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MA in Design Practices – 2018-19


Specialisation : Impact Entrepreneurship

One thing is very clear to me that with social business taking off, the world of free market capitalism will never be the same again” - Prof. Muhammad Yunus

Market driven businesses that bring together, Business Strategy, Design Thinking, Execution, Leadership, inclusive ownership and Capital can be a decisive force to bring an end to global poverty, ultimately creating a new gentler capitalism for more purposeful lives.
These businesses need leaders who are empathic yet professional, caring yet focused on sustainability, flexible and adaptable in thinking yet focused on implementation and operations and infuse a sense of purpose and meaning in the organisations they lead.

Sabras, an impact enterprise owned by salt pan farmers in Little Rann of Kutch


The specialisation in Impact Entrepreneurship course is unique in that looks to bring business and design thinking together in an incubation framework. It seeks to create the next generation of design led Impact Entrepreneurs to solve some of the big social problems that the world faces.

The course guides active and aspiring entrepreneurs to:

  • Transform a business idea into a business plan with design thinking and understanding of end customers with unique value addition
  • Develop the business skills and leadership traits necessary to lead a business venture;
  • Use design to create compelling solutions to social needs and aspirations

Key Values

The specialisation in Impact Entrepreneurship course is based on the following key values:

  • Business strategy powered with design thinking
  • Transformative models not the merely incremental
  • Equipping participants with actionable business design thinking
  • Bridge the gap between business ideas and business investment
  • Team Work, Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Environmental, Social, Economic and cultural Sustainability
  • Creative working and Leadership
  • Enabling people to be entrepreneurs

Who should apply for the specialisation in Impact Entrepreneurship?

The course creates

  1. Social Enterprise leaders
  2. Corporate CSR professionals who then develop CSR programs for their employers,
  3. Corporate intrapreneurs tasked with creating bottom of pyramid businesses for their employers
  4. Impact venture professionals and investors who work on building businesses and hence become more informed investors
  5. Philanthropic foundation professionals
  6. NGO leaders to build up leadership skills and add to the founders’ succession pool

Modes of Learning offered by the program in Impact Entrepreneurship.

Click on image for enlarged view.

The 2-year specialisation in Impact Entrepreneurship (MINT) course is unique in that it looks to bring business and design thinking together in an incubation framework. Practitioners come for weeklong, intense, onsite learning boot camps and then apply their newly gained knowledge and skills in practice based research and implementation in the field.

MODE 1: 2-year MINT course for National Students, 4 sessions of week-long on site learning per semester with 3 weeks of Practice based research in the field in between.

Total of 6 camps a year. The practice based research is supported by mentorship, field assignments and assessments. The practice based research can be in the enterprise the practitioner is working in, or is building or is assigned to.

MODE 2: 2-year MINT course for International students, 8 Intense on site study boot camps in residential mode on campus, interspersed with week-long practice based research in the field with a selected enterprise. At the end of 16 weeks the students will return to their countries of origin and continue their practice based research in the field in the businesses they are part of or have incubated in the course of study. Students will have to arrange for proof of equivalency of their undergraduate degrees to qualify for the Masters Award.

MODE 3: Onsite boot camps only for a week at a time. This is meant for practitioners in the field who are desirous of only attending specific modules of the specialisation and not the entire specialisation. They will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Course Structure/Components

  • Tutorials: Master classes, workshops, seminars and study units including MOOCs, Webinars etc.
  • Studios, Labs and Circles: Immersive spaces and forums that foster making, experimenting, conversations, thinking and a sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Peer Circles: Participative opportunities for dialogue and reviews that can be facilitated and independent, face-to-face or via blogs, discussion board conversations, wiki creation.
  • Practice: Experiential, embodied, field-based research in the actual work environment in the field, mentoring by domain experts.
  • Electives: Engagement outside the disciplinary framework, that allows for extension and building connections. It can include visits to exhibitions, places, talks, walks, participation in workshops, studios, conferences and residencies esp for international students.
  • Presentation portfolio: Development of a reflective and curated presentation and business model with projections, which represents evidence of growth, development and application of research in professional practice over the duration of the course.
  • Pitching as Personal Mastery: Practice based research and its culmination in a business pitch environment to seasoned investors

Learning Approach

Learn - Experience - Apply-practice

Learning in the classroom is accompanied by experiencing the learning through workshops and quick exercises and then piloted in the field through a quick design, rapid prototype in fail forward through iteration model.
The toggling between classroom and enterprise in action with mentoring allows for a rapid “pilot and hone” business model building.

Capability Sets

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates will have the capability to:

  • Understand what makes an impact enterprise different from mainstream commercial enterprises.
  • Understand customer needs, service gaps and aspirations to develop desirable products and services that customers are willing to pay for.
  • Create and deliver value profitably with a keen understanding of the ecosystem of supply and demand actors.
  • Understand and employ principles of entrepreneurship that recognize, leverage and deliver on opportunity.
  • Design and implement business and operation management systems and processes to execute to plan and scale sustainably while managing cash flows.
  • Use lean design and manufacturing principles to be efficient and effective.
  • Manage dynamic projects using methods like Agile Project Management.
  • Apply measurement and evaluation benchmarks and dashboards based on business plans and projections and ranging to social impact and environmental assessments and audits.
  • Lead and work ethically with their teams with alignment to purpose and meaning.
  • Understand and apply principles of branding, communication and customer relationship building to the enterprises they help lead.
  • Be able to use narrative, data and emotion to present effectively.
  • Be able to discern between different providers of capital and be able to pitch and secure funding be it equity, debt or philanthropic grant capital to meet the requirements of their enterprises providing adequate risk return to their funders.

New flavoured gourmet salt business initiative of Sabras


  • Entrepreneurs with existing businesses strengthen their businesses and link up with potential investors.
  • Idea stage entrepreneurs build up concrete and viable business models that they can launch.
  • Corporate Intrapreneurs interested in the sector get to work with Impact Enterprises or NGOs.
  • As Investment managers in Impact funds who have an understanding of the entrepreneurs they will invest in
  • As Program managers in NGOs
  • As CSR manager in corporates

Specific Requirements for specialisation in Impact Entrepreneurship (MINT):

Applicants must be strongly oriented to being an entrepreneur. Specifically, prospective applicants must have:

  • A feasible business idea (start-up or existing, profit or non-profit) with strong social/environmental impact;
  • A minimum of a three-year University degree; work experience is preferable
  • English Proficiency;
  • Computer and internet literacy;
  • Regular access to IT resources.


This course is led by Jacob Mathew.
For further information, kindly email Jacob Mathew at

Disciplinary Intersections

This specialisation is informed by related learning disciplines like

Branding and Communication
Design Thinking
Strategic Communication
Systems and Service Design

Research and Collaboration

The specialisation in Impact Entrepreneurship offers its students opportunities to connect with artists and designers from a range of research and practice labs and centres based at Srishti.
These include:


View Eligibility for Admission, Fee Schedule, Application Form & Other information for this Program >>