The McKenna Center supports unique, formative courses in the Keough School of Global Affairs that expose both undergraduate and graduate students from all academic backgrounds to all facets of social entrepreneurship, innovation, and intrapreneurship.
These courses support entrepreneurial students who wish to create their own enterprises and teach them how to conceptualize, develop, launch, and grow sustainable global development models. Additionally, these courses support intrapreneurial students who wish to work and innovatively lead within existing public or private organizations.
Spring 2022 Courses
SEI 30552: Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation
(Short title: Social Entrepreneurship Innvn)
Prof. Melissa Paulsen
Social Entrepreneurship has sparked dialogue and debate for two decades. Its very definition is much debated, as well as its capacity to create sustainable, scalable, systems-changing impact. This course explores the theoretical concepts, practices, and strategies associated with the dynamic discipline of social enterprise and innovation. For our purposes, social entrepreneurship is the landscape, of which paradigm-shifting solutions like microfinance, MSME (Micro-Small-Medium Enterprise) development, bottom of the pyramid, fair trade, impact investing, and the like, are components. This course will study many of these concepts, focusing on their opportunity for social impact, and as a vehicle for wealth creation in vulnerable and disenfranchised communities across the globe. Further, the course covers examples of various social enterprise models (for-profit, non-profit, hybrid), requiring students to analyze and devise strategies to improve the efficacy of these ventures. Finally, the course engages students in research seeking to advance the field of social entrepreneurship at the Keough School of Global Affairs and Notre Dame.
When you want to generate support for a social issue, push a social cause, or succeed with a social (as opposed to commercial) venture, how do you effectively reach those you are trying to help, affect or influence? If I want people to stop wearing leather, recycle more, or to stop abusing their spouses or their animals, how do I get them to change? If I am trying to help people out of poverty, address the opioid epidemic, find places for refugees to live and work, or provide safe drinking water in a place where it is not available, how do I understand and communicate with key stakeholders so that my initiative gets traction and is successfully implemented? This course introduces a strategic approach to addressing these kinds of challenges. We adopt a process perspective on how to use marketing techniques and tools when trying to influence the voluntary behavior of audiences to improve their lives or the larger society. It is about benefiting individuals and communities for the greater social good. We will use a combination of pedagogical approaches, including (1) class lectures on key theoretical concepts, tools, and approaches to marketing social issues, causes, and ventures (2) class discussion of core content and real-world cases; and (3) experiential learning by having students come up with marketing inventions, or highly creative approaches the marketing activities of those in the social sector and those who are disadvantaged. The more you put into this course, the more you get out of it. Through examples, cases, and inventions you will be exposed to a variety of strategic situations, and these situations will allow you to use your knowledge, talents, judgments, and skills. You will find the challenges are multifaceted and there are typically no “right” answers---just a need for very creative approaches.
Summer 2022 Courses
SEI 34997: Entrepreneurship Field Experience
This course provides interaction with township entrepreneurs over six weeks as part of structured consulting engagements. Consulting engagements start at the same time as the class meetings. Teams of five or six students are assigned to work with two entrepreneurial businesses. Team members must develop a relationship with the entrepreneur, establish trust, learn as much as possible about the entrepreneur and his/her venture, determine priorities, select problems that can be addressed within the time of the consulting engagement, perform the necessary research and analysis on possible solutions to these problems, design detailed solutions and related action plans, and most importantly, implement the solutions. Teams are mentored by three faculty members. A final consulting report summarizes the teams' assessment of each venture and the set of deliverables produced for the clients. Students must maintain journals of their experiences.
SEI 34998: Supporting Emerging Enterprises
This course introduces students to the South African context, poverty entrepreneurship, the basics of consulting, a process consulting approach, the SEE consulting model, a consulting toolkit, and creative yet practical approaches to addressing developmental issues in emerging small businesses.