Social Entrepreneurship in Singapore and Southeast Asia

This course on Social Entrepreneurship in Singapore and Southeast Asia is designed as a 1-week compact field experience in Singapore. It typically takes place during the spring break and features company visits, guest lectures, and the possibility to work on your own social enterprise idea. 

Course overview and objective

This course is taught by Professors Vivanna Fang He and Matthias Tietz who use a combination of different contents and styles, including lectures, case studies, exercises, activities, and field trips to make the topic of social entrepreneurship in the Asian context accessible and enjoyable to study. While the lectures help to build a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts and frameworks of social entrepreneurship, case studies, exercises, activities and field trips offer practical application and make these concepts and frameworks as concrete as possible.

Because social entrepreneurship is a topic that has many theories and frameworks, the course is designed to guide participants through the existing models and to provide a realistic and evidence-based perspective to understanding social entrepreneurship in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Course content

While social entrepreneurship has been part of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in many parts of the worlds for several years, it is experiencing a tremendous surge of interest, investigation, and investments in line with increasing public demand in several Southeast Asian countries. Singapore is an especially interesting case, because businesses here strive to combine economic progress with social prowess to serve a well-educated and increasingly socially cautious society that is quickly vocal about its preferences and dislikes.

Surrounded by countries sharing similar aspirations with internationally connected youth demanding more justice and participation in the decision making concerning their futures, the topic of social entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia promises to be an exciting and rich learning ground to understand the trends and aspirations of the new generations in one of the fastest growing and increasingly more prosperous regions of the world.

Social entrepreneurship is also fundamentally grounded in action. Thus, learning by doing is a necessary component of this course. Even though there is limited time for practical experiences, participants will be introduced to concrete entrepreneurial experience through team exercises and case studies. They are encouraged to prepare for case discussions and to actively participate in class as well as team activities. Discussions in the plenum and in each team, alongside all other activities and exercises provide an opportunity for sharing each participants’ unique perspectives about social entrepreneurship and personal experiences with peers and members of the local social entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Course structure 

This course will take place over one intensive week at the St.Gallen Institute of Management in Asia, located in Singapore’s historic Chinatown. Most days (i.e. Monday to Thursday) will feature half a day of seminar input, e.g. case studies, lectures, and workshops and half a day of applied experience, e.g. team exercises or field trips. On the final day of the course, the afternoon is reserved for student teams to present their project, share everything they learned, reflect on their experience, and receive feedback. For further information and to find out when the next course takes place, please refer to the course information sheet on the HSG website under course directory.  

Application procedure 

The course is offered to students from the MGM program, and open to all other master courses of the University of St.Gallen. The course will be held during the midterm spring break in Singapore. There are a total of 20 places available, which will be assigned by a special application process (outside of the typical bidding framework). For further information, please approach the instructors directly.