Module 2

Social Business

Welcome to Module 2: Social Business - Become an entrepreneur for social good!

In this module, we’ll build on the idea of an active citizen by examining the model of social business.

We will do that by employing a framework that covers the entire social entrepreneurship journey, delving into the first phases of this journey. It will highlight various motivations for founding a social business as well as guide you through the preparatory phases of launching a social business.

You will become acquainted with several successful social businesses at various stages of development. Also you get to know the theoretic foundations of social business, become familiar with various social business models and discern how these differ from conventional business models, and learn essential preparatory steps necessary to set up a social business. You will also become familiar with additional tools and methods that can help you to refine your social business approach.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the module, you should have gained a basic understanding about:

  • the theoretical foundations of social business,
  • social business models (and how these differ from conventional business models),
  • essential preparatory steps to set up a social business,
  • and tools and methods that can help you to refine your social business approach.

Our short introductory video gives you a brief impression of what lies ahead of you.


Let’s dive in deeper. In the following videos, we’ll explore how social businesses develop and disseminate new products or services. To do this, we’ll travel through the phases of the social entrepreneurship journey and learn how to visualise your business model.

We translated the lecture videos\' scripts into German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian. In case you would like to have a look at the translated scripts, please see the files for downloading further down.

Lecture 1


Lecture playlist

Lecture 1



Lecture 2

Inspiration and Motivation


Lecture 3

Idea Development


Lecture 4

Business Model Development


Additional materials and transcripts

Infographic on Social Business

So many videos to watch! In case you have difficulties remembering all the relevant phases of the social entrepreneurship journey, we compiled the most important facts into this infographic on social business.

Expert interviews

Expert Interview with Norbert Kunz

Now you’ll get to hear from Norbert Kunz, the Managing Director of Social Impact, on the essentials for running a successful social business.

Norbert Kunz is one of the high-profile social entrepreneurs in Germany. For 20 years he has advised and supported entrepreneurs, companies, and non-profit organizations in developing their business models, financial plans, and organisational structures. Norbert Kunz has been Ashoka Fellow since 2007. The Schwab Foundation awarded him Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 in Germany and in 2011 Social Entrepreneur of Europe.

Expert Interview with Thorsten Jahnke

Thorsten Jahnke gained experience as a CEO and as a member of various managing boards within a broad range of businesses and organisations working in the field of inclusive entrepreneurship. He has been working for more than 20 years in the field of inclusive and social entrepreneurship. This includes both leading various start-up support programs for disadvantaged people and business incubators for social start-ups. Currently, he heads the Social Impact Lab Berlin, which runs various national and international programs, including supporting refugees in starting their own businesses.

Expert Interview with Dr. Nicole Siebold

Spend some time with Dr. Nicole Siebold, a researcher with the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, who will explain to you how to design a social business model.

Dr. Nicole Siebold is a researcher at the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, where she received her doctorate in July 2017. Her research interests focus on social entrepreneurship, social business models, social venture growth and hybridity. Her research is inspired by her field work with organizations such as Ashoka and has been published in academic journals and awarded at several international management conferences. The social business models presented in the video are based on her dissertation (Siebold, N.: Business Models and Venture Growth in Social Entrepreneurship, 2017).

Expert Interview Supplement

This supplement should help you to visualize and grasp the ideas and concepts presented by Dr. Nicole Siebold.

Case Study Interviews

Let's hear what actual social entrepreneurs can tell us about their journey into founding a social business.

Case Study Interview with Katharina Kuehn from querstadtein

    Learn more about querstadtein, a registered non-profit organization in Germany. Through guided city tours led by former homeless people (since 2013) and refugees (since 2015), querstadtein offers space for dialogue as well as the chance to rethink your own prejudices.

    Case Study Interview with Svanja Kleemann from One Week Experience

      One Week Experience, a registered social business in Germany consisting of the non-profit One Week Experience e.V. and One Week Opportunities UG (limited liability), is convinced that every young person must discover what suits her/him best. One Week Experience has developed the programs One Week Student (since 2012) and One Week Trainee (since 2016), offering reality checks in higher education and vocational training.

      Case Study Interview with Nora Azzaoui from mimycri

        Mimycri is a registered non-profit organization in Germany. Here, you’ll learn more about its diverse team of refugees and Berliners who are making history tangible by working together. Since 2017, mimycri is upcyling broken refugee rubber boats into high quality bags and backpacks.

        Additional Readings

        You’ve now learned a lot about social business.
        The learning doesn’t end here though! These voluntary readings, videos and podcasts serve to dive deeper into specific topics.
        We’ve arranged them by subject for your convenience and encourage you to study them individually and discuss them in the discussion forum.

        Webinar: Scaling Social Impact - Discover how social enterprises are amplifying their impact

        • Scaling 101: What it is, when and how to do it
        • Practitioner perspectives: Insights on scaling from two social businesses
        • Support ecosystem: Where to find assistance on scaling.

        Table of contents

        Academy Modules
        Active citizenship
        Social Business
        Technology & Creativity for Social Innovation
        Stakeholder Engagement
        Impact Assessment
        Impact Finance
        Social Innovation Policies
        Roots of Impact
        pontis foundation

        Spread the world