Sustainable Entrepreneurship (MSB415)

This course focuses on sustainable entrepreneurship. We define sustainable entrepreneurship as generating social, environmental, and commercial value that will address the grand challenges that world society faces today. The course examines the factors that promote entrepreneurial success in new business ventures, and students will gain knowledge on how to start a business. This includes idea generation and evaluation, industry and potential markets analysis, potential risks identification, crafting solid value proposition and creating a valid business model for the new business. Through the course students will get an opportunity to connect with a student incubator and participate in new venture creation competitions. During the course, students will also get guest lectures form innovative entrepreneurs in sustainability-oriented firms.

Students enrolled in this course can work on their own ideas. We have a great history of award-winning businesses that were established by students from the University of Stavanger. Another option is to work in collaboration with an existing start-up company to help it to further develop businesses.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




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Semester tution start


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In this course, we apply effectuation approach to entrepreneurship. In addition to all tools that students will be provided during the course, such as idea generation tool, pitching techniques, value proposition identification, SWOT analysis, negotiations skills, business model canvas and blue ocean strategy, students will learn about five core principles of the effectuation. Being an entrepreneur is different from being a manager, and thus different skillsets are required. The "Bird in hand" principle is the first effectuation principle students will learn - assessing their own means, who they are and what they know. Being able to handle risk and create future rather than forecast it is another crucial principle. Further, leveraging surprises is a core entrepreneurial ability and students will learn how to take advantage of it. Negotiation and building partnerships are other core skills that will be discussed through this course. Finally, students will learn to put it all together and modify the business idea until they find their niche and achieve market success. Bringing a social, environmental and economic value is a core essence that students will learn in this course.

Course contents

  • Who are entrepreneurs and what is entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship, social and responsible entrepreneurship
  • Idea generation and evaluation
  • Pitch techniques
  • Value proposition
  • Creating a business model
  • Market positioning
  • Strategic alliances and negotiations
  • Blue ocean strategy
  • Regional infrastructure for entrepreneurship and sources of funding
  • Risk assessment and financial calculations
  • Exit strategies

Learning outcome


Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Have a theoretical and practical understanding of establishing a new business
  • Know how to develop a proper business model
  • Understand the importance of economic, environmental and social business values
  • Understand main elements of the commercialization process
  • Understand the importance of thinking 'glocally' with an international perspective on business development


After this course students will be able to:

  • Investigate the market potential for new ideas
  • Identify core resources needed for idea implementation
  • Exploit external networks and partnerships
  • Perform financial and liquidity analysis
  • Summarize obtained knowledge and create their own business plans/business models
  • Make an effective pitch to a scientific and practitioner panel

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written business plan 1/1 Letter grades

Coursework requirements

Participation on 70% of all lectures, One oral presentation, Draft of business concept

Supplementary information about the three mandatory requirements:

1. Participation on 70% of all lectures (regular and guest lectures) and seminars.

2. Students will prepare one seminar presentation (individual/group)

3. Students will submit a preliminary draft of the business concept

Course teacher(s)

Study Program Director:

Yuko Onozaka

Method of work

The sessions will be organized as a combination of lectures, guest lectures, group discussions, and seminars. Before each session, students are expected to go through the required literature or video materials. Active participation during class sessions is expected. Between sessions, students should work independently with assignments or other deliverables agreed with the teachers. It is desirable that students work together in groups of 2 or 3 students for the assignment. The assignment is based on developing a business idea and a business plan. For this assignment, students will be supervised by teachers and/or mentors from the business community. Based on this assignment, students will present their work through business idea and business model canvas pitch. The final evaluation will be a written business plan and an oral exam at the end of the course. Students will have the opportunity to submit a draft of their business plan to get feedback prior to the final submission.

Expected workload: 250-300 hours

Lectures: 50 hours

Self-study: 100 hours

Business plan: 100 hours

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship (MØA415_1) 10
Sustainable entrepreneurship - From sustainability-oriented idea to solution (ECS120_1) 5

Open for

All master's students at UiS.

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto