Parttime master students investigate management in social organisations

Almost 25 social enterprise projects were presented by participants of the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) on Tuesday 20 December. Students investigated management elements of several organisations for three months, followed by presentations of their findings, and awards were presented for the best.

In teams of four or five, programme participants from the Class of 2018 completed the bedrijfsproject (business project) as part of the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde curriculum. In this course, students of the part-time, Dutch-taught programme researched four aspects of management – organisational theory, strategy, managerial methodology and financial analysis – in organisations that 'add social value'. The bedrijfsprojecten are co-ordinated by Prof. Rob van Tulder, Professor of International Business Society Management at RSM.

Tackling management issues

In each social enterprise, the RSM participants dealt with a specific management issue by using their new knowledge and experiences from practice.

The projects started in mid-September, and were conducted in 24 organisations: Afval Loont, Bedrijf CVD, Bellissimo, Biologische Zorgboerderij de Lingehof, BGS Print & Media, Chasse Theater, De Tuinen van Eden, Granny’s Finest, Humanitas (Groningen city department), Kaljouw Landschapsbeheer, Last Mason, Lunchroom Bijzonder, Missing Chapter Foundation, Motorcycle Support Nederland, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Piëzo, RAI Amsterdam, Rode Kruis Rotterdam, Stichting Bouwloods, Stichting Steun Welzijnszorg Helmond, Woningcorporatie Leystromen, YepAfrica, Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen and De Buytenhof.

Children as change agents

The most inspiring social enterprise for the 2016 bedrijfsproject was the Missing Chapter Foundation, founded in 2010, which believes the influence of children in their role as change agent is a missing chapter in social decision-making. It brings a dialogue between decision-makers and children about current dilemmas and issues.

Marloes van der Have, managing director of Missing Chapter Foundation was very pleased with the award. “Missing Chapter Foundation is built on the idea that the joy, honesty and openness of children can help decision makers to develop different views that will improve the world we live in. The RSM team very much understood this and they advised us how to better engage with our stakeholders.

“Measuring the impact of what we do is very important. The team developed a solution for this using a qualitative method that includes storytelling. I very much appreciate both the co-operation with the team and the practical outcome of their work. We will definitely implement this.”

Handmade by the best

The best presentation award was for Granny’s Finest. Established by two RSM alumni, Granny’s Finest tries to fight loneliness among grandmothers and provide them with an opportunity to knit and enjoy each other’s company while producing products that people like. ”The team gave us good advice on how to develop Granny’s Finest in a more sustainable way,” said Niek van Hengel, owner of Granny’s Finest. “They explored how we could tap into the industry of corporate gifts. They also suggested how we could improve our financial structure. Being an RSM alumnus myself, I very much welcome RSM’s focus on social enterprise.”

Social enterprise business project

The bedrijfsproject of the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde was organised in co-operation with RSM’s Department of Business-Society Management, the Erasmus Centre for Strategic Philanthropy and RSM’s Partnership Resource Centre.

In previous years, social enterprise winners of this project included the Princess Máxima Center, which conducts research to find treatment for children with cancer, and WeHelpen, a free online care network, which facilitates and simplifies care and help in society.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

Alumni , Business-Society Management , Companies , Executive education , Newsroom , Master , Sustainability , Partnerships Resource Centre