CAS Tools: Alternative Economy

Social Entrepreneurship

By Solomon Prakash and Dominique Lämmli



Social entrepreneurs are gaining international attention motivated by the desire for change and to build initiatives that can create an improved social, environmental or economic condition for their stakeholders.  In this module you will learn how social entrepreneurs have developed creative solutions to address social problems. The purpose of the course is to develop knowledge about social entrepreneurship, appreciate the role of social entrepreneurs that create social change, deepen students’ understanding of the challenges and opportunities around them, and to inspire to use their skills and knowledge to be change makers. 


In this course you will gain knowledge about how you can use social entrepreneurship to further your goals.  You will learn how to develop creative solutions to address social problems and empower yourself to see social entrepreneurship as a force for social change. This module will introduce the concept and essential tools, and will engages students and the course coordinator in a co-learning journey of this increasingly active field. Through the program, the students will:


Part 1

  • Gain conceptual awareness of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises

  • Learn how social entrepreneurs are transforming society to deliver social impact in their communities and around the world

  • Get an overview of the various kinds of socials entrepreneurs and the broad category of models that exist now

  • Understand and learn how to quantify social impact goals

  • Understand and develop a reportage (in various art forms) about an existing social enterprise

Part 2

  • Learn about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and social entrepreneurship

  • Learn how to apply social entrepreneurship skills in their future pursuits to address social, economic and environmental problems

  • Understand and define theory of change in a social enterprise

  • Conceptualize a social business idea (Group work)

Learning outcomes: By the end of this course students will be expected to:

  • Gained knowledge and understanding about social entrepreneurship, challenges faced by social entrepreneurs and learn the role of developing a sustainable business model that addresses a social problem.

  • To have learnt, how social entrepreneurs have applied innovative principles to address social problems, gain the ability to empower disadvantaged community members to create social change and develop your own skills to create the change one wants to see

  • Understand the complexity of social change and the concept of sustainable development goals

  • Appreciate the role of measurement to quantify social impact and how social entrepreneurs mobilize scarce resources to affect change.

  • Have learnt about social value proposition to and define their own theory of change.

Module supervisor

Solomon Prakash is a mechanical engineer and a social entrepreneur for the last 28 years. He worked with homeless youth in India and started public schools reform initiative which expanded to several states. Founded several social businesses on livelihood development, started a design and marketing company to help artisans and worker-owned enterprises, working on lacquerware (wood toys), woodworking, metal craft, and textiles and founded a company that connect blue-collar workers to jobs and skill training. Founded a software company to assist rickshaw drivers. Global leadership member and was country head of Ashoka in India. Currently, a managing partner with Poptech, Camden Maine, US. Process design consultant for UN agencies working in Jordan for refugees from Syria and consults social enterprise startups. Currently lives in Bern.

Dominique Lämmli, artist, philosopher, educator. Researcher on Art in Action, artists working reality, evaluation of art practice in real life settings, collaboration, and co-creation. Professor of Drawing & Painting at Zurich University of the Arts. Affiliation: Srishti IN-Bangalore. Co-director FOA-FLUX and MAS Art & Society. Texts:,

Seminars, case studies, study tours

  • Individual or group activity on a topic area of interest to the students on social change

  • Topical discussion and reflection questions on readings

  • Short activities to visit or to have video interviews with social entrepreneurs

  • Mini cases and videos etc. to report about case studies of social entrepreneurs

  • Shared student journal/discussion (blog or other user friendly online tool) and online materials (e.g. videos etc.) to share with peers

Formative, based on assignments that are individual and group based. And, summative: Assignment of 500 words or a video diary, due at the end of the course.
2 (E)CTS