COMM5201 Social Enterprise: Doing Business for Social Good - 2020

T2C Online Intensive
Term 2
6 Units of Credit
UNSW Business School

Offering Selection
The course outline is not available for current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, 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 for the national Bid Idea competition. 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 local Big Idea judging panel who will select the UNSW team to present at the national Big Idea pitching competition in Melbourne.  

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 Big Idea practice (using the 2019 model). 

Using this framework, UNSW students have won the competition in both 2018 and 2019, and we look forward to creating our own outcomes and history with you. 

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.

The course is delivered intensively over four weeks from Monday, 17 August to Friday, 11 September. Students will complete two online modules (including Big Idea competition materials) in the first week, before starting the workshops on Monday 24 August. The assessments/team project deliverables are due Saturday, 29 August
(Project Proposal), Friday, 11 September (Project Presentation) and Saturday, 12 September (Project Report) with the final reflection assessment due on Monday, 14

Workshops: Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 9am-2pm (24 August-11 September)

NB: attendance requirements apply. The course will be delivered online if required due to social distancing rules 

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 and begin to generate ideas to address them through a social enterprise.  In the 'develop' stage students will learn theory and techniques to address social and environmental problems through business-based solutions, building prototypes for testing and iterating the product or service. In the 'delivery' phase students will finalise and present their business case developed for the Big Idea national 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 a 'big 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.

Additonal Course Details

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Course AuthorityMichael Katz
By appointment only

Course Authority: Michael Katz  


Location: Centre for Social Impact, SEB Lev 7

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 Big Idea 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 focussed on applied activities. Students will work in teams throughout the semester to develop their social enterprise business case to pitch for the national Big Idea competition. Students will be supported in developing their oral presentation skills. 

Course Structure

The course is delivered intensively over 3 weeks from Monday, 24 August to Friday, 11 September

6. Course Resources

The website for this course is on Moodle at:    

Login to Moodle with your student zID (username) and zPass (password).  

If you encounter a technical problem while using Moodle, please contact the UNSW IT Service Desk via the following channels:  



Telephone: +61 (2) 9385 1333  

Phone and email support is available Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am - 2pm. Online service requests can be made via their website.  

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

Each year feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. In this course, we will seek your feedback through end of semester myExperience responses. Your feedback is important to ensure the course is continually improved.  

Student Response

The feedback from students form T2C 2019 was positive, and focused on how the practical and innovative nature of the program combined with the project management framework enabled them to challenge themselves but still progress in such a short period of time. There was some feedback that the very short timeframe made it challenging to remain energised throughout the process. it was also noted that some students wanted to know how they could further develop their idea after the course.

    Response to Student Feedback

    To this end we have made the following changes:

    1. Articulate the positive aspects of the course clearly in the course outline.
    2. Consider how the positive aspects of the course can be delivered in an online context (if required).
    3. Bring in Michael Crouch Innovation Centre (MCIC) as a collaborative partner to deliver the opportunity to further student projects during/after the program.
    4. Amend the course schedule to give more time off between classes, although the overall timeframe cannot be amended.

    8. Course Schedule

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

    Orientation to course 

    And pre-workshop modules (Big Idea and social enterprise material)

    Week 2 Workshops/Assessment

    Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise Start Ups 

    Tools for developing Social Business 

    Understanding Systems 

    Understanding the customers, issues & causes 

    Assessment 1 : Project Proposal
    Week 3 Workshops

    Understanding the options for change - wicked problems and sticky solutions 

    From Ideas Generation to selecting a solution 


    Testing & Iterating 

    Week 4 Workshops/Assessments

    Compiling the Business Case and communicating to divergent audiences 

    Impact Story Telling 

    Assessment 2 : Project Presentation
    Assessment 3 : Project Report (business case)
    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 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

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