In 2008, Ashoka launched the "Changemaker Campus Initiative" which applies Ashoka's rigorous criteria to select and support universities as they develop and implement a comprehensive social entrepreneurship plan. Through the lessons learned from this network, and with input from its broader global network of those experienced in the field, Ashoka aims to set a new standard for social entrepreneurship education. Indeed, despite the rising demand, there remains a dire need for quality coursework and global teaching case studies. Social entrepreneurs – and the pressing challenges they solve – are not bound by geographic borders or a single political environment, yet there is a lack of the materials necessary to equip students with the skills and mind-set required to catalyze systemic social change.

What few high-quality case studies do exist typically highlight social entrepreneurs within the United States. This cooperation with oikos within the Social Entrepreneurship Track of the annual oikos Global Case Competition is a critical vehicle for tackling that challenge. As a result of this effort, more locally relevant case studies are being written, peer-reviewed, and judged than ever before, and are able to make their way into the hands of global audiences eager to adopt them into their courses.

Building social entrepreneurship skills and problem-solving abilities are best practiced and honed using real-life examples and strategic challenges – not just learning theories in a vacuum. Case studies provide this exposure and real-time training in systemic problem-solving. Through these 15 teaching cases, students learn that social entrepreneurship is about identifying root causes of problems and applying a solution that tackles the system. As study upon study has shown, the band-aid approach does not work. To effectively address a social problem, the solution must continually adapt and evolve based on market feedback about what works and what needs to change in the model.

Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability is the second volume resulting from the oikos Global Case Writing Competition – an annual program launched in 2003 to promote the publication of high-quality teaching cases in corporate sustainability. This book expands the collection with award-winning global cases in the rapidly growing field of social entrepreneurship and sustainability.

In view of the growing importance of various sustainability trends, management schools are increasingly challenged to adapt their entrepreneurship and business curricula. Management education needs to reflect the trends and provide a broadened understanding of value creation. Sustainability is a concept that demands that organizations consider the legitimate expectations of different stakeholders in their value creation processes. At the same time, it underlines the fact that many sustainability trends offer new business opportunities that entrepreneurs will seize. As a result, value creation processes need to be reorganized in order to create economic capital while developing social capital and preserving natural capital.

Indeed, entrepreneurial organizations are increasingly dealing with these challenges. The case studies in this book explore both the opportunities and pitfalls entrepreneurs – working with organizations with for-profit, hybrid and non-profit business models – face in targeting sustainability issues and how their values and core assumptions impact their business strategies. They describe new patterns of value creation, new alliances, and the challenges of dealing with existing paradigms. It is clear that new ways of doing business with a common objective of maximizing social impact are substantially shaping markets and society.

This textbook of competition-winning case studies for management education in the field of social entrepreneurship and sustainability provides excellent learning opportunities, tells engaging stories, deals with recent situations, includes quotations from key actors, is thought-provoking and controversial, requires decision-making and provides clear take-aways. Online Teaching Notes to accompany each chapter are available on request with the purchase of the book.

part I|19 pages


chapter 1.1|2 pages


Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

chapter 1.2|4 pages

Cases in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability

What Makes an Excellent Case?
Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

chapter 1.3|3 pages

Teaching Notes

Combining Contents with Concepts
Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

chapter 1.4|9 pages

Introduction to the Cases

Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

part II|89 pages

Understanding the Nature of the Social Entrepreneur

chapter 2.1|9 pages

The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship 1 , 2

ByJ. Gregory Dees

chapter 1|12 pages

So You Want to Be a Social Entrepreneur?

Starting Out, Scaling Up and Staying Committed 1
ByMichael Gordon

chapter 2|26 pages

Gram Vikas 1 , 2 , 3

ByImran Chowdhury, Filipe Santos

chapter 3|20 pages


A Business Model to Tackle Poverty 1 , 2
BySaji Sam George, V. Namratha Prasad

chapter 4|21 pages

Kapai New Zealand

Eat Your Greens! 1
ByHelen Tregidga, Kate Kearins, Eva Collins

part III|92 pages

Entrepreneurial Action for Developing Inclusive Markets

chapter 5|22 pages

Fabio Rosa

Bridging the Electricity Divide in Brazil 1 , 2
ByAytha Harish, Vivek Gupta

chapter 6|24 pages

Dr. Reddy’s

Medicine is for People, Profits Follow 1 , 2
ByBala Chakravarthy, Sophie Coughlan

chapter 7|20 pages


A Microfinance Startup in Rural Nepal 1
ByJacen Greene, Scott Marshall

chapter 8|25 pages


A Lens for Growth at the Base of the Pyramid 1 , 2
ByMolly Christiansen, Ted London

part IV|88 pages

Topic Spotlight: SE Approaches for Tackling Water Challenges

chapter 9|24 pages

Procter & Gamble’s PuR Water Purifier

The Hunt for a Sustainable Business Model 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
ByLisa Jones Christensen, Jessica Thomas

chapter 10|28 pages

Trevor Field and the PlayPumps of Africa 1 , 2 , 3

ByDebapratim Purkayastha

chapter 11|35 pages

WaterHealth International

Providing Safe Drinking Water to the Bottom of the Pyramid Consumers 1 , 2 , 3
ByHadiya Faheem, Debapratim Purkayastha

part V|126 pages

Scaling, Legitimacy and Profit Challenges for Mission-Driven Organizations

chapter 12|25 pages

Business Model Innovation by Better Place

A Green Ecosystem for the Mass Adoption of Electric Cars 1 , 2 , 3
ByRamalingam Meenakshisundaram, Besta Shankar

chapter 13|29 pages

Noir/Illuminati II 1 , 2

ByBenoit Leleux

chapter 14|24 pages

The ReUse People

Turning Scrap into Sales 1 , 2
ByWilliam G. Powell, Charles J. Corbett

chapter 15|47 pages

LivingHomes 1 , 2

ByRebecca Henn, Andrew J. Hoffman

part VI|34 pages


chapter 6.1|1 pages

Guidelines for Case Writing

Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

chapter 6.2|3 pages

International Case Writing Competitions

Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

chapter 6.3|4 pages

Case Collections and Journals

Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

chapter 6.4|21 pages

About the oikos Global Case Writing Competition

Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim

chapter 6.5|2 pages

About oikos

Edited ByJost Hamschmidt, Michael Pirson, Marina Kim