Social Entrepreneurship

The Social Entrepreneurship programme is a progressive educational initiative of Tallinn University with the aim to promote entrepreneurship and the innovation of the social and health sector, environmental protection, urban development, rural development and community development.

Study level Master's Studies

Duration of study 2 years

Language English

Cost per semester 1924

  • Are you a developer or entrepreneur who wish to have larger social impact?

  • Or a professional of the social and health sector who wants to create more sustainable services?

Then Social Entrepreneurship Master´s program of Tallinn University is for you.


The Social Entrepreneurship programme is a progressive educational initiative of Tallinn University with the aim to promote entrepreneurship and the innovation of the social and health sector, environmental protection, urban development, rural development and community development.

Our program provides you with a flexible opportunity to develop your own ideas using the innovative and business friendly infrastructure of Estonia and being supported by experts of Tallinn University.

Who are we looking for?

First of all, we are looking for practicing social entrepreneurs or students who are eager to develop their own social enterprise within the framework of our SEMA Incubation Program. Our project-based learning method requires active development work and full participation.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences or business are encouraged to apply. We also encourage social and health professionals, activists, entrepreneurs, owners of small and medium enterprises and even developers, marketers, designers, media experts who are interested in creative developments with a strong social impact.

We are looking for highly motivated students who are full of ideas and creativity and want to contribute to the society with their positive energy. Our aim is to create a multidisciplinary, international learning and working environment where with the method of project-based learning participants inspire each other using the supportive infrastructure of Estonia and Tallinn University.

Why study with us?
  • Estonia’s advanced eGovernance system and the strong spirit of entrepreneurship creates an innovative and inspiring environment for creative development.
  • It is the only curriculum for Social Entrepreneurship in the region that gives not only an academic degree but also a supportive environment for development.
  • The program follows the project-based learning method. Experienced staff members of Tallinn University will guide students through their learning process in a very practice oriented way using the academic and creative infrastructure of Tallinn University for both academic learning and development.
  • Has a mandatory internship to provide students with practical experience and networking before graduation.
  • Interdisciplinary approach, including interdisciplinary project courses, which will broaden perspectives.
  • International student body and study environment with students from all over the world. Our program encourages to develop ideas on the international level while Estonia’s e-residency system provides participants with the opportunity to use the advanced digital environment of Estonia even after students turned back to their home country.
  • Broad career prospects – social entrepreneurs are welcome both in the public sector bringing sustainable solutions to social and health services and also in the private sector helping businesses to have a larger social impact.

Attend Tallinn University Summer School course Social Enterprises: Using Your Creativity and Sensitivity this summer to get an insight of social enterprises in order to promote social inclusion of vulnerable people in the community in a sustainable way combining entrepreneurship skills with social responsibility.

See how the curator of Social Entrepreneurship MA programme Mr. Zsolt Bugarszki describes the programme

Course outline

  • The programme offers a substantial amount of elective courses. You can design your study program according to your personal interest and the profile of your project plan.
  • All courses have a global or international approach so you can focus on a country or region you are most interested in when doing your assignments, but also learn about other countries and regions.
  • You will complete your studies with a master thesis.
  • There is no upper limit to the number of courses you can take – you can study as much as you like.
  • Lectures and seminars take place during weekdays. On average, there are about 15 hours of auditory work per week, but there is also a substantial amount of independent work. 
Core course components
  • Social Entrepreneurship, concept and practice 8 ECTS
  • The concept of social capital and social impact 6 ECTS
  • Civil Society and Social Innovations 6 ECTS
  • Research methods and methodology for social entrepreneurship 6 ECTS
  • Project management 6 ECTS
  • Open Innovation Systems 6 ECTS
  • Business development models 6 ECTS
  • E-Governance for responsible Innovation 4 ECTS
  • European Union and international project management 6 ECTS
  • Master Thesis Seminar 6 ECTS
  • Communication and PR 6 ECTS
  • ELU Course 6ECTS

Study programme

Academic Staff


Zsolt Bugarszki, PhD (Hungary) is a lecturer of social policy at Tallinn University. His main interest is the situation of vulnerable people in the community and innovation of the service sector through ICT based technology. In addition he works in several development programs in different countries emphasising creative solutions in low- and middle income countries.

Jaan Aps (Estonia) has been among the key persons developing the practices of impact management and social entrepreneurship in the Baltic Sea region since 2006. He leads a research and consultancy agency Stories For Impact. Jaan was a co-founder and chairman of the Estonian Social Enterprise Network (in 2012-2019). He is a popular public speaker and trainer in Estonia and internationally.


Twitter: @stories4impact

Katri-Liis Lepik (Estonia) is an Associate Professor of public management at Tallinn University, Estonia. She is a management consultant and a social entrepreneur. Katri-Liis is a management professional with 20 years of experience in delivering international projects. She has experience from working for the private and NGO sectors, including 10 years in management of the Estonian-Finnish cross-border cooperation organisation. Her social enterprise Skill Mill deals with providing environmental maintenance services with ex-offenders and E-dible deals with awareness raising and trainings on reduction of food waste. Her company Brainport Living Lab provides consultancy in international projects and strategic management; her family company Reimann Retked engages in provision of educational and adventurous nature trips.

Marek is the Head of New Ventures at KPMG Baltics. He holds an MBA degree in Entrepreneurship and Technology Management and he is a lecturer of business model design at Tallinn University. Marek has worked with hundreds of early-stage startups and co-founded several startup ecosystem events and formats in Estonia (STARTER, Startup Speed Dating Night, Creative Hack). He was the Head of Startup Incubator at Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol and he founded an online news channel for ICT executives in Estonia ( in cooperation with Bonnier Group (AS Äripäev). Marek specializes in strategic partnerships, marketing strategy and business model design. His research interests include behavioral economics, system entrepreneurship and open innovation.

Mari-Liis Jakobson (Estonia) is Associate Professor of Political Sociology and researcher at the European Migration Network's Estonian national contact point. She is also an expert on civil society active in both academic research as well as in practice. She is a member of the board of the Network of Estonian Nongovernmental Organisations, in 2013-2017 also served on the board of the Estonian Cooperation Assembly. On the Social Entrepreneurship programme she will be teaching Civil Society and Social Innovation.

Audrone Urmanaviciene (Lithuania) is a lecturer of social entrepreneurship at Tallinn University. She has PhD in Management Science. Audrone's researching interests are social enterprise, social impact and social impact assessment. She is a member of EMES - an international research network for social enterprises. She is also the Communication Manager in COST network project "Multi-disciplinary innovation for social change". Audrone participates in COST network COST action "Empower-SE" 16206. 

Admission Requirements

General requirements:
Entrance exams:
  • The entrance exam consists of a written assignment and an interview. The maximum number of points is 100 (50% written assignment, 50% interview).
  • Students receiving at least 35 points of the written part are allowed to the interview.
  • Minimum programme enrollment threshold: 70 points out of 100.
  • Some prior familiarity with the field of Social Entrepreneurship is an advantage.

Project plan (850-1000 words): project idea of a social enterprise that will be developed within the framework of the Social Entrepreneurship programme's project-based learning method. The project plan should consist of:

  • Introduction of a social enterprise idea that you may develop during the Social Entrepreneurship programme. It can be a working enterprise or a completely new idea.
  • Clarification of the problem you want to address.
  • The target group.
  • The expected impact (impact refers to the effect your project/idea has on people, communities, or the environment)
  • The plan for a revenue stream.
  • Your motivation for the project.

All applicants must show an identification document (passport or ID card) at the interview. With international applicants, the interview will be carried out via Skype and for the purposes of identity verification, the admission committee has the right to take a screenshot of the candidate holding his/her identification document.

There are no additional materials that need to be studied to prepare for the interview. The interview questions vary depending on the candidate and the interviewer. The purpose of the interview is to find out the candidate's motivation and willingness to study, knowledge of the chosen programme and the field of study. 


If you are an Estonian citizen or a holder of a long-term residence permit, you can find information regarding the admission requirements and the application procedure in Estonian here and in English here.

Post-graduate destinations

Future jobs and employment opportunities

Social entrepreneurs are welcome both in public sector bringing sustainable solutions to social and health services and also in private sector helping businesses to have larger social impact:

  • Social entrepreneur
  • Non-profit manager
  • CSR manager
  • Project manager
  • Analyst of social impact
  • Business developer
  • Community developer

Why School of Governance, Law and Society?

  • The school of Governance, Law, and Society has a large international student body and a large number of international faculty members.   
  • Students have excellent opportunities to spend a semester or two abroad through the Erasmus programme. Our Erasmus network provides a large selection of schools as well as the easy transfer of credits. The incoming Erasmus students add to the diversity of the institute and programme. 
Extracurricular Activities

Hackathons, creative hubs, incubation, pre-incubation

We encourage our students to participate with their project ideas in hackathon events, idea fairs and programs of different creative hubs. Tallinn University also organizes similar events promoting creative development and entrepreneurship among our students. Our ELU courses are special opportunities to develop new ideas with participants from very different study fields.

Social Entrepreneurship Summer School course

Before applying to the programme, you can learn more about School of Governance, Law and Society on our Summer School course:                   Social Enterprises: Using Your Creativity and Sensitivity!

Tallinn Summer School, organised since 2006, is a 3-week programme running in July, combining a wide range of courses with a rich, diverse cultural programme and attracting participants from all over the world. In addition to a variety of social events, participants visit museums, historical sights, places of cultural importance, and see some of the nature of Estonia on weekend trips to different locations within the country. Tallinn Summer School manages to maintain a scholarly approach alongside a relaxed atmosphere, studying at the same time as exploring the culture of Estonia.


The course is intended to contribute to the students’ systematic understanding of social enterprises in order to promote the social inclusion of vulnerable people in the community in a sustainable way combining entrepreneurship skills with social responsibility.

After the course, the participant has acquired the knowledge about the characteristic of social enterprises, is able to combine business and social aspect and has improved his /her professional skills to use methods of business development and marketing in order to establish social enterprises.

During the course, students will create their own plan for social enterprises combining skills and knowledge from different study fields. Upon full participation and completion of course work, students will be awarded 4 ECTS points and a certificate of completion.


Tallinn University has a modern urban campus located in the center of the city. The airport, train and bus stations are just a few minutes away by public transport. The beautiful view of the harbour is a constant reminder that students studying at Tallinn University are in the center of a major European hub. Our students have access to physical and online libraries, computer labs, cafeterias and cafes. Further, the university has all the facilities necessary for a productive learning environment and ample opportunities for leisure, sports, and social activities, all leading to an exciting and well-balanced student life. Take a walk around our campus via the virtual tour!

Our Social Entrepreneurship program is taught entirely in the English language. Our student body is international, with students from many countries in Europe, as well as students from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Day-to-day student life is always international at Tallinn University, as our program is closely connected with other English language programs and among your classmates, you will frequently find Erasmus students who have come to visit.

Contact us

Should you have any questions about the programme do not hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to help you!

  • Specific questions regarding the programme should be directed to the School of Governance, Law and Society:
    Marianne Mitt

addressNarva mnt 25, 10120 Tallinn

  • For additional guidelines regarding admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist:

Related programmes

Human Rights in the Digital Society

School of Governance, Law and Society

The MA programme in Human Rights in the Digital Society was created to address new developments and challenges in law and society that have arisen in connection with the ever-increasing digitalisation.

Master's Studies
View curriculum

Educational Innovation and Leadership

School of Educational Sciences

The Educational Innovation and Leadership master's programme is all about improving what matters the most – education. And doing it not according to some inner feeling, but on the basis of evidence and research. We believe that education is the foundation of everything, may it be citizenship, economy or governance. Our students are expected to be the co-creators of their learning process, if not the main leaders of it. Because they are the leaders of the 21st century, the leaders of the future!

Master's Studies
Cyclical studies
View curriculum