Learning by Doing: Consulting to Social Entrepreneurs

Verbredende minor
10 weken
Minor hoort bij de opleiding
Bachelor International Business Administration


Working with real, existing organizations, will allow you to apply the knowledge that you have gained thus far to a real-life situation. In addition, the work you will be doing is intended to benefit both your client organization and the larger community. Interesting cases are pre-selected by the instructors, but we are open for any suggestions from students.

The course focuses on drawing connections between literature and practice, based on the philosophy of experiential or service learning. Experiential learning is a credit-bearing educational experience in which students in this course consult to social entrepreneurs in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflects on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility (Bringle & Hatcher, 1996).

In this minor, you will design and execute a consulting project with an organization in order to resolve one or more concrete problems. This project will provide insight into a number of issues relating to management, including entrepreneurship, the non-profit sector and interaction between market, governments and civil society and trends within the community. You will also develop your consultancy skills while having the experience of working for a real organization as part of a team of consultants. You will also make an active contribution to your client organization (and the community) in the form of doing actual research and making valuable recommendations.

Learning objectives

During this course, you will:

  1. become familiar with important issues and theories involving consultancy, social entrepreneurship, and the non-profit sector;
  2. develop skills in the application of theoretical concepts to real-life situations;
  3. gain experience with actual issues that arise in the course of a consultancy project;
  4. be guided through: your first meeting with the client, how to write a consultancy contract and report, the actual process of consultancy, and how to present your recommendations to your client;
  5. gain experience in finding, evaluating and applying relevant literature to the specific situation of a client organization;
  6. develop and strengthen your creativity, teamwork, project, communication, research, writing, intervision, and presentation skills.

Special aspects

There is no study specific background needed for this course. We highly encourage students of different disciplines to take part in this course. An interest in, or experience with (business) administration and (project) management is suggested. We will provide additional literature resources for students with non-business background.
Please note that working with social organizations might require availability outside of ‘regular’ course hours.
All lectures are mandatory, in case a student misses a class a replacement assignment must be made.

Overview content

The course consists of several phases:

  1. Introduction to substantive areas and formation of project teams
  2. Introduction to the client organizations and the intervention requests
  3. Preparation of a contract & expectations
  4. Carrying out an intervention (the consultancy project)
    • Literature review
    • Conducting empirical research
  5. Presentation of recommendations

Although these components do not have separate EC, it is required to hand in all assignments as each builds on the previous component. Specific information about the various project components will be discussed in class and provided on Canvas.

Teaching methods

A mixture of lectures, intervision- and feedback sessions that start with your experiences with the actual clients in the field. In addition, we provide several workshops on skills that are important for consultants: writing, presenting, and creative thinking.

Teaching materials

A reading list will be developed based upon the need in the actual projects (and provided on Canvas).


Method of examination

  1. Individual assignments
  2. Individual lecture/seminar preparation
  3. Group assignment
  4. Group presentation
  5. We expect the students to hand in several assignments.

To build up to the final report, students work on several project and process components throughout the course (project components, however, will not be graded, only the final report will receive a grade. Project components include a company profile, client contract, literature review and research methodology). Please be advised that the final report is not just bringing the components together.

Only the individual assignments can be re-taken.

Note that all partial grades are only valid for the current academic year. In order to pass the course a score of 5.5 is required for the final grade. In order to obtain a final grade you need to score at least 4.5 on average for the individual assignments.

Composition final grade

The grade is built upon the following components:

  1. Individual assignments: 50%
  2. Individual participation, including preparation, in the group sessions: 10%
  3. Final Presentation: pass / fail
  4. Final consultancy report: 40%

After each component, students receive written/oral feedback as well as the opportunity to talk to the teachers about the feedback and how to develop their project further. Furthermore multiple feedback sessions are provided in which students receive feedback and can ask questions or share any concerns with the teachers. During the entire course there will be a high degree of support from the teachers.

Frequently asked questions


Contact information

Sylke Jellema


Verbredende minor
10 weken
Minor hoort bij de opleiding
Bachelor International Business Administration
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Studiepunten (EC)
Campus Woudestein


Please read the application procedure for more information. 

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