Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Introduction to the Social and Solidarity Economy

Degree programme Business Administration: International Marketing & Sales
Subject area Business and Management
Type of degree Master
Summer Semester 2024
Course unit title Introduction to the Social and Solidarity Economy
Course unit code 800101011150
Language of instruction English
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Elective
Teaching hours per week 4
Year of study 2024
Level of the course / module according to the curriculum
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6
Name of lecturer(s) Robert MOOSBRUGGER
Requirements and Prerequisites


Course content

Although the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is not a new phenomenon, its importance and visibility have increased significantly since the turn of the century. The SSE is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of institutional entities and goes beyond traditional dichotomies of market and state. At a time when calls for new ways of doing business are growing, the SSE can provide a foundation for a business model that promotes inclusivity, sustainability and resilience.

This course provides an overview of the actors, activities, principles and values of the SSE. A particular focus is placed on so-called community enterprises, which are managed and owned by the community. Students will be introduced to the role that community enterprises can play in promoting sustainable and community-led local development. Excursions and practical tasks give them a first understanding of community enterprise development.

Learning outcomes
  • You know the main theoretical concepts of the Social and Solidarity Economy.
  • You understand the importance of the Social and Solidarity Economy for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for Community Led Local Development (CLLD).
  • You know best practice examples of community enterprises in Vorarlberg and Ireland.
  • You know the main practical tools and methods for community enterprise development.
  • You have created an impact model for a community enterprise using the “Theory of Change” method.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures, own research on best practices examples of community enterprises, and group work.

Assessment methods and criteria

Active participation through own contributions and involvement in teamwork. Presentation of your own research and the relevant results of the group work.


Students of all study programs and alumni are welcome in this course.

The course is run jointly with the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) in Ireland.

Estimated costs for students of about 10-20 € for excursions.

Recommended or required reading
  • Elsen, S. (2018). Eco-Social Transformation and Community-Based Economy (1st ed.). Routledge.
  • Kurz, B., & Kubek, D. (2016). Social Impact Navigator: The practical guide for organizations targeting better results (Second revised edition). PHINEO.
  • Yi, I. (Ed.). (2023). Encyclopedia of the social and solidarity economy. A Collective Work of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE (UNTFSSE). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)

3 in class and 5 online lectures with compulsory attendance in the first half of the semester.

Intensive training week with excursions and practical group work in the second half of the semester.