Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Sustainable Entrepreneurship (PGGE11289)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIncreasingly entrepreneurship is viewed as an important enabler of sustainable development. Entrepreneurial practices and approaches support many of our social, economic, and environmental challenges. This course seeks to apply an entrepreneurial perspective to the UN sustainable development goals and examine how entrepreneurship takes place, with what impacts, and what factors influence the business approaches being used. The course places the student within this context encouraging them to develop their own entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and self-efficacy to contribute entrepreneurial solutions.

Course description Sustainable development is an increasing and ongoing process. The scale of our global UN Sustainable Development Goals requires a regular flow of new and innovative ideas and solutions designed to create positive impact for current and future generations. This course will provide an understanding of the contribution of academic theories and concepts and also a consideration of the developing practices of sustainable entrepreneurship. It considers the nature of sustainable entrepreneurship from a wide range of perspectives, examining how it can create value for consumers, society, the environment, and the economy. The course is practically orientated and encourages students to consider problems creatively and to identify, define, assess and communicate sustainable business opportunities, which are key entrepreneurship skills. This course does not aim to teach students how to start a business, but rather how to critically think about what sustainable approaches and business models are being developed, with what impacts. The course places the student within this context and challenges them to consider how they can personally identify and offer new and creative insights into solving sustainable development challenges through entrepreneurial practices.

The lectures and activities will be based around the following key topics:
1. Introduction to Course and Entrepreneurship: The objectives, structure and approach are outlined. What is Entrepreneurship? Introduction to the history of entrepreneurship, related theories, concepts and contemporary debates linked to sustainability. The importance of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Who are entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurial mindset, motivations and contexts.
2. The Entrepreneurial Process: An introduction to the entrepreneurial journey. Idea to venture creation (to include start-up, development, growth, exit). Types of Innovation.
3. Sustainable Business Development: Entrepreneurship through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. What is valued? What are the challenges? What skills and resources are required to pursue opportunities? ¿Green¿ financing and investment practices.
4. Sustainable Business Models: What is a sustainable business model? Identify, conceptualise and offer sustainable entrepreneurial solutions to identified problems. Consider impact.
5. The Influence of Policy and Stakeholders - Explore the role of wider contexts, policy makers and stakeholders with respect to sustainable entrepreneurship in a global context and consideration of current debates.
6. Entrepreneurial Tools and Techniques: Explore processes, frameworks, and tools which support business creation, planning and development (for example, creativity and ideation, design thinking, lean startup /business model canvas).
7. Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Practice (1) ¿ Sector: Food and Drink. Evaluation of case studies of sustainable entrepreneurial business approaches being used in the food and drink sector [sector can change to suit contemporary priorities].
8. Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Practice (2) ¿ Sector: Tourism. Evaluation of case studies of sustainable entrepreneurial business approaches being used in the tourism industry [sector can change to suit contemporary priorities].
9. Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Practice (3) ¿ Theme: Carbon Reduction. Evaluation of case studies of sustainable entrepreneurial business approaches being used to reduce/eliminate carbon [theme can change to suit contemporary priorities].
10. Sustainable Impact: Consideration of the ways to (re) design business models to have sustainable impact. Review evolution of contemporary practices and consider evaluation frameworks
Three main themes will be explored to better appreciate sustainable entrepreneurship in practice (examples shown above are Food and Drink, Tourism and Carbon Reduction). These themes may change to suit contemporary priorities.
A number of guest entrepreneurs/entrepreneurial organisations from a range of contexts will be invited/included as case studies within the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students can choose a topic (industry/or sustainability issue) in line with their interests, under staff guidance and subject to approval where required. «br /»
«br /»
(No Examination) Coursework 100%: «br /»
1. Evaluation report (LO2 and LO3) - 1,500 words (40% marks). Critical evaluation of sustainable business approaches being employed by SMEs in sector of choice, assessing influence of external stakeholders «br /»
2. Business report (LO1 and LO4) - 2,500 words (60% marks). Business proposal for new and creative sustainable entrepreneurial solution to a clearly identified problem which contributes to at least one UN SDG. «br /»
«br /»
Feedback on the first assessment will be provided in time to inform the final assessment.
Feedback The assessments will offer choice to allow students to focus on sectors and/or sustainability themes that are of more interest to them. Feedback on the first assessment report will be provided in time to inform the second assessment final report.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. On completion of this course, the student will be Demonstrate a critical understanding of the core theories and concepts of entrepreneurship within the economic, social, and environmental domains of sustainability 2.Critically evaluate a range of business models and approaches to meet social, environment, and economic objectives
  2. Critically evaluate a range of business models and approaches to meet social, environment, and economic objectives
  3. Explore the role of wider contexts, policy makers and stakeholders with respect to sustainable entrepreneurship
  4. Identify, conceptualise and evaluate a sustainable entrepreneurial solution to a clearly identified problem
Reading List
Each week a series of journal articles and book chapters will be recommended. In addition, there will be core reading materials [List TBC]:
Burns, P. (2017) Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Start-up Growth and Maturity, Palgrave McMillan.
Greene, F. (2020) Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice (2020), Macmillan International Higher Education.
Gutterman, S G. (2018) Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Business Expert Press.
Kyro, P., Editor. (2015) Handbook of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Research, Edward Elgar
Lindgreen, A, Moan, F, Vallaster, C, Yousafzai, S and Florencio, BP. (2019) Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Discovering, Creating and Seizing Opportunities for Blended Value Generation, Routledge.
¿ Masciarelli, F and Leonelli, S. (2020) Sustainable Entrepreneurship: How entrepreneurs create value from sustainable opportunities, Emerald Publishing.
¿ Osterwalder, A and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers (The Strategyzer Series), Wiley.
¿ Ries, E. (2011) The lean start up: how constant innovation creates radically successful businesses, Portfolio Penguin.
¿ Shepherd, D and Patzelt, H. (2017) Trailblazing in Entrepreneurship: Creating New Paths for Understanding the Field, Palgrave MacMillan.
¿ Weidinger, C, Fischler, F, Schmidpeter, R. (2014) Eds, Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Business Success through Sustainability, CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance, Springer.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will provide graduate attributes and personal and professional techniques, tools and business skills required in a wide range of organisations working at the interface of the economy, environment and society and development challenges. It will also help prepare students who wish to develop their own entrepreneurial career with a sustainability or rural focus. The course will support the development of competences for entrepreneurship and sustainability including, business acumen, future thinking, systems thinking, understanding and empathy, creative problem solving, research, evaluating, synthesis and presentation of complex ideas.

Keywordsentrepreneurship,sustainable business,small business,rural entrepreneurship,natural economy
Course organiserDr Carol Langston
Course secretaryMs Jennifer Gumbrell
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information