COMM5201 Business for Social Impact - 2023

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Term 2
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
T2C (Winter Term) On-site, Kensington
UNSW Business School
This course outline is provided in advance of offering to guide student course selection. Please note that while accurate at time of publication, changes may be required prior to the start of the teaching session. To view other versions, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

A social enterprise, broadly defined, is a 'for profit' organisation that has a social or environmental mission at the core of what it does. Whilst social enterprises might have different legal structures and reinvest or redistribute profits in different ways, they are all characterised by an integrated business model that enables their (social and/or environmental) mission to be realised through their direct business operations and not by business profits alone. Driven by the desire to find innovative solutions to systemic social problems and environmental challenges (local and global), social entrepreneurs have facilitated collaboration across traditional 'sectorial boundaries' (the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors) using business thinking to reach people in need and utilising markets for social good.

COMM5201 Social Enterprise: Doing Business for Social Good is an experiential course that enables students to learn about the 'what', 'why' and 'how' of social enterprises and to apply their knowledge and skills through developing a social enterprise business case to pitch for support from the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, UNSW. Working in small teams, students can develop an existing idea for a social enterprise or derive inspiration from the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals to identify a social enterprise to address a local and/or global social and/or environmental problem. The course is designed to follow the process of developing a social enterprise, beginning with discovery, then defining and development of the business case, and culminating in a presentation to a judging panel to select the winner .

The program is delivered within the Double Diamond framework, which enables students to effectively work through the uncertainty associated with ideation. This framework is shown below in theory and in practice.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

Workshops are held on Mondays 10am-5pm in weeks 2, 3 and 4 (Monday 21st August, Monday 28th August and Monday 4th September) in UNSW Business School G26 (K-E12-G26).

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The aims of this course are to first introduce the key features of a social enterprise, examining the various, and at times contested, terminology used in social enterprise/social business contexts, and compare and contrast social enterprises to other enterprise forms (corporations, businesses, and charitable/benevolent organisations).  The course will then consider some of the challenges, constraints and opportunities that social enterprises confront in pursuing their organisational mission (both social/environmental and financial) before embarking on an applied learning process of how a social enterprise might be designed, launched, and scaled.  

The 'discover' phase will enable students to broaden their understanding of context in which social enterprises operate, allowing them to identify and understand social problems before turning this research into a specific problem statement in the 'define' stage. In the 'develop' stage students will learn techniques to address social and environmental problems through business-based solutions, generating ideas to address the identified problems through a social enterprise and building prototypes for testing and iterating the product or service. In the 'delivery' phase students will finalise and present their business case developed for competition.

In addition to developing foundational knowledge about social enterprises, the course will also focus on developing presentation skills, in particular, how to pitch to potential investors an idea for 'doing business for social good'.  This will include impact storytelling, a critical tool when pitching an idea that aspires to create a sustainable, scalable social enterprise.

COMM5201 is a core course in the Master of Commerce and Master of Commerce (Extension) Global Sustainability and Social Enterprise specialisation but may also be taken as an additional General Elective in other MCom specialisations. 

Additional Course Details

Links to all required and optional resources are on the reading list for your course in the UNSW Library's Leganto system, which you can access via your Moodle course. Please note you will need to login and may be required to enter your UNSW zID and zPass in order to access the library site.

Required readings consist of core texts and their applications. Readings are chosen to provide both theoretical foundation and to illuminate their meaning and usage in professional contexts. The readings are not to be studied in detail but designed to initiate thinking and understanding of key themes in social systems and change. 

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Course AuthorityTasnia Alam HannanCentre for Social Impact UNSW: Level 7, Science Engineer Building (E8), Kensington Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
By appointment only

Tasnia Alam Hannan is a Lecturer at the Centre for Social Impact UNSW (CSI UNSW).

Tasnia is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Arise Foundation, which makes visible the impacts of financial abuse and assists survivors in their recovery phase.

Prior to her role at Arise Foundation she was an Associate Director at NSW Treasury, and she currently serves as a Board Director at the Australian International Academy. She also holds a number of advisory roles in the not-for-profit sector.

Tasnia has a background in applied finance and law, with over nine year's experience in the public and private sector across a variety of areas, including auditing, corporate finance and public policy development.


4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The course takes a problem-based approach to learning, considering how business models might be designed in such a way to create a social enterprise that aims to realise both social and financial return.  The United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals will be incorporated into the teaching content as a starting point for identifying local and global problems, the solution to which business thinking and integrated business models might contribute. Through participating in the competition students will have the opportunity to develop and apply practical skills that will enhance their graduate attributes and employability.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The course is designed in a blended mode of delivery with students engaging with both online and face-to-face classroom learning.  Students are required to complete online modules (located on Moodle), which contain key concepts and theory in relation to social enterprises. By completing the weekly modules before class students will be equipped with basic knowledge and tools to engage effectively in classroom activities, which are designed to be interactive and focused on applied activities. Students will work in teams throughout the semester to develop their social enterprise business case to pitch for the competition. Students will be supported in developing their oral presentation skills.

Course Structure

The teaching model is what is referred to as blended learning, in that the course combines both face-to-face learning with online support learning (online modules and access to learning materials). You will need to complete some units and readings before the classes. Reading materials and unit workbooks are available on Moodle.

6. Course Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services for students, including:

Centre for Social Impact (CSI)

Please direct any CSI education program, enrolment and administration queries here:

Email: ; Phone: (02) 8936 0990

Business Student Centre

The Nucleus: Student Hub, Level 2, in the Main Library. (UNSW map location F21)

Phone: (02) 8936 7005

Moodle eLearning Support

For online help using Moodle, go to:

For technical support, Email: ; Phone: (02) 9385 1333

UNSW Learning Centre

Provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See website for details.

Library services and facilities for students

IT Service Centre

Provides technical support to troubleshoot problems with logging into websites, downloading documents, etc.

Office: UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor). Phone: (02) 9385 1333

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services

Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.

Office: Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building; Phone: (02) 9385 5418; Email:

Equitable Learning Services (formally Disability Support Services)

Provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies.

Phone: (02) 8374 9201; Email:

Nura Gili Indigenous Student Support

Nura Gili's Academic Support Officers are available to assist Indigenous students

Phone: (02) 9385 3805; Email:

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

Student Response


    Response to Student Feedback


      8. Course Schedule

      Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
      Week 1 Orientation activities on Moodle

      Orientation to course 

      And pre-workshop modules 

      Week 2 Workshop Monday 21st August 10am-5pm

      Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise Start Ups

      Teams and collaboration

      Tools for developing Social Business

      Understanding Systems, wicked problems, and testing assumptions

      Understanding stakeholders, issues & causes

      Defining the problem

      Assessment 1 : Project Proposal
      Week 3 Workshop Monday 28th August 10am-5pm

      Understanding the options for change - sticky solutions

      Ideation and prioritisation Prototyping

      Testing & Iterating

      Personas and Value Proposition

      Week 4 Workshop Monday 4th September 10am-5pm

      Compiling the Business Case

      Persuasive communication Impact Story Telling

      Final Pitch

      Assessment 2 : Project Presentation
      Assessment 3 : Project Report (business case)
      Week 5 No class - Assessment 4 due
      Assessment 4 : Reflection

      9. Policies and Support

      Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

      Program Learning Outcomes

      The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

      PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

      Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

      All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

      PLO 1: Business knowledge

      Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

      PLO 2: Problem solving

      Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

      PLO 3: Business communication

      Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

      PLO 4: Teamwork

      Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

      PLO 5: Responsible business practice

      Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

      PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

      Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

      PLO 7: Leadership development

      Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

      These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

      Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



      UNSW Graduate Capabilities

      The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

      UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
      Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
      • PLO 1: Business knowledge
      • PLO 2: Problem solving
      • PLO 3: Business communication
      • PLO 4: Teamwork
      • PLO 7: Leadership development

      Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
      • PLO 1: Business knowledge
      • PLO 2: Problem solving
      • PLO 3: Business communication
      • PLO 4: Teamwork
      • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
      • PLO 7: Leadership development

      Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
      • PLO 1: Business knowledge
      • PLO 2: Problem solving
      • PLO 3: Business communication
      • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

      Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
      • PLO 1: Business knowledge
      • PLO 2: Problem solving
      • PLO 3: Business communication
      • PLO 4: Teamwork
      • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
      • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

      While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

      Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

      Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

      The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


      UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

      Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

      Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

      Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

      Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

      • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
      • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
      • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
      • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

      Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

      Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

      Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

      To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


      The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

      If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

      For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

      For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

      Student Responsibilities and Conduct

      ​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

      Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


      It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

      We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

      View more information on expected workload


      Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

      View more information on attendance

      General Conduct and Behaviour

      You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

      View more information on student conduct

      Health and Safety

      UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

      View more information on Health and Safety

      Keeping Informed

      You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

      Student Support and Resources

      ​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

      Business School EQS Consultation Program
      The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
      Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
      02 9385 4508

      Communication Resources
      The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

      Business School Student Centre
      The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
      Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
      02 9385 3189

      UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
      The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
      Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
      02 9385 2060

      Student Support Advisors
      Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
      John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
      02 9385 4734

      International Student Support
      The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
      Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
      02 9385 4734

      Equitable Learning Services
      Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
      Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
      02 9385 4734

      UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
      Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
      Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
      02 9385 5418

      Library services and facilities for students
      The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
      Main Library, F21.
      02 9385 2650

      Moodle eLearning Support
      Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
      02 9385 3331

      UNSW IT
      UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
      UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
      02 9385 1333