Making science work for development

How to Build an Impactful Business Model: Solving Global Challenges through Local Entrepreneurial Action

3 seminar sessions: 3, 10 & 17 Feb
UCL's Bloomsbury campus, London


This short course will help you build and grow a business that addresses complex societal and environmental problems.

Interest in entrepreneurship is growing in parallel with the urgent need for radically sustainable and inclusive businesses. How can we address complex and societal challenges through entrepreneurial action? How do we think beyond ordinary business models and devise broader strategies for entrepreneurial and organisational action? And how can we move from mere ideas and models to implementing enterprises that can help the world achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030?

This course will inspire you and provide you with key frameworks and strategies for entrepreneurship. 

You'll learn how to:

  • unpack the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • identify where change can happen 
  • find partners for your enterprise 
  • use practical entrepreneurial methods

You'll have access to case studies of successful enterprises as well as key practical and academic resources.

You'll also benefit from personal insights from award-winning young entrepreneurs who have pursued SDGs through enterprise in their early twenties and now teach on this course.

You'll be encouraged to think beyond ordinary business models and devise entrepreneurial strategies for social and environmental good.

By the end of the course you'll have a joint action plan for setting up and growing an innovative enterprise. You’ll also be able to become a member of Fast Forward 2030, a network of young entrepreneurs who pursue SDGs, curated by the Institute for Global Prosperity.

This cross-departmental course is run by UCL's Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP), School of Management (SoM) and Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE).

Who this course is for

This course is for:

  • young adults from diverse backgrounds who are committed to transforming and improving the world
  • graduates of social and engineering sciences, early stage entrepreneurs and early- and mid-career switchers who are interested in addressing burning challenges through entrepreneurship
  • corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability corporate staff who fund, support and work with sustainable businesses
  • students and graduates of East London’s colleges who are interested in exploring opportunities linked to entrepreneurship

Course content and structure

You'll attend three half-day classroom-based sessions.

Session 1 is taught by UCL academics. You'll learn about the potential of entrepreneurship from an SDGs perspective, and useful entrepreneurial frameworks and methods.

Sessions 2 and 3 will be co-delivered by real-world transformative entrepreneurs. Inspirational first-hand case studies and experiential learning will help you start an enterprise of your own

You'll learn about:

  • different ways in which entrepreneurship can be harnessed from a SDG perspective 
  • how economic, environmental and social goals can be pursued simultaneously through entrepreneurial action
  • how businesses can become disruptive agents of change in complex entrepreneurial and multi-stakeholder ecosystems

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to: 

  • design an impactful business model that builds on frameworks taught during the course as well as your personal background and motivations
  • develop holistic understandings of entrepreneurial action that addresses key societal challenges and problems
  • work with various users, citizens and stakeholder groups to understand their specific needs and collaborate productively
  • conceptualise and measure the impact of your future enterprise
  • connect to existing entrepreneurial networks and seek support to facilitate your entrepreneurial activities


You'll receive a certificate on completing the course.

Dates and times

The course will run on the following dates:

  • Session 1 - Saturday, 3 February 2018, 9:30am to 1:30pm
  • Session 2 - Saturday, 10 February 2018, 9:30am to 1:30pm
  • Session 3 - Saturday, 17 February 2018, 9:30am to 1:30pm

Costs and concessions

The standard fee is £675.

A number of 'early bird' places are available - these cost £375 and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.


Three scholarships are available for this course. The IGP East London Scholarship provides 100% of course fees.

You can apply for a scholarship if you:

  • are between 18 and 25 years old
  • currently live in, and have previously taken GCSE or A levels while living in, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest
  • are un- or underemployed
  • won't be in full-time education at the time of the course

To find out more and apply for the scholarship, please contact the course administrator Dr Andres Vincente at a [dot] vicenteatucl [dot] ac [dot] uk