Leading Social Enterprises with impact in International Development


This course is an deep-dive course on how private sector minded entrepreneurs can drive sustainable global development at the intersection of international development (ID) and social entrepreneurship (SE). In dialogue with our international guests (award winning SEs, stakeholders in ID) and through case analysis, students will learn how to navigate the international development world and how to sharpen and adapt their business and management skills to found, finance, and build entrepreneurial ventures targeting developing countries, emerging markets, and underserved consumers everywhere.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Filipe Alfaiate


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


TED Talks
Paul Collier - the Bottom of the Pyramid https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_collier_shares_4_ways_to_help_the_bottom_billion
Daniel Kahneman – experience and memory https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory Iqbal Quadir – how mobile phones can fight poverty https://www.ted.com/talks/iqbal_quadir_says_mobiles_fight_poverty
Bornstein, D. (2007), “Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas”, Estrela Polar
Boschee, J. and McClurg, J. (2003) http://www.se-alliance.org/better_understanding.pdf
Casadesus-Masanell, R. and Ricart, J. (2007), “Competing though business models”, IESE Business School.
Casadesus-Masanell, R. and Ricart, J. (2008), “Competing though business models: Business model evaluation – analysis in interaction”, Harvard Business School Press.
Dees, G.; Emerson, J. and Economy, P. (2001), “Enterprising nonprofit, a tool for social entrepreneurs”, Wiley nonprofit series.
Elkington, J. and Hartigan, P. (2008), “The Power of Unreasonable People”, Harvard Business Press, pp. 31
– 54.
Khanna, T. (2007), Billions entrepreneurs, how China and India are reshaping their futures and yours”, Harvard Business School Press.
Lindahl, C. (2005), “Wealth of the poor, eliminating poverty through market and private sector development”, Sida.
Mair, J.; Robinson, J. and Hockerts, K. (2006), “Social Entrepreneurship”, Palgrave Macmillan.
Nicholls, A. (2006), “Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change”, Oxford University Press.
Prahalad, C.K. (2005), “The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid, eradicating poverty through profits”, Wharton School Publishing.
Santos, F. (2009), “A Positive Theory of Social Entrepreneurship”, INSEAD, Social Innovation Center.
Santos, F. (2009), “Business Model Innovation Workbook: How entrepreneurs design novel business models for value creation”, INSEAD, Social Innovation Center.
Yunus, M. (2008), “Creating a World without Poverty: The Social Business and the Future of Capitalism”, Difel.

Other complementary Bibliography
Bornstein, D. (2007), “Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas”, Estrela Polar
Boschee, J. and McClurg, J. (2003) http://www.se-alliance.org/better_understanding.pdf
Alan R. Andreasen and Philip Kotler (2008), “Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning” in Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations, Seventh Edition, Prentice Hall.
Aronson, Daniel, “Overview of Systems Thinking” http://www.thinking.net/Systems_Thinking/OverviewSTarticle.pdf
Bazerman, M. & Moore, D. (2013). “Improving decision making.” In Judgment in managerial decision making (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 206-229
Brest, Paul (Spring 2010), “The Power of Theories of Change”, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Dees, J Gregory; Beth Battle Anderson, and Jane Wei (Spring 2004), “Skill Scaling Social Impact, Strategies for Scaling Social Innovations”, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Heifetz, Ronald (1994), “Leadership Without Easy Answers”, Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard University Press

Teaching method

The classes consist of discussions about both the theory and its applications. Classroom participation is expected and required. Through a teaching approach that mixes case studies, short videos, class discussions and presentations, you will learn the topics referred.

Evaluation method

Group Work (40%): The Group Work (students will form into groups of 3-4) will consist on a social entrepreneurship structured solution based on the course main topics to apply to the central Social Challenge in hands. Maximum of 10 pages of written work. As important as the final “solution” proposed is the diagnosis process and how the team used the skills and know-how taught in classes to move from the problem to the solutions, notably regarding dealing with uncertainty, limited data, multi-culturalism, bias, stakeholders, funding mechanism, etc. Grading will be based on final written work with up to 20% reflecting peer feedback on each team members contribution. Final work delivered one week before last class.

Blogue Post (20%): Individual post with a maximum of 250  words. It must be related to one or more of the topics on strategy, Leadership and Innovation discussed in classes. Preferably, it should be a reflection about an entrepreneurial failure of the student and how those concepts could have been used to prevent it. The best posts will be discussed in class and win a secret award. You should think about the theme in terms of a question or a problem. For example, getting adequate funding is one of the main challenges for social entrepreneurs, what type of solutions can social investors develop to solve this issue?

Final Exam (30%): The final exam covers all topics covered in the course.

Class Participation (10%): Students will be expected to prepare all classes in advance. We will be having guest speakers some classes, and it is important that all students prepare well for these guests and be ready to ask them questions. Faculty and the course assistant will record participation in each class.

Assessment Dates:
-    The Group Work must be submitted on Moodle until (TBD)
-    The Blogue Post must be submitted on Moodle until (TBD)
-    The Individual Final Exam will take place on (TBD)

The general rules of the University apply in case of academic dishonesty and in any situation not foreseen in the above.

Subject matter

•    Introduction to International Development (ecosystem, challenges, SGDs, players)
•    Social Entrepreneurship in the International Development ecosystem (tools, failures, cases)
•    Social Entrepreneurship opportunities in International Development
•    Survival kit for leading SE for impact in International Development
o    Develop Cultural Competence
o    Multi-cultural teams and diverse stakeholders perspectives, gains and loses
o    Distinguish the trees from the forest (separate self and role)
o    Confirmation bias and lose aversion: dealing positively with failure to advance
•    The Case in Point (group work)
o    From the case, diagnose the social problem and “peel its layers”: hidden bias, adaptive challenges, iteration, stakeholders’ mapping
o    Problem Framing in scarce data environment: iteration, field work, experimentation
o    Where to intervene – discuss typical SE models (list of common mistakes)
o    Define Value Proposition for key stakeholders (beneficiaries, stakeholders, etc) using design thinking approach
o    Social Impact – theory of change and future Assessment


Programs where the course is taught: