Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on how service learning approaches are able to foster social entrepreneurship competences. The aim of the paper is to formulate a framework of key competences for social entrepreneurship and to give first insights in how service learning actually has an impact on change in students’ set of competences. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses a mixed-methods approach combining qualitative data collectionmethods of learning diaries of the students and semi-structured interviews, including 40 master’s students studying at a German university in interdisciplinary learning settings and five instructors from the same universities. Analysis was carried out by means of qualitative content analysis. Findings: This paper provides empirical insights about the competences that are being fostered by service learning. From these, a framework for social entrepreneurship competences is being derived. Research limitations/implications: The set of competences should be further investigated, as it was derived out of a small data set. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to use the set of competences for social entrepreneurship as a basis for future research and on a longer-term perspective, which lead to substantial implications for educational practice. Practical implications: This paper includes implications for new perspectives on service learning in the light of the development of a relevant framework for social entrepreneurship competence, having significant implications for educational practice in social entrepreneurship education. Originality/value: With this paper, the authors fulfill the need of a framework of social entrepreneurship competences that serves as a foundation for educational practice and further research in the context of service learning and beyond.