Business & Social Innovation (OCADU)

Course Outline


This course introduces students to the world of business. It provides a sociological framework for understanding how business principles relate to creative practices. Course modules cover the fundamental concepts of business, leadership, and social innovation and allow students to gain both macro and micro perspectives of business, its role in society, and the growth of the creative economy. Students examine key aspects of organizational life in the creative economy. These include the business practices of creative individuals; leadership and managerial roles in creative organizations; and the importance of ethics and social responsibility in business.

Students Learning Outcome:
  • Understand the fundamentals of business structure and development.
  • Plan and learn to combine creativity with entrepreneurship in creative businesses.
  • Gain awareness of social practices, responsibilities, and ethics in organizing a business.
  • Gain the understanding that social innovation is the high goal of business. 
  • Create a mock-up business prototype that can be used for future creative business.

Course structure and weekly Content:
1 Introduction to creative business.

What is business, what is money? 

From a traditional perspective, the course starts with a discussion about business and money: Introduces the concept of business and financial system which is based on material and labour exchange; Introduces creative businesses as a part of a market system that involves both product and services; artists/designers are producers as well as consumers in the capital system.

2 Business structure and management. 

What are the basic requirements of a business?

Business legal entity and types; basic business operational structure; 

Business registration, taxes, accounting and booking keeping. 

3 Product or service.

What type of product or service will your creative business provide? How?

Market research, customer demographics and characteristics, creative niche and demand; Cost of production and revenue of sales; funding and budgeting projects. 

  Project 1: Start-up Business Plan. 
4 Business identity, mission and branding. 

Company mission, stationary designs, logo, website, social media and other platforms.

Building product or service branding (image, reputation, story) 

Effective and Ethical marketing.

Marketing and advertising methods; creating interesting stories, copywriting, copyright, honesty and loyalty to customers; advertiser responsibilities; Advertising for small businesses

Guest Talk: Marija Bacic (social media marketing)

6 Business is relational.

Employee management and public relation, conflict resolution.

Employment laws, employee and contractor’s responsibility and rights, equitable  and inclusive working environment. Public image and relation, conflict mediation and problem resolution.

  Project  2: Design business identity: Logo, business stationary, mission statement and business policy. 
7 Engaging in business transactions. 

Contracts, sales, expenses, revenue, customer support.

Taxes, reports and business analytics.

8 Building networks and communities

Social and professional networks; working with institutions and/or individuals;  Communication and social responsibilities; 

Social asset v. profit; Pro bono and volunteer work. 

9 Collaborative and Participatory business practice. 

Joint ventures, cultural production, community and public work. Innovation for marginalization, disability and poverty. Sustainable and environmentally friendly designs, DIY facilitation and sharing platforms.

  Project 3 Creating a mock business (identify your business structure, create the  service or product prototype, employee requirement and policy, marketing process, social benefit ) 
10  Technology and innovation in business

Is technology a threat or opportunity? 

Business case study: Elon Musk v Jeff Bezos’ business models.

Discussion: how do your businesses adapt to the digital future? 

Workshop: Put the business together

By group or individual consultation for the proposed business. Providing  feedback and sharing suggestions, discussion.  

11 Presentation of your business. (week 1)

Presentation of each business in a conference format, including prototype service or product, digital or printed branding and marketing material. Business plan and projection, community building methods and strategy.

12 Presentation of your business. (week 2)

Presentation of each business in a conference format, including prototype service or product, digital or printed branding and marketing material. Business plan and projection, community building methods and strategy.