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Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship - ENV00097M

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Clarence Bluntz
  • Credit value: 5 ECTS
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This course provides entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills to address complex social and environmental problems, as well as the tools and theories to critically reflect on entrepreneurial solutions. Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship will not be dealt with separately but together in most lectures and PBL sessions, as they tend to differ in the types of organisations they are employed in, rather than in their processes and the tools and skills they employ.

This course focuses more on experiential learning. Technical and practical knowledge will be provided during PBL sessions which are more akin to standard “tutorials”, while a more theoretical point of view will be given during the lectures, so that students can get the level of abstraction and reflexivity which is expected both from university graduates and sustainability entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

The knowledge that the students will acquire in this course will be put to use when students come into contact with companies and organisations, as is reflected in the assessment criteria. Furthermore, while the PBL sessions focus for the most part on concept and tools in use in “traditional” entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and start-up settings, students who are so inclined are encouraged to target alternative organisations. The vast majority of organisations in the world are neither corporations nor SMEs, so entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship might very well be applied elsewhere.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

The module aims to equip students with the skills necessary to tackle sustainability challenges within new ventures as well as within existing organisations. Students will learn what the entrepreneurial mindset can and cannot achieve, how to critically evaluate sustainability-orientated entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship projects, and how to build organisations that can be sufficient and successful without economic growth.


  • Negative and positive impact measurement

  • Strategy

  • Marketing

  • Accounting and cash flow management

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will be able to:

  1. Apply entrepreneurship theories to evaluate real-life entrepreneurship cases.

  2. Develop a strategy/business plan/budget forecast for a sustainable enterprise/organisation.

  3. Judge and evaluate sustainable entrepreneurship opportunities.

  4. Understand how to cope with the chaos and complexity of doing sustainable entrepreneurship in the real world.

  5. Construct a pitch regarding a novel enterprise/organisation/collective action idea, and defend it.

Module content

Teaching will be a combination of weekly lectures and PBL sessions over seven weeks.

  • Lectures/workshops: 10 hours

  • PBL sessions: 12 hours

  • Assessment: Participation & Contribution (20%), Group enterprise pitch (30%), Individual essay (50%)

  • Private Study: 128 hours

The course runs over 8 weeks. Lectures/workshops are 2-hours long, while PBL sessions consist of two 1-hour seminars over the course of one week, to allow individual work of students in between. The scheduling of lectures and PBL sessions is different to other courses so that students get most of the practical and technical information during the first week, which will make them better prepared for their interactions with companies and professionals alongside this course.

An important part of the course is interaction with business experts/professionals. Like in the innovation course, students will get to meet professionals at the beginning of the course period and will work with them on a novel idea (which can be at various stages of development). Students will make use of what they’ve learned during the PBL sessions to tackle issues put forward by these professionals. They will pitch solutions to them. Part of the assessment will be based on this.

This is a module taught by Maastricht University. Please visit Maastricht University webpage for further information by following this link


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

Formative assessment consists of:

• Oral feedback on participation and contribution will be given by tutors during the PBL sessions. Oral feedback will also be provided during PBL sessions as students work toward their group pitch.

Summative assessment consists of:

• Individual essay (50%); students will submit an individual essay. They will choose a case study of entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship (in the broadest possible definition – this can be a “mainstream” case study but alternatives are also encouraged). They will consider, when relevant, the figure of the entrepreneur(s), the “revolutionary” character of innovations, the many definitions, and measurements, of success. They will be rated according to rubrics made known to them beforehand. It is expected that they will be able to put the concept and theories taught during the lectures into practice to untangle and make sense of a case of sustainability entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship.

• Group video pitch (30%); as mentioned in the course structure, students will meet business experts and professionals, be introduced to a problem and will have to pitch a possible solution. They will work in groups on this during each PBL session and do the final pitch in front of these industry experts and entrepreneurs. This pitch will be graded following rubrics as well as feedback from these experts and entrepreneurs.

• Participation and contribution (20%) during PBL sessions.

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

See formative assessment feedback section above.

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.

Participation and Contribution - Students will receive written feedback and marks.

Indicative reading

Bland, D. J., & Osterwalder, A. (2019). Testing business ideas: A field guide for rapid experimentation. John Wiley & Sons.

Bocken, N. M. P., Schuit, C. S. C., & Kraaijenhagen, C. (2018). Experimenting with a circular business model: Lessons from eight cases. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 28.

Bocken, N. M. P., Weissbrod, I., & Antikainen, M. (2021). Business Model Experimentation for the Circular Economy: Definition and Approaches. Circular Economy and Sustainability.

Hickel, J., & Kallis, G. (2020). Is Green Growth Possible? New Political Economy, 25.

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.