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Sustainable Entrepreneurship - ENV00097M

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Adrian Gonzalez
  • Credit value: 5 ECTS
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module provides students the opportunity to develop and apply entrepreneurial skills to address complex social and environmental problems. Students will explore the role of entrepreneurial action from new organisations (entrepreneurship) and existing organisations (intrapreneurship) in contributing to sustainability transitions. This course is structured around experiential problem-based learning, providing students the opportunity to synthesise theory and practice as they develop an idea for their own sustainable enterprises. Topics will include: critically reviewing concepts of sustainable entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship; user centred-design of social and sustainable enterprises; frameworks for understanding and strategizing; understanding and reporting social and environmental impact; sustainable investment.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

The module aims to equip students with the entrepreneurial skills necessary to tackle sustainability challenges within new or existing organisations. Students will learn how to critically evaluate sustainable entrepreneurship opportunities and how to critically analyse the sustainability practices of corporations.


  • Entrepreneurial skills

  • Opportunity identification/creation and leadership

  • Critical thinking

  • Design thinking

  • Hybrid organising

  • Impact measurement

  • Entrepreneurial pitching

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will be able to:

Critically reflect on sustainable entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship theory and practice

Identify and evaluate sustainable entrepreneurship opportunities

Develop a strategy for a sustainable enterprise

Conduct primary research and analyse primary and secondary data in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship

Prepare and present documentation to pitch a novel enterprise idea

Learn to cope with the chaos and complexity of doing sustainable entrepreneurship in the real world


Task Length % of module mark
Individual Essay, PBL Participation and contribution and Group Pitch - Sustainable Entrepreneurship
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Summative assessment consists of:

Individual Essay (50%), Group Pitch (30%), PBL Participation and Contribution (20%).

This is a module delivered by Maastricht University and will be subject to Maastricht Education and Examination Regulations.

The module will appear as Pass/Fail Module on your York transcript (and for award purposes), Maastricht will provide a transcript detailing your assessments for this module.


Task Length % of module mark
Individual Essay, PBL Participation and contribution and Group Pitch - Sustainable Entrepreneurship
N/A 100

Module feedback

Participation - Students may request for indicative feedback on their participation anytime and will be provided verbal feedback in week 4.

Individual video pitch - Students will receive marks and written feedback on their idea on the day it is shown in class from both peers and the tutor.

Group enterprise pitch - Students will receive instant feedback through verbal and emailed comments on their Final Pitch from the industry experts/entrepreneurs and the lecturer/tutor.

Individual essay - Students will receive written feedback and marks for the final submission within 15 days of submission.

Indicative reading

Akemu, O., Whiteman, G., & Kennedy, S. (2016). Social enterprise emergence from social movement activism: The Fairphone case. Journal of Management Studies, 53(5), 846-877.

Battilana, J., Lee, M., Walker, J., & Dorsey, C. (2012). In search of the hybrid ideal. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 10(3), 50-55.

Crane, A. (2013). Modern slavery as a management practice: Exploring the conditions and capabilities for human exploitation. Academy of Management Review, 38(1), 49-69.

Delmas, M., & Burbano, V. C. (2011). The Drivers of Greenwashing. California Management Review, 54(1), 64-87

Ebrahim, A., & Rangan, V. K. (2014). What impact? A Framework for Measuring the Scale and Scope of Social Performance California Management Review, 56(3), 118-141.

Milne, M. J., & Gray, R. (2012). W(h)ither ecology? The triple bottom line, the global reporting initiative, and corporate sustainability reporting. Journal of Business Ethics, 118(1), 13-29.

Shepherd, D. A., & Patzelt, H. (2011). The new field of sustainable entrepreneurship: Studying entrepreneurial action linking “what is to be sustained” with “what is to be developed”. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1), 137-163.

Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2017). An inconvenient truth: How organizations translate climate change into business as usual. Academy of Management Journal, 60(5), 1633-1661

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.