., Making Ecopreneurs (Greenleaf)

  • R. Isaak, Ècopreneurship, rent-seeking, and free-riding in global context: Job-creation without ecocide`, in Small Enterprise Research, 2016 DOI:10.1080/13215906.2016.1189090

  • Peter Dacin et al, “Social Entrepreneurship: Why We Don’t Need a New Theory & How We Move Forward from Here”, Academy of Management Perspectives, Aug. 20 2010, Vo. 24, Issue 3, pp. 37-57. 

  • ”The Charms of Frugal Innovation”, The Economist, April 18, 2010
M. Porter & M. Kramer,“Creating Shared Value”, Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb., 2011 

  • Yunus, M., B. Moingeon, L. Lehman-Ortega, ‚Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience,’ Long Range Planning Vol. 43, Issues 2-3, April-June 2010, pp.308-325 

  • Samer Abu-Saifan, `Social Entrepreneurship: Definition and Boundaries,’Technology Innovation Management Review, February 2012, pp.22-27. (available online via Google)

  • Youtube:
    • A Liter of Light: Official Version (by playwiththejunglegym), and
    • Liter of Light@Night (by Jason Magbanua), and
    • Brilliant Newfoundlander Invents the Solution (


Most of the required readings for the seminar will be available online:

Google ‘’ then go to ‘electronic reserves’, then to ‘course pages by instructor’, then to ‘Isaak’, then to course title regardless of date (or recent other course titles in some cases, (i.e. look under ‘by title’ for ‘Small is Beautiful’ and ‘frugal management’), then use ‘global’ as password, click on ‘agree’, click on correct file, and then on ‘download as zipfile’


Schedule (Fall 2021)

September 22


Flowscape: Social Entrepreneurship

Course requirements

By next session: form group of not more than 4 for creation of final green design. Those not in a goup by then will be added the second meeting of the course.

Students will be assigned to break-out rooms to get to know each other, which will then be switched around so that it is possible for groups to emerge. (Ideally look for different skill sets)


Models of Change/Social Capital/Ecopreneurship

  • D. Bornstein, `Thoughts for Changemakers’ & websites (handout & on line)
  • S. Brand, ”A Deeper Shade of Green” Stanford, March/April 2010, 38-40 (hand-out)

Defining Social Entrepreneurship

  • D. Bornstein & S. Davis, 1-47
  • S. Abu-Saifan, 22-27

Volunteers to lead case discussions?*


September 29

Leadership & Shared Value:

  • M. Porter & M.Kramer, `Creating Shared Value’, HBR, Jan-Feb. 2011
  • Brooks, 1-18
  • Brem & Wolfram, JIE (2014:3:9)

Gandhi as Archtype:

  • R.Isaak, ”Gandhi”, 11-25 in Individuals & World Politics
  • D.Bornstein, How to Save the World, 1-39
  • *Govindappa Ventkataswamy/Aravind Eye Hospitals/India (hand-out)
  • *Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank/India
  • *Fabio Rosa Case: Rural Electrification/Brazil, 20-39 (HSW): The Light in My Head Went

Description of Structure of Green Designs: Creating a business plan


October 13

Ashoka Benchmarks:

  • D. Bornstein, How to Save the World 117-125,146-158,233-241
  • *Bill Drayton: Ashoka/US, 47-67: A Very Signficant Force,’ etc.
  • *Jeroo Billimoria: Child Protection/India, 68-89: `Ten-Nine-Eight Childline’
  • *Vera Cordeiro: Healthcare/Brazil, 126-145
  • *Erzsébet Szekeres: Assisted Living for Disabled/Hungary,98-116
  • *J.B. Schramm:US/College Access, 159-177:’The Talent is Out There’
  • *Javed Abidi: This Country has to Change’Disability Rights/India, 209-232


October 27

Ecopreneurship Design & Ethics 

  • R. Isaak, Green Logic, Chapter 1
  • ”The Charms of Frugal Innovation”, The Economist, April 18, 2010
  • *Jadwiga Lopata: Ecological Agriculture & Tourism/Poland , 153-154 (HSW)
  • *Anita Roddick, Body Shop/UK
  • *Benjamin Cohen/Jerry Greenfield, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream/US
  • *Peter and Brigitte Krämer/Spinnrad/Germany
  • *Denis Hayes: Sustainable Design & Construction: net-zero office buildings/US :A Deeper Shade of Green’  

Scott Bader Commonwealth: in E. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful, Ch. 19


November 10

The Making of the Ecopreneur & Social Enterprise Need Assessment/Business Plan

  • R. Isaak, “Making of the Ecopreneur”, in GMI 38 Summer 2002, 81-91    
  • Arthur Brooks, Social Entrepreneurship, Chapters 1-3.
  • The Social Enterprise Business Plan, Brooks, Chapter 4

Peter Brinckerhoff, Social Entrepreneurship, Ch. 6


November 24

Fund-raising and Marketing: The Keys to Success

  • Brooks, Chapter 8
  • Brinckerhoff, Chapters 7 & 8

Student Presentations of Green Designs


December 8

Student Presentations of Green Designs



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