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School: Wharton School of Business
Registration Link: Social Entrepreneurship
Start Date: September 14, 2015 (6 Weeks)
Workload: 3-4 Hours Per Week
Instructors: Ian MacMillan, James D. Thompson, Peter Frumkin
Credentials: MacMillan teaches entrepreneurial management courses at the University of Pennsylvania. A chemical engineer by trade, MacMillan has consulted for companies like IBM, DuPont, and KPMG. A prolific author with credits in The Harvard Business Review and The Sloan Management Review, MacMillan has also published five books on identifying growth opportunities, establishing market innovations, and managing change initiatives. He is also the co-author of The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook with James D. Thompson.
Thompson, the co-founder and director of the Wharton Social Entrepreneurship Program, teaches courses in entrepreneurship in Wharton’s executive MBA program. He holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL). He has won numerous awards for his writing and research, including a “Best Paper Award” from the American Marketing Association in 2013.
Peter Frumkin heads the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy, along with overseeing the school’s Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership program. He has authored or co-authored five books on non-profits. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Chicago and has previously taught at the University of Texas and Harvard.
Graded: For $49, Students can receive a signed certificate if they complete the course.
Description: Looking to channel your entrepreneurial energy into your social passions? In this course, you’ll learn how to conceive, launch, manage, and scale social enterprises. Here, you’ll be exposed to local programs that have provided food, housing, and energy to the needy – and did so by applying design thinking and concept testing methodologies to available resources. The course includes two tracks: An “Open Track where students complete cases and peer-assignments and a “Signature Track” where students produce a project that is evaluated by Wharton TAs.
Review: “This class had much hope, with the promise of select students getting to go to a retreat/mini-incubator. But it was sadly, a waste of time. The practices advocated by the professors may be suitable for Fortune 500 companies doing the same old same old, but not for innovative social entrepreneurs. The only thing differentiating Fortune 500 practices in this course were the things you would do to get rich foundations to give your never-make-a-profit idea money to burn. Notably, there was nothing about testing ideas out on potential customers/creating some sort of mockup/prototype. Silicon Valley would laugh at such a course. At or around the same time there were 3 other Social Entrepreneurship MOOCs (1 on Coursera and 2 on Iversity). All could use a good dose of Silicon Valley realism, but the closest to breaking the decades old business practices was the Social Entrepreneurship MOOC from Copenhagen. As it is being run again in April 2015, I recommend that one over the other 3, but be sure to take Steve Blank’s Startup MOOC on Udacity (which is always available) first.” For additional reviews, click
Additional Note: This course will draw heavily from The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook, which is available at no charge online for all registered students. Copenhagen University is also conducting a 12-week Social Entrepreneurship course beginning on September 1st. To learn more about this course, click here. For an additional course on social entrepreneurship starting in September, check out Philanthropy University’s Global Social Entrepreneurship.