096809 – Social Ventures

The Teaching Team

Course Instructor: Prof.  Eitan Gerstner (eitan.gerstner@gmail.com)

Teaching Assistant: Fareda Nassar (fareda.nassar@gmail.com)

TA- Technical Assistant: Alex Cohen (co.alex@gmail.com)


Course Description

The course reviews theories and tools that help develop strategies and business models aimed at improving the well-being of all stakeholders, including shareholders, society and the environment.  Thus, the performance of the business models is evaluated using not only profitability, but also social responsibility, and environmental impact measures (People, Planet, Profit, or Triple Bottom Line).

Courses and entire programs on the topics of social ventures and social responsibility in business and management are offered by leading universities such as the  Social Enterprise Program – Columbia Business School Stanford’s Center of Social Innovation,  and The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship .

Course Objectives


  •  Review strategies used by organizations that follow the Triple Bottom Line criteria
  • Understand the advantages and opportunities in building social business models
  • Learn tools that will help you improve and manage your own business model
  • Work on a project to help people help themselves and others

Teaching Methods

Learning will take place in a collaborative environment. This will require reading preparations, in-class discussions and exercises, presentations, posting assignments on the course blog and posting lessons learned on the teams’ project sites. Credit will be earned accordingly.


Teaching material and tools

Optional Text – Scaling Your Social Venture: Becoming an Impact Entrepreneur (Social Entrepreneurship), July 2012, by Professor Paul N. Bloom
Other material – will be available on the course site.


Group Project

Every social and global issue is a business opportunity just waiting for the right kind of inventing entrepreneurship.         –  Peter Druker –

Teams of students develop projects starting with a  Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with the objective ofHelping People Help Themselves and Others in managing their own business model. Your team can select a new project or advance an on-going project that was developed by a previous student team. As a platform for the project, you can use google sites, Facebook, or any other platform that will best serve your project.


Course Credit

Course credit is accumulated and posted weekly on a spreadsheet as specified in the table below. To receive a passing grade, you need to contribute to class activities and submit in-class exercises for at least 80% of the sessions.


 Project (all members must participate and present) 20
Individual Self and Peer Evaluation of Projects* 10
Class & SV Blog homework activities based on readings ** 30
Lessons Learned Report including Self Evaluation 20
Individual and team committee contribution to class*** 20


* The evaluation of your fellow students’ work is an important final exercise, similar to a final exam. Credit is given only to students who attend and evaluate project presentations.

**Each homework should be prepared and posted on SV Blog no later than 24 hours before the upcoming session. For example credit for week 2 would be based on posting the assignment given before session 2 and on full in-class participation during session 2.  For each session up to 2.5 points could be earned (up to 1.5 points for class contribution, and up to 1 point for SV Blog contribution as evaluated by a anonymous team committee).   Please check your accumulated credit weekly, and if you see errors notify the TA ASAP.

*** Course management will be shared with the class through committees.  Each committee will be responsible for managing and evaluating critical class activities.

If you have to miss a class, please notify our TA.  You can receive partial credit if you complete the weekly assignment according to the deadline, depending on the quality of your work (exceptional assignments that benefits the class may receive extra credit).    According to the Takanon Miluim Students who are called for army duty during the semester will have an opportunity to make up for missing assignments.  Please contact your TA as soon as you know about the army service duty, and when you are back, coordinate a make up assignment that will benefit our class community.

Contact Hours per Week

Lecture:3 hours

Credit: 3.5