Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Entrepreneurship and Impact Investment

Entrepreneurship and Impact Investment
Second semester
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish,

Teaching staff

Tutorials will be help upon request by email to:

-      Ramon Bastida Vialcanet (Professor at BSM / UPF). rbastida@uic.es

-      Blai Collado (Consultant at Tandem Social). bcollado@uic.es

-      Nina Magomedova (Professor at UIC Barcelona and researcher in Social Entrepreneurship and Finance). nmagomedova@uic.es


Nowadays, the social economy is getting bigger and bigger. At the Spanish level, it is working on the line of incorporating social entrepreneurship into the new law of entrepreneurship, the new law of patronage and the creation of a specific legal form of social enterprises. And, at European level, appears at the centre of the EU 2020 Strategy. It accounts 17% of employment and 15% of GDP. The course will provide to the students with the necessary skills to create, develop, manage, and lead organizations of the social economy. It is a program that facilitates the necessary tools for the good internal functioning of social economy organizations - analysing strategic, legal, economic-tax and human resources aspects - while promoting the entrepreneurial and innovative competences as engines of change of these organizations and their leadership. At the same time, this course will provide the necessary skills to understand and analyse the main challenges and needs or the social financing system, while getting to know its main actors.

Pre-course requirements

No special requirements


This subject has a twofold objective. The first goal of this subject is to present the social business model to the students, in order that they can understand that there is a different way of doing business, focusing on social and environmental necessities, taking into account that financial sustainability is also very important. In that sense, the second goal is to present the social investment tools and ecosystem, in order that students can understand what its challenges are and they can analyse different solutions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the concepts of social economy, social entrepreneurship and social business
  • Identify the actors of social entrepreneurship ecosystem
  • Understand, identify and analyze a social need 
  • Understand the concept of social innovation
  • Understanding the importance of social impact evaluation
  • Identify the instruments to finance social projects
  • Understand the differences in financial management of social businesses 
  • Understand, identify and analyze different social investment tools
  • Identify the actors of social finance ecosystem, both at national and international level
  • Understand the challenges or the sector


Topic 1. Social entrepreneurship and fundamental concepts of social economy and third social sector.

  • Introduction to the concept of social entrepreneurship and its fit in the third social sector (NGO) and the social economy.
  • The ecosystem of non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurship in Catalonia, Spain and Europe. The actors that are part of the ecosystem of social entrepreneurship in Catalonia, Spain and Europe.
  • Gender equality in the Third Sector.

Case study 1: “The values in the Social and Solidarity Economy: The case of the cooperative Biciclot”.

Topic 2. Social business model: social needs and business opportunities

  • The concept of social need. Social needs as a base for business opportunities. The analysis of needs and the generation of solutions.
  • The generation of their own social business models. Working in groups, identifying a social need. Develop an idea of social business. Transform it into a social business model.
  • Social Innovation. The concept. The good practices of social innovation around the world. Social innovation against social enterprises.

Case study 2: “Esclatec: research + development + innovation x inclusion”.

Topic 3. The social impact and the theory of change

  • The measure of the social impact.
  • Quantitative and qualitative measurement indicators.
  • Measurement tools (SROI, IRIS ...).
  • Theory of change.

Case study 3: “Social Forest: A company with a triple objective”.

Topic 4. Economic and legal framework of companies in the social economy

  • Corporate legal forms for the creation of a social enterprise
  • Elaboration of the economic-financial plan of a social project. Specific aspects of the cost analysis and the preparation of the budget.
  • Analysis of the financial information of social enterprises (analysis techniques, use of management indicators, etc.)

Case study 5: “Magdas Hotel: from refugees to work in a multicultural environment”.

Topic 5. Introduction to social finance and financing tools

  • Alternative financing instruments for social entrepreneurship projects.
  • Public financing through subsidies, the role of banks, business angels and impact venture capital, and the negotiation process with investors, and the new social investment industry, such as crowdfunding, patronage and sponsorship.

Case study 4: “La Casa de Carlota: A company where diversity wins”.

Topic 6. Microcredits

  • The concept of microcredit, statistics and evolution
  • Main actors on the microcredit sector, both at international level and in Spain
  • Social impact of microcredit
  • Challenges or the microcredit sector

Topic 7. Crowdfunding

  • The concept of crowdfunding, statistics and evolution
  • Main actors of the crowdfunding sector
  • Different types of crowdfunding: crowdlending, crowd equity, etc.

Topic 8. Risk capital and equity

  • Tools of risk capital
  • Main actors of the risk capital sector, both at international level and in Spain
  • Evolution of the risk capital sector
  • Challenges of social risk capital and equity investment

Topic 9. Alternative financing

  • Tools of the alternative financing for social economy
  • Main actors of the alternative financing

Topic 10. Challenges

  • Challenges in social investment
  • The tension between social impact and economic sustainability
  • Social impact measurement. Social impact vs. Financial return

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The evaluation of the achievement of the competences will be assessed taking into account the continuous work carried out by the student through the participation in the classes, the attendance at the conferences, and the preparation and presentation of study cases. Below we can find the different sections that will be evaluated and their weight in the final grade: -          (50%) Final exam o   It is necessary to obtain a minimum grade of 5 in the final exam in order to calculate the average grade with the continuous evaluation. -          (30%) Preparation, delivery and oral presentation of case studies in groups: o   Capacity to generate sustainable solutions to social needs. o   Ability to identify and analyse business opportunities. o   Flexibility and creativity in the application of acquired knowledge. o   Writing communication skills. o   Teamwork ability. o   Oral communication skills. -          (20%) Attendance to the sessions o   Proactive attitude. o   Ability to argue, reason and debate.

Bibliography and resources

Bastida, R. and Mas-Machuca, M. (coord). New tendencies in the creation and management of social business, Yunus Social Business Network Barcelona, 2018. Available to download here: https://www.sbcbarcelona.org/que-fem/#estudis-publicacions Defourny, Jacques; Hulgard, Lars  & Pestoff, Victor (2014), Social Enterprise and the Third Sector. Changing European Landscapes in a Comparative Perspective. Routledge. London. Mertens, S.(2010), La gestion des entreprises sociales, Edipro, Liège. Yunus, Mohammad (2011)  Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs Paperback. Website of the European Comission about Social investment: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1044&langId=en