New Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Course for MBA

Students to work closely with a range of social enterprises

18/09/2014 Barcelona

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Prof. Antonino Vaccaro with a group of students

A new MBA course in "Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship" launches today, with a special focus on practical experience. MBAs will have the chance to work directly with five companies from different sectors, and discover what it means to run a social enterprise from a hands-on perspective. They will be expected to contribute their own ideas, analysis and strategic plans as part of the experience.

Among the learning outcomes, MBAs will master the distinction between hybrid organization and social enterprises, how to develop strategic models that combine financial and social value, and the geo-political perspectives of social innovation.

The course kicks off today with a visit from Oriol de Pablo (EMBA ‘14), founder of Joyners. He will be followed later in the week by green energy entrepreneur Matteo Tarchi, co-cofounder of the Addiopizzo Travel Agency; Vannini Parenti and Joaquim Eglert of Social Forest, and finally Paolo de Fabriitis, founder of Disismore.

A total of 72 MBAs will be participating. Students will be organized in groups of 10, working directly with the five enterprises over a five to seven-week period.

According to IESE Prof. Antonino Vaccaro, director of the course, there is a growing interest in the subject of social entrepreneurship among MBAs. "This is because a social enterprise helps people feel their lives make sense and helps them feel realized.

"What we are seeing is that many top executives who, having worked for years in multinationals, are making a financial sacrifice in order to dedicate themselves to social entrepreneurial projects because the work feels more meaningful."

And the benefits of adopting a social focus can yield concrete results, he says.

"Companies are realizing that a positive social impact has to go beyond corporate social responsibility. Some firms are beginning to think of themselves as communities of people and are incorporating social objectives into their overall strategy. They’re also discovering that a social focus makes them more competitive."

IESE supports social entrepreneurs

Professor Vaccaro is also the co-director of IESE's Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Platform. It is a platform designed to give visibility and opportunities to people inside and outside the IESE community who are interested in social entrepreneurship. It’s an initiative of the CBS (Center for Business in Society) that starts with three basic objectives:

  • to develop new educational and scientific initiatives in the realm of the social economy;
  • to facilitate contacts between the IESE community and social entrepreneurs;
  • and to provide direct assistance to those interested in launching new social enterprises.