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Master's programs

Inclusive & Social Business Certificate

Inclusive & Social Business Certificate


This idea for the Inclusivé & Social Business Certificate was born out of the perception of a threefold challenge…

  • Growing inequalities and lasting forms of poverty and exclusion
  • Increasing power of business firms vis-à-vis national governments
  • Growing “meaning crisis” in the world of work

…and a threefold conviction

  • Market-based initiatives, developed by firms together with civil society organizations and public actors, can bring solutions to unsolved problems.
  • These initiatives are not only socially meaningful, but can also represent important opportunities for businesses: to explore untapped markets, gain access to new resources, motivate their employees and innovate.
  • Social issues need to be understood and tackled in all their complexity.

Missions and objectives of the program

The aim of this Certificate is to inspire and train new generation of managers, aware of societal challenges and aspiring to be part of the solution, regardless of their professional activity.

The objectives of the program are to help students:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of specific social issues and reflect on the role that firms can play in society to address them
  • Explore new economic models in both developed and developing countries
  • Investigate new co-creation systems involving businesses, civil society, public authorities, academics, etc..
  • Critically analyze firms’ attempts to develop inclusive business models, to understand key pitfalls and success factors
  • Develop a good knowledge of specific tools and methods such as Social Impact Assessment, Behavioral Economics in Action, and to understand under which conditions they could be used
  • See how they can concretely combine and reconcile a search for meaning and social impact with a business activity
Logo Movement for Social Business Impact

The Movement for Social*Business Impact (MS*BI) aims at contributing to a more inclusive economy, where businesses seek to maximize both social impact and economic performance.

MS*BI builds on academic research and instruction by the HEC Paris Inclusive & Social Business Chair created in 2009. It is managed by the HEC Paris Society & Organization (S&O) Center and the Action Tank Social & Business, an incubator of inclusive business models fighting poverty in France, created by the Chair in 2010.

MS*BI is co-presided by Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO of Danone, and Martin Hirsch, High Commissioner for Active Solidarities and High Commissioner for Youth in the French government between 2007 and 2010, now Head of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris.

It is supported by the following sponsors:

Certificates sponsors


The Certificate consists of two distinct components. Students complete an in class “theoretical” module that explores Inclusive & Social Business themes and studies business involvement in the fight against poverty. This complements all students' main fields of study. The second module is "in the field" , with students taking part in a business, social integration structure, or social entrepreneurship project involved in fighting poverty.


This part is divided into “courses” and “tracks”. Each course/track involves lectures, readings, cases, conferences, both at HEC and in situ of some social organizations.

Courses :

  • Multinationals & Low-income communities
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Finance & Social Innovation
  • Two tracks :
    • « Access to .. » sessions designed to analyze actual inclusive business models developed in key “access” areas such as energy, mobility, food, or health
    • « Methods & Tools » sessions such as social impact assessment and behavioral economics
  • The Immersion week:

The objective is for participants to immerse themselves in the field of poverty alleviation by spending 3 to 4 days with social entrepreneurs and social organizations. The idea is both to spend time co-working in the field and to meet managers who are helping alleviate poverty. Such an immersion is meaningful and full of learning potential. It consistently makes an impact on participants’ lives.

  • The Fieldwork:

The Fieldwork is an integral part of the Certificate. Participants are expected to work on a “field project” throughout the six-week-program. In addition, five days are earmarked so that participants have time in the field. They can either design a social business model to tackle a specific social issue, or they can choose to do an Individual Project—individually or in small groups—as some participants may already have a social business project they would like to develop.

Here are some of the 2019 partners for the Certificate’s field part: ANDES, ARES, le Carillon, Clair & Net, Communauté Emmaüs de Longjumeau, Emmaüs Défi, Extramuros, La Mie de Pain REvivre, Rebond Insertion, etc...

Faculty and Experts such as

  • Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, Affiliate Professor of Strategy & Business Policy, Executive Director of the Society & Organizations (S&O) Center
  • Jacques Berger, Director, Action Tank “Entreprise & Pauvreté”
  • Jean-Marc Guesné, former head of Ashoka France, partner at Archipel & Co 
  • Olivier Kayser, Founder and CEO of Hystra consulting firm
  • Rachel Maignan, Investment manager, Agence Française du Développement (AFD)
  • David Ménascé, Founding managing Partner, Archipel & Co consulting firm specialized in BoP strategies
  • Laurence Moret, External Communication, Institutional Partnerships and Documentary Director, Crédit Coopératif
  • Charles-Edouard Vincent, CEO and founder of Lulu dans ma rue and founder of Emmaüs Défi

And other inspiring people among whom

  • Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO of Danone
  • Stéphane de Freitas, founder of Indigo and Eloquentia and Author of the book "Porter sa voix" and Director of the film "A voix Haute". He is an Ashoka Fellow

  • Thibaut Guilluy, CEO of Groupe ARES, President of French Conseil National pour l’Inclusion dans l’Emploi

  • Martin Hirsch, former High Commissioner for Active Solidarities and High Commissioner for Youth in the French government between 2007 and 2010, now Head of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus, Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006


Student's story

Master's programs

Collins Kimaro

Having recently launched a social enterprise in Tanzania, the Inclusive and Social Business Certificate has been a great learning experience so far! It has provided research-based insights and practical...

Master's programs

Ester Galende Sanchez

The Social Business Certificate has allowed me to delve deeper into issues of poverty and inequality, and how global issues can be tackled from a business perspective, through startups, multinationals...