“Impact first”: Co-creation of real, international social enterprises in education

Theme: Open ThemeAlternative forms of business like social enterprise are growing rapidly. We believe that our International Business curriculum should reflect this development. Based on this, Fontys International Business School Venlo has started a pilot in this academic year where students establish and run a social enterprise in co-operation with our university partner in Zambia. The level of interest from students far exceeded our expectations. This confirms that a significant number of students believe that business is about profit AND about creating social impact. Further to this, there is a strong interest in our student body to learn about new geographic frontiers for business.The idea of this application is to further develop an innovative educational module to co-create real, international social enterprises. This is a platform for unique connections between lecturers, students and international partners. Innovative ideas provoke change and this idea challenges us in finding the right level of freedom for students and lecturers, finding a workable & scalable organisational structure, and finding an appropriate legal form.This project corresponds to the search for “social relevance” as in the Strategic Agenda for Higher Education and Research 2015-2025. It combines entrepreneurship and sustainability, in a rich, international setting. In my vision, creating a meaningful context for learning and a significant degree of autonomy are essential. This project can cater to students’ unfulfilled needs while making the world a better place. As a Teaching Fellow, I could work structurally on making this dream come true.