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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Social Enterprise Development
Module Code EF5148
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Deiric O'Broin
Semester 2: Deiric O'Broin
Autumn: Deiric O'Broin
Module Teachersterry obrien
Deiric O'Broin
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The aim of the module is to provide an insight into the theory and practice of social enterprise development. The module will position social enterprise as part of the third sector and social economy - and it will consider definitions of social enterprise, the values that underpin the sector and its context - as part of the social economy. It will consider the origin and evolution of the concept and will provide an analysis of the development of social enterprises in Ireland, across the EU, and in the US. The policy context will be examined, as well as the support needs as well as challenges facing the sector. It aims to provide an insight into the practice of social enterprise development through analysis of case studies, inputs from guest speakers and group discussion. The module will examine how a social enterprise promoter (community or voluntary organisation) can progress a social enterprise concept from idea stage to trading stage and consolidation. This will provide an overview of feasibility study/business planning and specifically it will explore concepts of ‘viability’ and ‘market’ within a social enterprise context. It will also examine practices and considerations for social enterprises development and sustainability, and consider the role of such topics as effective leadership, community-ownership and control, accountability, governance, alliance building, procurement, and appropriate finance.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the concepts and perspectives of social enterprise and its context within the social economy
2. Analyse the distinctive features of social enterprises, the values which underpin them and the rationale for their development
3. Analyse the role of policy in shaping the development of social enterprises across Europe
4. Evaluate the conditions required for the social enterprise sector to develop
5. Explain the key elements of social enterprise development, from planning stage to trading
6. Identify the types and range of activities that social enterprises are engaged in across Europe

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture48A mixture of face to face lectures and webinars
Assignment Completion40Individual Assignment
Assignment Completion40Group Assignment
Independent Study122Independent Learning Time
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Social economy
Definitions, placing social enterprise in the context of the social economy and community development

Policy and social enterprise
EU policy (and examples of member state policy on social enterprise) National policy and recognition of social enterprise Drivers of policy

Social enterprise and its historic evolution
The evolution and development of the social enterprise concept Relationship to the co-operative sector Perspectives on social enterprise in the US and Europe

Social enterprise – its status and development in Europe
Profile of the sector and employment levels across Europe Current issues – public procurement and social enterprise

Accountability and social enterprise
Importance of accountability, sources of accountability, legitimacy, practice in Ireland

Governance and social enterprise
Definitions, theories of governance, implications for social enterprise and project development

Strategic planning and social enterprise
Theories and perspectives on strategic planning; the strategic development process; implementing a strategic plan

Measuring social impact
Rationale for social impact measurement, methods and tools (Social audit, SROI, LM3)

Scaling up social enterprise
Challenges for social enterprises, models for scaling up and practices (social franchising)

Project development and supports for social enterprise development
Support required at project level (including business planning at different stages of the project life cycle) and support required for the development of the sector, examples of support methodologies, availability of supports in Ireland and relationship to policy.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Short Answer QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions 110%
AssignmentIndividual Assignment40%
AssignmentGroup Assignment40%
Short Answer QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions 210%
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

  • Amin, A. (2009) ‘Locating the Social Economy’, in Ash Amin (ed) The Social Economy – International Perspectives on Economic Solidarity. London: Zed Books.: 0, .,
  • Amin, A., Cameron, A. and Hudson, R. (2002) Placing the Social Economy. London and New York: Routledge: 0, .,
  • Doherty, B, Foster, G, Mason, C, Meehan, J, Meehan, K, Rotheroe, N and Royce, M (2009) Management for Social Enterprise. London: Sage: 0,
  • Doyle, G. and Lalor, T. (eds.) (2012) ‘Social Enterprise in Ireland- A People’s Economy’ Cork: Oak Tree Press: 0, .,
  • GHK (2006) Social Enterprise – an international literature review. London: Small Business Service.: 0,
  • O’Broin, D. and Hyland, M. (eds.) (2014) Innovation in the Social Economy: Emerging Best Practice in Ireland and Wales. Dublin: DCU Ryan Academy: 0,
  • Pearce, J. (2003) Social Enterprise in Anytown. London: Calouste Gulbenkien Foundation: 0,
  • Social Enterprise UK (2012): The Shadow State. London: SEUK: 0,
Other Resources

14402, Conference, 0, Amin, A. (2001) ‘The UK social economy: panacea or problem?’, paper given at Euro conference on Social Capital : Interdisciplinary perspective, University of Exeter., 14400, Report, 0, Clarke, A., and Eustace, A. (2009) Exploring social enterprise in nine areas in Ireland. Report commissioned by PLANET., 15845, Report, Defourny, J. and Nyssens, M. (2008) Social Enterprise in Europe: recent trends and developments. Liège: EMES European Research Network, 0, 15846, Report, Defourny, J. and Nyssens, M. (2012) ‘The EMES approach of social enterprise in a comparative perspective’, EMES working paper no 12/03, 0, 15847, Report, Forfás (2013): Social enterprise In Ireland: Sectoral Opportunities and Policy issues. Dublin: Forfás, 0, 15848, Report, Monzón, J.L. and Chaves, R. (2012): The Social Economy in the European Union. Brussels: European Economic and Social Committee, 0,
Programme or List of Programmes
GCISEGrad Cert Innovation Social Enterprise

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