Towards a sustainable way of doing business

Businesses increasingly have to reinvent themselves to meet the demands of a world characterised by societal challenges such as climate change, population growth, migration and globalisation. Pressure from consumers, regulators and other stakeholders stimulates organisations to combine financial and social goals, rather than focusing solely on shareholder value. More than ever, businesses need strategic renewal and value creators with transformative leadership qualities to help steer them in the desired direction. Do you want to experience the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas that businesses face today? Do you want to develop the knowledge and skills required to assess and enhance business ecosystems? Do you want to become an expert in designing new strategies for societal value creation? Our new and innovative Master’s programme in Business and Social Impact provides you with a solid grounding in economics & management, and equips you with practical skills, tools and networks for a rewarding career with organisations that lead the way on corporate social responsibility.

In this video Dr Friedemann Polzin explains how in this programme you can learn to achieve societal impact by combining business tools and the understanding of the economic and policy context.

Research expertise

This programme is based on Utrecht University’s world-class research in business strategy, organisation, marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation. The academic staff of Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) excel in integrating business perspectives with broader socio-economic issues. This comes to the fore in our Sustainable Finance Lab, the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative and its link with the business world and policy practice.

Content of the programme

In this Master’s in Business and Social Impact, you will focus on:

  • The role of business in today’s society;
  • Understanding and appreciating the wider context of business and business ecosystems, along with the various stakeholders;
  • Developing strategies for doing business for society, in connection with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Dealing with the challenges, opportunities, tensions and dilemmas that come with combining financial and social value;
  • The role of marketing in doing business;
  • Obtaining and managing finance for business that combines financial and social goals.

Read more about the study programme.

Programme objectives

The Master’s in Business and Social Impact provides you with:

  • The tools, skills and techniques to transform businesses and strengthen their social value creation;
  • Market analysis and empirical techniques for such analysis, including customer development;
  • Strategy creation abilities. Special attention is paid to redesigning strategies to meet (new or existing) missions and values in line with the SDGs;
  • Competences for dealing with tensions and synergies between businesses’ growth ambitions and social goals;
  • Knowledge of the types of finance that businesses aiming to create social value can draw upon.

Career prospects

Graduates from the MSc Business and Social Impact are experts in identifying opportunities for businesses to do more and do better for society, and developing the organisational strategies to make this happen. This expertise is highly sought after by employers, including medium-sized enterprises, large (multinational) corporations and family businesses. Read more about possible career prospects


Do you want to know whether you are eligible for this Master’s? Check the entry requirements. 

We have, as a society, to facilitate entrepreneurship focused on societal challenges.
  • The Master's programme I never knew I needed…
  • Acquire the tools to become a leader and navigate businesses to greater ends


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MSc
  • Master's degree in: International Economics and Business
  • Programme: Business and Social Impact
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
1 year
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
Start of studies:
Application deadline:
  • September: Dutch & EU/EEA students: 1 June
  • September: Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April
Tuition fees:
Law, Economics and Governance 
Graduate school:
Law, Economics and Governance