Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Students gain a topical overview of current scholarly and policy discussions about sustainable entrepreneurship, and learn to analyse the social and ecological sustainability of current business practices. Based on individual learning interests, students are able to engage in real-life sustainability research, consultancy or start-up projects. They learn to identify practical challenges for developing sustainable business solutions, and to present their solutions to different stakeholders, such as entrepreneurs, civic society organizations and policy makers.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 01.11.2021 - 08.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Patrick Shulist, Gregory O'Shea

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course focuses on the role of entrepreneurship in the transitioning towards a more socially and ecologically responsible world. The course is based on two core pivots: 1) why entrepreneurship is important for sustainability, 2) how sustainability-oriented entrepreneurship differs from "traditional" entrepreneurship.  To accomplish this, we will explore the entrepreneurial process (e.g. ideation, venture creation, initial market entry, early growth, and late growth) with a focus on how the components of that process change by including sustainability considerations.  Understanding these differences fundamentally necessitates understanding the complexity of sustainability-oriented value propositions, as well as the increased importance of gaining support from other ecosystem actors.

    A unique feature of the course design is the strong emphasis on problem-based learning through a group course project where students get to work on the real-world challenges of start-ups and other entrepreneurship actors. Students are also encouraged to use the course as an opportunity to explore their own start-up ideas.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Group project (45%)
    Individual assignments (55%)

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    24 h contact hours
    136 h independent work


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    A variety of articles on sustainability entrepreneurship. More detailed instructions will be provided in the course syllabus.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    1 No Poverty

    4 Quality Education

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    13 Climate Action


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course is open to all Aalto students. Students are admitted to the course in the following priority order: 1) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2) Creative Sustainability, 3) CEMS, 4) other School of Business master s students, 5) Aalto students. Students can further develop their venture ideas initiated in other Aalto courses, such as 25E50000 Venture ideation or 21E10000 How to change the world.


    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn II

    2021-2022 Autumn II

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.

    Registration via Sisu ends 7 days before the period starts.