Social Entrepreneurship

Fall 2022



In this collaborative course, students identify broken systems affecting the planet and their communities—and work together to develop real-world business and non-profit ideas to address those problems. Following a structured set of modules, students from across regions create their solutions using the RebelBase platform. Often working on international teams, students submit their work to weekly critique led by the global team of instructors. By the end of the term, each team presents a complete social innovation project. Top teams from each region participate in a “Shark Tank for Sustainability” competition at the end of the term, hosted by the Bard MBA in Sustainability, where the top team wins a $1500 prize to help to launch its solution. Following the course, students stressed gains in crucial skills for building an open society, such as critical thinking, identifying opportunities for change, collaborating on intercultural and interdisciplinary teams, and making the case for new ideas.

Learning Objectives: This course takes a high-stakes approach to entrepreneurship for sustainability. Students will be challenged to leave the comfort of paint-by-numbers approaches to model, validate, resource, and prove their concepts in an intensive engagement using essential implements from across the management toolkit. The course challenges students to make the case for unproven concepts, prove their potential through early market testing, adjust their model in the face of market feedback, and capture resources to enable the project to succeed. Students learn, by doing, to identify and analyze market opportunities, refine solutions in the face of competitive requirements and value chain dynamics, create business models, and understand scalability. Once they have refined the value proposition and business model, they lay out launch and growth strategy, work through operational and financial requirements, and refine their ideas by testing the market.


This course is not offered every semester. If your campus is offering the course, visit your institutions' course registration site to enroll.


Sebastian Groh

BRAC University

Dalia Najjar

Al-Quds Bard College

Bermet Suiutbekova

American University of Central Asia

Eliza Edge

Bard College

Evelina Van Mensel

American University in Bulgaria

Natalya Mikhailova

European Humanities University

Héctor Hernández