Social entrepreneurial organizations have gained in awareness and interest among researchers, yet we know relatively little about how these organizations are able to create social and economic value. This paper seeks to understand how such organizations have managed to achieve scale and sustainability in developing economies – often lacking the institutions, networks and resources required to support their growth – whilst also maintaining their focus on a social mission.
The paper presents a comparative case analysis of three social entrepreneurial organizations based in Bangladesh, Egypt and Spain that have been widely recognized as successful. It utilizes an explorative research approach with data gathered from many sources including published and unpublished articles, existing case studies, personal interviews and internet sources.
Analysis of these three business models reveals common patterns in the use of strategic resources, in their value networks, and in customer interface. The findings suggest that successful social entrepreneurial organizations: proactively create their own value networks of companies that share their social vision; develop resource strategies as an integral part of the business model; and integrate their target groups into the social value network.
There are limitations in the sampling and data analysis approach, however, this study provides a first step towards a more inclusive empirical research agenda in the future.
The paper offers interesting insights for existing for‐profit multi‐business companies to rethink their business models, particularly for developing country contexts.
This paper encourages managers to think beyond the creation of economic value and demonstrates how social entrepreneurs achieve sustainable growth based on building complementary networks of stakeholders and resources integrated into the value chain. It provides propositions regarding the business models of successful social entrepreneurial organizations and hopes to stimulate managerial interest in alternative business models and future empirical research which builds on these qualitative findings.
Mair, J. and Schoen, O. (2007), "Successful social entrepreneurial business models in the context of developing economies: An explorative study", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 54-68. https://doi.org/10.1108/17468800710718895Download as .RIS
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