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2.03 Sustainable and Social Business

Instructor: Andreas Voss
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Subject course, A-Track
Contact hours:
72 (6 per day)
Course days
: Monday & Thursday
ECTS credits
: 6
Course fee:
€ 1,650
Can be combined with all B-Track courses
  • Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Course Description

In this course, we introduce the students to sustainable and social entrepreneurial thinking and acting by teaching them state-of-the-art tools and methods applied by companies and start-ups worldwide, which students could use to turn their own ideas into actual green and social business ventures. The students receive an overview on topics, such as corporate planning, social start-up finance and pitching. Besides examining how to create the more traditional business plan, we will particularly focus on the following tools: Design Thinking, Systems Thinking, Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas. Furthermore, we look into creativity techniques, which can help to generate business ideas and the most relevant tools needed to make use of one’s own research results. The students will apply the newly learned tools and methods by analyzing existing case studies and developing their own business ideas.

Moreover, the students will gain a better understanding of the actual meaning of “sustainability” and learn which aspects and topics they need to focus on in order to develop modern and sustainable business models. During the analysis of existing case studies, the students will also learn about the “social business” approach and compare this with non-social business approaches.

The course offers a mix of theoretical input as well as creative and practical group work, which encourages the participants to think and act like a social and green entrepreneur.

In addition, the students receive the opportunity to learn more about the social start-up ecosystem of Berlin during our excursion to the Social Impact Lab (an incubator for social Start-ups), Cayoubo (a green start-up), Berlin Sparkasse (the most important bank in the Start-up sector in Berlin) and Jyoti Fair Works.

Student Profile

The course is designed for students with different academic backgrounds and a general interest in green and sustainable business development.  



Required Language Skills

The language of instruction is English. Language proficiency on an advanced Intermediate level (Mittelstufe II) is a prerequisite for participation. For orientation purposes, you can assess your language skills here (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Course requirements        

  • Attendance and class participation
  • Test
  • Presentation


  • Attendance and class participation: 40%
  • Test: 30%
  • Presentation: 30%


A course reader will be provided.

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)