News & Announcements Blog / News

Social Entrepreneurship by Design

“The Social Entrepreneurship by Design class at Babson College amalgamated scholarly exploration and visual communication,” according to one student who took the class last spring.

The course, open to Babson and Olin students, is taught by Prof. Heidi Neck.

Course description:

This course integrates user oriented collaborative design and entrepreneurship for the purpose of developing new products or services that contribute to the solution of a social problem.

User oriented collaborative design is a proven six phase process designed to help you create products or services based on user needs; understanding the user is central to the design process.

Yet designing new products and services for social sectors adds layers of complexity.

The user is one among many stakeholders to which your product must provide value.

Thus you will design products that yield both an economic and social value for multiple stakeholder groups, but you must determine who the most important stakeholders are and include these in the design process.

Determining economic and social value is an entrepreneurship exercise.

In Social Entrepreneurship by Design evaluation of design process, functionality, users, markets industries, and other stakeholders demonstrates potential value for all critical stakeholders.

Keep in mind that solving social problems typically requires collaboration, partnerships, alliances and even special funding.

As a result, understanding the problem from multiple stakeholder perspectives is an essential component of the entrepreneurship process.

The course focuses on one broad social problem each semester.

Materials used in the class, including poster boards, color printer, toolboxes, easels and markers, to name just a few, were generously donated by Corporate Express and Office Depot.