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SDGs as Entrepreneurial Business Opportunities

Event info

We don’t want you to become a startup millionaire; we want you to save the world. And maybe become a millionaire doing it.

Learn how to make both impact and profit

The course focuses on introducing the Sustainable Development Goals from a business opportunity point of view, emphasizing possibilities for a new venture. In the course lectures, value formation is evaluated from the point of view of stakeholder effects in addition to financial performance and assessed using tools that measure the net impact of a business. Various points of view on corporate responsibility are discussed, and SDGs are presented as viable business opportunities where the impact and profit potential of a new venture become indistinguishable.

Lectures also address actual entrepreneurial cases and opportunities related to SDGs, particularly in the developing world. Case studies concern real-life examples of successful SDG-related ventures. Finally, the students will work in small teams to evaluate and ideate business opportunities for a particular SDG target using startup ideation tools and techniques.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the students can understand what Sustainable Development Goals are, how they are structured, and how to evaluate the business potential of an SDG target. The students will learn about tools to evaluate net impact and stakeholder effects. The students will learn about real-life cases where companies have successfully leveraged SDG-related business opportunities. The students will learn tools to discover entrepreneurial opportunities in SDGs and to map possible action steps to begin validating an SDG-related business idea.

Course contents

Teaching consists of nine three-hour sessions. Seven of them are lectures, two concern real-life cases that the students analyze and discuss, and one is an ideation workshop. Additionally, the course includes teamwork in creating a business case for an SDG target, reading the background materials, and writing the course essay.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written group assignment (business case for an SDG target, seven pages)
Individual written assignment (theoretical paper on the themes of the course, three pages)

Meet the staff

Lauri Järvilehto

Professor of Practice


Simo Lahdenne



Arne Kröger

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship