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What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

Deep Dive into a Topic

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.


case study on social entrepreneurship

Social Enterprise Case Studies

Requests for teaching notes, as well as your comments, can be sent to  [email protected]

If any case is reproduced and used in a course please contact us before distribution. For a complete listing of case studies by the Yale School of Management, please visit the Yale SOM Case Studies Directory . 

Design and social innovation "raw" cases

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic: Design thinking in healthcare

If we can test new drugs in clinical trials, can we also test new kinds of doctor-patient interactions?

Teach For All

Teach for all

How can Teach for America expand its successful model of education beyond the United States?

SELCO 2009

SELCO 2009: Determining a path forward

Harish Hande founded SELCO to provide solar electricity for lighting and power to India's poor. Having attained a measure of success, he must determine the future of his enterprise.

Project Masiluleke

Project Masiluleke

Texting and testing to fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

Free cases on nonprofit governance

Conflicting agendas for the future of a youth agency.

Having avoided self-scrutiny for most of its sixty year history, a youth agency is forced to take a hard look at its future when finances begin to decline. The executive director and the board president hold differing views on the appropriate course of action, and the reader is asked to decide which position is in the best interests of the organization.

Consulting to a nonprofit board: Peeling the onion

Outside consultants to governing boards are commonly asked to clarify the appropriate roles for the board, executive director, and staff--who does what and who should. The "problem," however, is rarely what it seems to be to participants. Understanding the complex environments in which boards do their work is key to effective consulting and to achieving successful outcomes for a board. In this case the reader is challenged to "see" the agency in its context with a variety of interpretive lenses. 

Board development and congregational sponsorship

The governing board of a shelter for homeless women and children is dominated by representatives of the founding congregations. As the condition for receiving a substantial grant, the board has been asked to curtail its involvement in operations and focus instead on planning, policy development, evaluation, and fundraising. The reader analyzes the influence of faith on member behavior and the board's developmental stage and assesses the impact of changing from sectarian to non-sectarian sponsorship.

Neighborhood agencies, businesses, and the city: Boston Against Drugs

Boston Against Drugs was a partnership among the city, business corporations, and neighborhood groups united in opposition to drug and alcohol abuse. In this case, the reader is asked to analyze BAD as a collaboration, paying particular attention to assessing the role of the corporate partners. Readers must make recommendations regarding future funding options necessary to keep BAD alive as well as administrative and governance changes necessary to strengthen BAD's operating effectiveness. 

Governing board oversight of donor dollars: Foundation for new era philanthropy

The exposure of the Foundation for New Era Philanthropy as a Ponzi scheme attracted wide press coverage in 1995. New Era promised nonprofit organizations that funds deposited with it would be matched in six months. In this case the reader is asked to evaluate the oversight of donor funds exercised by the governing board of Menno Haven, Inc., an operator of retirement communities that numbered among the Foundation's major beneficiaries. 

Hospital joint ventures and conflicts of interest

Although Mapletown's community hospital is operating in the black, it carries a substantial debt load and its future in the changing health care environment is uncertain. A physician's proposal to add an expensive high tech service brings to the surface conflicting perspectives about governing board strategies and actions that will best promote the community's welfare. 

A governing board considers closure: A dramatic narrative in three acts

In this case the reader must decide how the governing board of a floundering arts organization should respond to a motion for closure. The case illustrates the unique traits that founding executive directors often possess, the limitations of un-involved boards, the dangers of inert programs and policies, the need for transformational leadership in floundering organizations, and the factors that may influence a board to consider closure. The case is presented through a play-like narrative of three acts. 

To be or not to be? Or, is it nobler to care than to be a part of managed care?

Associated Youth Services (AYS) provides a variety of services to at-risk youth and their families. In recent years its management and board have responded to rapid cuts in state funding and to the introduction of "managed care" in the administration of state social service programs. Readers of this case critique a decision process of core strategic importance: whether to redesign the organization's mission and vision to reflect a basic paradigm change in the external environment. 

Authority dilemmas on a board in a multi-tiered governance structure

Nonprofit organizations often struggle with the never--ending discussion of board roles and responsibilities. Who does what, when, and who should? In the case of St. Aloysius Care Center, the problem of role responsibility was exacerbated by an organizational structure embracing three levels of authority. The distinctions and responsibility were never clear, not just structurally but politically. When the local board, consistent with its understanding of its authority, initiated actions to replace its president/CEO, it opened a Pandora's box. All three levels acted as if they were in charge. 

Hope Network: Where do we go from here?

A faith-based nonprofit organization is at a crossroads after learning that its founding CEO plans to retire. The board of directors must now determine what kind of leader to seek and what implications this process might have for the future of the organization. 

ABC Childcare "My hands are tied"

Elizabeth Green is the Executive Director of ABC Childcare, a financially burdened nonprofit childcare center loosely affiliated with a local YMCB in Central Massachusetts. The YMCB's efforts to centralize operations had been costlier than expected, resulting in a newly imposed salary freeze for all educators and administrators. Dissatisfaction among YMCB employees was smoldering, and teachers were increasingly tense. Elizabeth felt that without the ability to offer even the most modest of raises, she could not overcome her teachers' waning motivation. Furthermore, she became concerned about the longer-term implications. Could she and her associates develop a strategy to re-energize teachers?

Other case studies related to social entrepreneurship

Ibm corporate service corps.

Founded in 2007, IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) had become the largest pro bono consulting program in the world. The program promised a triple-benefit: leadership training to the brightest young IBMers, brand recognition for IBM in emerging markets, and community improvement in the areas served by IBM’s host organizations. As the program entered its second decade in 2016, IBM was looking for ways in which it could increase social impact while preserving the program’s other aspects.

Achievement First

On the edges of a warehouse district in New Haven, Connecticut, Amistad Academy, a charter school founded by two Yale Law School graduates, are challenging the conventional theory that poor educational performance is the result of low socioeconomic status (SES) by not only getting students on par with their grade levels in reading and math, but is pushing them to perform as well as the best suburban school districts too.

The Business of Art

In 2007 the Guggenheim began considering a proposal for a new branch in Guadalajara, Mexico. A spectacular site, a healthy tourist industry, and a cooperative local government all seemed to offer a solid foundation for a new museum. However, the Guggenheim's endowment was not growing at the same fast rate as it had during the 1990s. Was Guadalajara a good option for a Guggenheim in Latin America? Or should the Guggenheim wait and pursue offers from other cities?


This case was produced through the Yale SOM Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures. This case examines the challenges of a start-up for profit venture created by non-profit parent entities. CostumeRentals, LLC has many issues to resolve. As a new venture, it has the challenges of profitability, operational efficiency, staffing, and sustainability.

Environmental Defense - TXU

James D. Marston, director of Environmental Defense's Texas Office, has been asked by a group of private equity firms to bless their takeover of TXU in return for environmental concessions. What should his negotiation strategy be?

Govenors Island

Governors Island was a military base for 200 years. When the Coast Guard left in 1996, the island became a ghost town of landmark forts and houses as well as deteriorating outbuildings and playing fields. For some, this open land in the midst of New York Harbor represented an opportunity to build an extraordinary development. Others saw the potential liabilities. Will local, state, and federal governments make a deal?

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps was known for its gutsy approach to disasters. While other relief and development organizations were scrambling to plan a response, Mercy Corps would already be on the ground with aid and skilled field workers. Although it was a relatively new player in the NGO world, by the late 1990s Mercy Corps had developed a reputation as a nimble, decentralized organization that was not afraid to take risks.

Profits and Principles: Benhaven's Learning Network

This case was produced through the Yale SOM Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures. In this case, Benhaven, an organization serving the needs of autistic children, struggles with the role of its consulting arm. This branch, called The Learning Network, seeks to provide revenue for the larger organization by selling its expertise to local school districts. But the organization quickly finds that there is sometimes a tension between providing quality services and profitability.

The Baltimore Fund

The Baltimore Fund LLC is a community development venture capital fund with 15 investors: foundations, individuals, a financial institution and a university. This case traces the development of the partnership from the perspective of the foundation that initiated the project. It looks at many of the decisions that had to be made to get the project underway.

Prodigy Finance

Having pioneered a successful financing model for student loans, Prodigy also was considering other financial services that could make use of the company’s risk model. What new products could Prodigy offer to support its student borrowers? What strategy should guide the company’s new product development? Or should the company stick to the educational loans it pioneered and knew best?

William Bratton and the NYPD

William Bratton, commissioner of the New York Police Department from 1994 to 1996, presided over a dramatic decline in the city’s crime rate. Hired by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as part of a new crime fighting initiative, Bratton embraced the “broken windows” theory that had made him so successful as chief of the city’s transit police.


In 2000, Charles Best (Yale College ’98), a social studies teacher at an alternative public high school in the South Bronx, found himself frustrated because his school did not have access to many of the resources available in other New York City public schools. Best and his colleagues were able to secure basic materials, but they were unable to bring many creative classroom projects to fruition, because they lacked financial support.

Seven Theaters

First book marketplace.

Based on the idea that many community programs have some small budgets with which to purchase books, the FBMP was dedicated to stretching those dollars as far as possible, allowing programs to buy quality books in larger quantities than ever before while still earning a profit that would be used to support the First Book mission.

New Hampshire Community Loan Fund

For Americans who cannot afford a standard home mortgage, one alternative to renting an apartment is to buy a mobile home. Also known as manufactured housing, mobile homes are built in a factory and then transported by tractor-trailer to the site where they will be occupied. They provide permanent housing at prices that are less than half the cost per square foot of regular “site-built” houses.

Compumentor and the Service

A nonprofit organization has established a for-profit venture to sell donated and discounted technology products. The venture is now profitable and ambitious goals have been set for the future. This case focuses on how the general manager of a nonprofit must develop a communications strategy to build sales through different channels.

To read this content please select one of the options below:

Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, social entrepreneurship and sdgs: case studies from northeast nigeria.

Publication date: 7 December 2021

Teaching notes

Case synopsis.

The use of entrepreneurship to deliver profound social impact is a much-needed but poorly understood concept. While social enterprises are generally well understood, there is a considerable need to have a more common approach to measuring the different ways they create social value for us as well as to reduce the difficulties of starting and growing them in the difficult conditions of developing countries. In the northeast of Nigeria, for example, the mammoth challenge of rebuilding communities in an unfavorable entrepreneurship environment makes the need for a solution even more urgent. This case study illustrates a model of promoting entrepreneurship that advances the conditions of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in local communities using a configuration of the key theories of social impact entrepreneurship (variants of entrepreneurship with blended value or mission orientation, including social entrepreneurship, sustainable entrepreneurship and institutional entrepreneurship). The extent to which ventures can adjust and improve the extent of their contributions to the SDGs are shown using examples of three entrepreneurs at different stages of growth. From this case study, students will be able to understand how entrepreneurs can identify and exploit social impact opportunities in the venture’s business model, within the network of primary stakeholders as well as in the wider institutional environment with the support of Impact+, a simple impact measurement praxis.

Learning objectives

The case study envisions training students how to hardwire social impact focus in the venture’s business model (social entrepreneurship), how to run ventures with minimal harm to the environment and greatest benefit to stakeholders (sustainable entrepreneurship) and how to contribute to improving the institutional environment for social purpose entrepreneurship (institutional entrepreneurship).

At the end of learning this case study, students should be able to: 1. discover an effective model for a startup social venture; 2. explore options for managing a venture sustainably and helping stakeholders out of poverty; and 3. identify ways to contribute to improving the institutional environment for social impact entrepreneurs.

Social implications

For students, this case will help in educating them on a pragmatic approach to designing social impact ventures – one that calibrates where they are on well-differentiated scales.

For business schools, entrepreneurial development institutions and policymakers, this case study can help them learn how to target entrepreneurial development for specific development outcomes.

Complexity academic level

The case study is preferably for early-stage postgraduate students (MSc or MBA).

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.

  • Sustainable development
  • Social enterprise
  • Entrepreneurship


American University of Nigeria (AUN) and AUN Center for Entrepreneurship for the enabling this work and providing training resources.Eberly Foundation in the United States, for donating the remainder of a previous grant, which is being used for Impact+ Women programme.The Tony Elumelu Foundation and International Committee of the Red Cross, for funding at 3 entrepreneurs that have passed through our Impact+ Programme.Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.

Dodo, F. , Raimi, L. and Rajah, E.B. (2021), "Social entrepreneurship and SDGs: case studies from northeast Nigeria", , Vol. 11 No. 4.

Emerald Publishing Limited Bingley, United Kingdom

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

You do not currently have access to these teaching notes. Teaching notes are available for teaching faculty at subscribing institutions. Teaching notes accompany case studies with suggested learning objectives, classroom methods and potential assignment questions. They support dynamic classroom discussion to help develop student's analytical skills.

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Home > Books > Entrepreneurship - Trends and Challenges

Social Entrepreneurship: Case Study in Unilever Food Solutions’ Trusted Hands Food Safety Online Training Program

Submitted: 06 April 2017 Reviewed: 12 September 2017 Published: 20 December 2017

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.70955

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The social entrepreneurship is important in meso (organizational) and macro (policy-making) levels. This paper focuses on a case study in Turkey. “Trusted Hands Food Safety Online Training Program” by Unilever Food Solutions is examined as an example of social entrepreneurship. It is aimed to support food safety awareness in the industry to create and certificate the chefs. Unilever Food Solutions has received the Food Security Special Award, a project developed and implemented by the Food Safety Association. In the first year, 5000 chefs in Turkey intended to complete the education of this field and to have a certificate. It started with the support of professional associations. The sustainability and private sector involvement plays an essential role in this case, which is such an important issue such as health and hygiene.

  • social entrepreneurship
  • social value
  • business models
  • sustainability
  • social impact
  • bottom or base of the pyramid (BOP)
  • growing inclusive markets (GIM)
  • business opportunities

Author Information

Pınar başar *.

  • Istanbul Commerce University, Istanbul, Turkey

*Address all correspondence to: [email protected]

1. Introduction

Social entrepreneurship offers opportunities to improve society using practical, innovative, and sustainable ways. A social entrepreneur is an individual or organization who seeks out to find solutions surrounding social issues environment fair trade, education, health, and human rights. Social concerns are conducting more than financial or market opportunities. It has to be financially sustainable. Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship also maintain employment opportunities. A social enterprise also facilitates employment for disadvantaged groups. There are niche opportunities for social entrepreneurs which are not suitable for entrepreneurs. Social initiatives represent a concept for the access to services for disadvantaged groups and protection for the environment.

Current fiscal regulations dissuade social enterprises. The tax regulations make it harder to operate social actions. On account of this, the maintenance of nonprofit economical enterprises is risky, while they are treated the same as commercial enterprises.

2. Differences between business and social entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurs emphasize innovation and creativity. They seek new ways to define existing needs. Social entrepreneurs are those who take responsibility and risk for civil society needs.

The authors Say, Schumpeter, Drucker, and Stevenson have important contributions to the issue of the entrepreneurship. Other researches also indicate the connection of the subjects’ entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship [ 8 ]. The social entrepreneurs challenge some unique problems [ 11 ].

Business entrepreneurs tend to focus on new needs, while social entrepreneurs tend to focus on existing environmental and social problems more effectively on long-term goals through new approaches. Social entrepreneurs are those who take responsibility for civil society needs. While traditional entrepreneurs take risks on behalf of shareholders, social entrepreneurs take risks on behalf of stakeholders. The objectives of social entrepreneurs differ from those of business entrepreneurs. The social entrepreneurs are motivated in different ways than commercial entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs face similar problems such as establishing and institutionalizing their enterprises. Social entrepreneurs can also experience problems such as defining opportunities and needs, planning, support, obtaining information and resources, creating marketing and demand, and creating organizational structure. Since social entrepreneurs have different motivation and aim from commercial entrepreneurs, they differentiate from commercial entrepreneurs in the way of leadership style also. The leader focuses on change and processes, is a part of the group, and controls group structure and processes. Social entrepreneurs are not a part of the group that is affected by the group or working in the group ( Table 1 ) [ 28 ].

Table 1.

The differences between entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.

Source: Özdevecioğlu and Cingöz [ 31 ].

Another proposal is that the two entrepreneurial types will have different requirements, especially in terms of access to financial markets and risk capital. Finally, in terms of performance management, it has been emphasized that commercial entrepreneurs can develop and use concrete and quantitative metrics more easily and that social entrepreneurship is a front line for nonmaterial elements (and therefore more difficult to measure). The social value opportunity in social entrepreneurship arises at the intersection of human resources and financial resources. Social entrepreneurs must have the ability to bring these internal resources together in an external context. The components of social entrepreneurship are to produce social value, being innovative, and creating resources and sustainability. The social organization mentioned at this point can be a new constitution, or it emerges in the form of joint projects of the existing social institutions in order to increase the scope of influence [ 7 ].

Social enterprises are separated from ethical or socially responsible companies precisely at this point. In contrast to companies, the measure of success in social enterprises is not the profits that are achieved, but the positive impact created on society. Another point that distinguishes social enterprises from these companies is that they should be accountable not to their shareholders but to the communities they serve [ 28 ].

It is suggested by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship to establish a board for managing the social enterprises effectively. The corporate governance assures the credibility, complies with social values, and presents the enterprise responsibilities against stakeholders [ 2 ].

Another study presents scale of four dimensions about the measurement of social entrepreneurship orientation with a two-stage design with Delphi study. It indicates the combination of entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship aspects together [ 24 ].

As a result of the case studies, it is understood that the predetermined dimensions of social entrepreneurship are examined extensively. The researches have focused on conceptualizing and not developing a mass-interaction measurement tool that SCALERS gave to name their social entrepreneurship. In traditional entrepreneurial countries, meaningful interventional activities tend to have more social entrepreneurial activities [ 3 ]. Social entrepreneurship is built and works for a social purpose. The profits are used for social purposes [ 10 ].

The difficulty of the performance measurement conducts the social investor to quest for the control and monitor. The research Rosenzweig [ 30 ] shows “impact value chain” first. The main antecedents of the measurement are figured as inputs, which are resources put directly into the venture (e.g., assets, volunteering, or money), outputs, which are consequences of the project managers’ measurement, and outcomes, which are the intended global changes. After the comparison of the desired outcomes with internal output, measures can show an accomplishment [ 30 ].

Garrigós, Lapiedra, and Narangajavana researched social entrepreneurship and social value measurement in the Colombian construction industry. The social value rise with the leakage reduction is assumed. The policy aims the effectiveness and economic multiplier [ 11 ].

3. Social entrepreneurship and social value

Most of the movements can be seen as small and extent worldwide, but they are interconnected and mutually strengthening each other. When all these things are taken together, it means more than the sum of their components. There is a synergy of these movements. Through social missions and entrepreneurial approaches, all social enterprises create and disseminate social, economic, and environmental values. Whatever the type or sector of the pioneering organization is, “creating value for all” is a precondition for the growth of more inclusive markets [ 7 ]. The concept of “sociality” includes adapting the principles of entrepreneurship to social problems instead of profit maximization. Thus, social enterprises are emerging as entrepreneurial or free market-based organizations in solving social problems.

There are many definitions of social entrepreneurship. Social enterprises aim social impact. Social entrepreneurship involves corporate initiatives that invest in individual, or in the form of the profit generated by a new entity, which is planned to be opened by the individual, within the framework of social objectives [ 7 ].

According to the definition of GEM, the economic expectations of social entrepreneurship projects are determined according to the costs of the strategies to be implemented. Corporate social project practices, which have become an important part of corporate strategies, have made it possible to achieve common achievements within this understanding. The difference of social entrepreneurship and commercial entrepreneurship mentions entrepreneurship as a context, actor (people/resources), deal, and opportunity together: as the PCO equilibrium. The first proposition here is that market failure creates different opportunities for social and business entrepreneurs. The second factor is that the understanding of economic success and social value creation differs between the two concepts.

Social entrepreneurs are individuals who realize social transformation in an innovative way. These individuals are making social enterprise “with the enthusiasm of entrepreneurship, the methods of business, the creation of innovation, and the courage to abandon general practices” [ 7 ].

The entrepreneurs create innovations in different ways like “product or process innovation, or a new product or a changed product, or a combination of any” according to the definition of OSLO MANUAL. Product innovations are made through “the use of new materials; use of new intermediate products; new functional parts; use of radically new technology; fundamental new functions (fundamental new products) and process” and the process innovations through “the new production techniques; new organizational features (introduction of new technologies); new professional software” [ 25 ]. The social and/or ecological value creation motivates the social entrepreneurs. The social entrepreneurs also aim innovation in a new product, a new service, or a new method like entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs transform the society in economic and social ways.

They may be in the form of cooperative or hybrid models, legally organized as nonprofit-making institutions. Although social initiatives are not yet defined as separate entities in most countries, there are some steps taken in this direction [ 7 ]. In the United States, there is differentiation between the Community Interest Company and the Low-Profit Limited Liability Company because of the focus of profitability [ 1 , 24 ]. Benefit corporation (BC) is another definition according to United States law, which describes a new legal for-profit business entity. It contains the responsibility to return profits to shareholders [ 33 ].

The aims of projects that are realized by companies and social organizations are based on three themes. First, identifying the social, cultural, and environmental objectives that are deployed as the basis of the project, second prioritizing the social objectives identified during the project, and third going for profit for the purpose of ensuring the continuation of project implementation.

Social entrepreneur targets to find solutions for the environment, the youth, and various socioeconomic indexed social problem areas. It accentuates that providing employment and income-generating activities for religious, ethnic, economically marginalized groups emphasize the self-sufficiency of individuals. They aim to increase their visibility within the community they live in and to reduce their commitment to social safety nets in a rational way.

The access in long-term capital and the lack of strategic planning, especially in developing countries, constitute the biggest obstacle in front of entrepreneurs. The talent, money, and interest in social enterprises around the world are increasing recently. There are debates about what social initiatives are and what they do in various national and international platforms.

Systematic change is the most important objective. Social entrepreneurs aim to create systematic change, disseminate their solutions, and gain support from the community in the long run, eliminating the problem, while improving similar cases in the areas they deal with. To describe the difference between the social intervention approach and others is that social initiatives are not for to teach only fish or fishing, but instead aim to radically change the fish industry [ 9 ].

It is considered that there is a big difference between entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship also in the implementation process. They are so connected like the parts of a whole system. The partnerships like universities and other stakeholders contribute to the efficiency and the innovation. Social entrepreneurs aim to reach two different goals under the roof of a single establishment: to provide social benefit and profit [ 8 ].

Social enterprises that function as a commercial enterprise by producing goods and services in free market conditions also direct the income they derive from these activities to social purposes. In this method, the business activity may be directly related to the social problem, but it is also possible that there is no direct connection between them. CSOs adopting such an approach perceive social enterprise activities as an alternative to reduce their dependence on donations and grants and to increase their fiscal sustainability.

Another way social enterprises pursue is the empowerment and capacity building of individuals and communities by creating employment and income-generating activities for disadvantaged groups (women, youth, people with disabilities, minorities, and so on).

Contrary to the first approach, commercial activity itself is seen as an effective tool for social change in this method.

Another approach that is observed in social enterprises is to act in a creative, bold, and entrepreneurial spirit in their commercial activities. Solution-focused, experiential transformations of barriers can be much more profitable than traditional methods of business ventures.

Another common point is that most social enterprises are initiated and maintained by social entrepreneurs. Like entrepreneurs who change the face of the business world, social entrepreneurs are also important tools of social change [ 10 ].

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship offers “models of sustainable social innovation.” The global, regional, and industry transformation and the association with the other stakeholders of the World Economic Forum is in the focal point of The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship [ 18 ].

Social entrepreneurship is a concept, which needs awareness and development in Turkey. Social support of universities, associations, and foundations through awards, courses, and studies and governmental support through tax regulations are expected to raise the awareness and interest in social entrepreneurship. The attainment of consumer markets is easier through the internet access and popularity of social media. Additionally, entrepreneurship is the period for innovation development and application. Economic development and also social development are not only evolved through innovation [ 32 ].

Entrepreneurship is a combination of production resources and aims the profit. Social entrepreneurs do not focus on profits, mostly the social benefits. The development of social entrepreneurship must be accentuated in the society.

Increasing knowledge-based economies promote entrepreneurship. Social inclusion and economic development constitute synergy for social entrepreneurship. Social enterprise can be defined as “businesses that trade for social purposes.” They are nonprofit entities, which are implementing commercial methods to accomplish their social objectives. The concept is summarized as “mission-driven business approach” [ 23 ].

The researches execute the antecedents and the consequences of social entrepreneurship in social constructionist approach [ 23 ].

Social capital can be defined as the assets that have as a consequence of the relations of one with others and (in a correlated way) of the participation in organizations: these relations facilitate the access to other resources [ 5 ].

Social enterprise must be constructed as a social organizational identity [ 23 ]. The social capital is an important determinant for business support. The concept of social entrepreneurship technology is affected through rapid technological change. The changes are adapted for creating social value. New methods are internalized [ 14 ].

Social capital is the feature of commercial conglomerates, which have shared values, trust, and culture. So trust is an important dimension of social capital [ 6 ]. Entrepreneurs use their connections for funding or receiving credit from suppliers without any formal contract, which is very crucial for the sustainability. Social capital is crucial for equalization and continuance for human development. German and Japanese cooperative and long-term oriented cultures induce them for innovation and industrial development. So the social capital is remarkable in these countries ( Table 2 ) [ 32 ].

The Different Organizational Models of Social Enterprises are examined in Table 2 . The entrepreneurial approach and social focus are their common point.

There is a “traditional NGO” managed by volunteerism, income-based donations, and social services, while at the other end there is a commercial enterprise which is the main goal of profit. Social enterprises are in the midst of these two extremes as commercialized institutions at various levels in their functioning. For example, many social enterprises employ professional staff, receive consultancy services, and make income-generating investments. However, social enterprises also provide employment and social services to disadvantaged groups, advocate, and thus interfere with various social problems. No social initiative is the same as another (in terms of purpose, target mass, methods, and institutional structures). However, no matter how diverse the commercialization, the approaches, and the environments in which they function, it is possible to find some common interests between social enterprises in terms of purposes and methods [ 10 ].

“A leveraged nonprofit enterprise” is not working through an income-earning strategy. The sustainability is maintained through partnerships and funding of traditional donor-dependent model. Its sustainability strategy constitutes dependent independent resources [ 1 ]. Leveraged nonprofit ventures’ sustainability is influenced by the partners’ attention.

“Hybrid enterprise” conglomerates features of the for-profit and nonprofit legal models. The various legal structures are used in different countries. In the United States, the low-profit entities are structured as Limited Liability Company. In the United Kingdom, the sustainability of the social activities is afforded by a profit subsidiary in the form of “Community Interest Company.” The entrepreneur establishes numerous legal entities to sustain it financially. It is financed with grants, loans and/or own resources [ 24 ].

“Social entrepreneurs” aim to create social change in education, health, environment, and enterprise improvement. A social entrepreneur accomplishes major and sustainable social change through innovations [ 18 ]. The entrepreneur establishes a for-profit entity or business which is social or ecological driven. The social entrepreneurs’ main objectives are social and then profit [ 22 ].

Entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs are using the same tools and endeavor in market principles and forces for driving change. Social entrepreneurs provide opportunities for marginalized and poor. They find solutions for social issues like education, health, welfare reform, human rights, workers’ rights, environment, economic development, agriculture, and so on [ 18 ].

Social entrepreneurship is tried to be encouraged with educational programs and competitions. The financial returns are low, and it complicates the presence of these organizations [ 10 ].

A strong financial system is a requirement of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurs create jobs, and so they help to reduce the unemployment rate. Turkey’s economy is growing. The collaborations with international organizations promote economic progress through entrepreneurship. Table 1 summarizes the differences between entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.

There are many suggestions for the improvement of social entrepreneurship [ 23 ]. One of the problems they face is institutionalization which is difficult because the social initiatives are dependent on the social entrepreneurs and it is not easy to survive [ 3 , 4 ].

The institutionalization of social entrepreneurship education is impeded through limited presidential support, a clear and well-defined vision, and financial problem [ 27 ].

The strategies to simplify the increase of social enterprises are legal recognition and regulation; combination of the most innovative organizational solutions; replication process; protection of consumer’s rights; and avoidance of isomorphism. Quasi-market strategies require unusual mix of resources and conformance to local dimension. The network plays important role to accomplish this. It is recommended to change the implementation of employment subventions for long-term unemployed to reduce labor costs. It can be used to lower productivity [ 4 ].

3.1. The concepts of new business models

The competiveness forces the companies for a search of new business opportunities. Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) and Base of the Pyramid (BOP) can be taken into account as important concepts when considering the size of the population.

3.1.1. Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM)

The macro-level approach is based on the creation of opportunities and innovation through defining the markets in another way. There are important aspects of social entrepreneurship. The concepts aim at taking “business for poor” and raise prosperity of the society. Social entrepreneurship operates in a global structure with many stakeholders. The growing inclusive markets (GIM) Initiative is a stakeholder of UNDP. The aim is to find solutions for the global development with inclusive business models. They try to create new chances for better lives of poor people. GIM endeavors for the millennium development goals (MDGs). This initiative creates a big network [ 19 ].

UNDP Private Sector Division is working toward the inclusive market policies and projects with sections The GIM Initiative and the Business call to action (Cat). The Inclusive Markets Development (IMD) program is for the advancement of new opportunities. The Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative has two purposes. The enhancement of the recognition includes business models and finds solutions for sustainable human development. The other purpose is structuring market environment improvements with taking actions with stakeholders and changing the policies [ 16 ].

As the empirical research conducted by the GIM Initiative reveals, these constraints include limited market information, problems about the infrastructure, reaching the knowledge and skills, difficulties by compensating the financial needs, and ineffective regulatory environments. In addition to the potentially unnecessary bureaucratic processes that can be undertaken in general by interventional efforts, many laws do not recognize social enterprises as separate legal structures. Conditions, laws and regulations may limit their capacity to seek financial and social returns, and force such organizations to merge into profit-oriented or non-profitable legal entities. Social entrepreneurs need to ensure financial stability [ 1 ].

Social entrepreneurship encompasses three main types of inclusive business models, as documented in the final report of the Social Entrepreneurship Information Network and shaped in many GIM case studies. First, they can get members to come together and get more value; for example, strong bargaining power, efficiency and volume develop, value chain, and product development increase [ 29 ]. The business model is based on the production of handcrafts that are low cost, require intensive labor, consume little energy, and perform with low technology. Table 3 summarizes the Socially Inclusive Business Model according to the social value and the economic value [ 5 ]. The initiatives analyzed found business opportunities in low-income sectors. Socially Inclusive Businesses produce economic and social values [ 26 ].

Table 2.

The Spectrum of social enterprises (arranged by legal form and revenue source).

Source: Abdou and Fahmy [ 1 ].

case study on social entrepreneurship

Table 3.

Profits and Social Impact in Socially Inclusive Business.

Source: Marquez [ 23 , 26 ].

3.1.2. Base of the Pyramid (BOP)

The base of the pyramid (BOP) approach can be explained as creating and distributing goods and services for poor people. There are not many companies using the opportunity to supply goods to this group. The international finance corporation reveals that purchasing power is annually $5000 billion of this 4 billion people. The transformation is aimed of this people to customers. The multinational companies have to look from a different window to find out the opportunities in the market of four billion people and assure the capital efficiency.

Prahalad and Hart [ 13 ] explained the BOP approach in their study “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” as “The aspiring poor present a prodigious opportunity for the world’s wealthiest companies. But it requires a radical new approach to business strategy” [ 13 ]. Prahalad (2004), Hart (2005) and London (2007) are the authors, which have mentioned the base (bottom) of the pyramid (BOP) theory first. The poor society, which is living on less than US$ 1.25 per day, is defined as “resilient and creative entrepreneurs” and “value-conscious consumers” (Prahalad 2004: 1). The concept suggests to create economic openings with collaboration of multinational corporations. It recommends the strategic association with persons at the base of the world’s income pyramid. It assumes to the radical change in the business model. The poor is presented as solution itself and as a resource. In that way can be a win-win position created. The demand of the over three billion poor people is attracting the entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. The financing and social value has to be balanced with low-cost consumer goods. It is contrasting to the mission-driven corporate social responsibility approach [ 26 ]. The BOP concept brings “mutually beneficial economic and social incentives” together. It is purposed to produce the own revenues. It is revealing that the partner’s involvement depends on the potential of venturing the needs of the poor people [ 26 ].

Based on the study of the famous Indian economist Amartya Sen (1999), which sees the rise of freedom as including the economic possibilities as “a fundamental solution to a basic solution and development” to provide sustainable human development, UNDP considers the markets to be more inclusive. This means that the poor people can buy his needs at affordable prices, meaning that venture capitalization is an opportunity rather than a necessity, access to decent business opportunities, and the ability to contribute to companies’ value chains as suppliers and distributors. Social enterprises contribute to the development of “containment markets” either by supporting development and can change the role of the disadvantaged groups. They are able to demand the products and services as customer and buyers or supply as employees, producers, and entrepreneurs. Such initiatives can be developed by all types of institutions (social enterprises, multinational corporations, large public entities, or SMEs), and these business models carry a number of common characteristics as outlined below [ 7 ].

Some firms like Nirma have implemented solutions with product innovation and new manufacturing process. Of course, in this business model, it is not possible to aim the traditional high margins. A different perspective is needed for the competitiveness [ 29 ]. It is expensive to research for the development of products and services sustainability and enter and continue in distribution channels and communication networks. MNCs have know-how to bring together a global knowledge rather to local entrepreneurs. Leaders can use the interpersonal and intercultural skills to customize the products and services to local BOP markets [ 29 ].

The economically sustainability and generation of social and environmental benefits are important to define the inclusive businesses [ 26 , 31 ]. Despite the significant benefits of the social enterprise model, such as increasing financial capacity and independence from donors, increasing scale of operations resulting from income strategies is achieved, and thus greater social impact, and social enterprises also faced some potential difficulties. First, while social enterprises are developing market models of pyramid-based coverage, they face market constraints that are similar to traditional markets. Social enterprises use solutions like organizations operating in low-income markets adopt according to formulate products and processes for BOP markets, which has different conditions, increasing the buying power and bringing the potential resources with other partners. The researchers indicate that the success of the business models is dependent on the organization’s main mission, capacities, and the segment it addresses and when it reaches a suitable scale.

4. Methodology

Methodology of the research is case study. Case study approach is an effective way to build solid ground to make positive argument on subject where it is rather easy to compare theoretical information and arguments with applied cases. It is also aimed to encourage other social entrepreneurship initiatives by mentioning good examples like Trusted Hands Food Safety Program Online. This case provides opportunity for awakening the social interest. This case is appropriate for the use of the subject matter covered which includes concepts that are globally discussed. However, various examples determine the value.

5. Unilever food solutions and trusted hands food safety online training program

The study researches “Food Safety” training of Unilever Food Solutions. An independent company conducted the Turkey Chief Survey, and 80% of the chiefs identified as the most important need Food Safety training. The “Trustworthy Hands” Food Safety Training Program is prepared online in order to reach all kitchen teams throughout Turkey. The project aims to complete 5000 chief trainings in the first year. It is planned to have a food safety certificate by participating in trainings of 30,000 chiefs in 3 years.

Trustworthy Hands Food Safety Training consists of five separate sections, cross contamination, physical and chemical hazards, cleaning, production safety, and HACCP applications. In order to meet the lack of knowledge and development needs of the chefs in the field of food safety, the Food Security Association organized an introductory meeting with the participation of sector representatives for the “Trustworthy Hands” Food Safety Training Program. Food Security Association, Food Industry Association, Tourism Restaurant Investors and Businesses Association (TURYİD), and the Union of the Cooks supported the project. Turkey emphasized that they have launched the first and only comprehensive food safety training program. It is to launch the online training modules in other countries too.

It is declared that 350,000 people are working in the catering sector. In 77,000 restaurants in Turkey, millions of meals are eaten every day. More than 30,000 of the restaurants are located in Istanbul. TURYİD serves 165 brands in 480 points. It creates an industry of two billion endorsements annually. It is 10% of the general food and beverage sector. The associations increase their strength in the direction of goals through cooperation with the sectorial knowledge, communication, and training issues [ 20 , 21 ].

It is stated that 325,000 are hospitalized and 5000 people died because of food poisoning every year in the world. In 2013, the number of people who lost their lives due to “external injuries and poisonings” in Turkey is 20,000,409, but this number has decreased to 16,000,018 in 2014. According to the World Health Organization, in 2010, a total of 582 million people were poisoned from 22 different food items in the world. Interestingly, 40% of the 582 million people are under 5 years old. The bacterial cause of food is found in raw poultry, unpasteurized milk, red meat, and untreated water which are the most common factors of poisoning with Campylobacter. Unpasteurized milk, eggs and raw egg products, raw meat, and poultry have to be controlled carefully because of the Salmonella. Listeria, nigella (traveler’s diarrhea), and clostridia are other dangerous factors for food poisoning [ 15 ].

It is stated that Unilever Food Solutions reached to one of the two businesses in the nonhouse food sector. Food Safety Association has indicated that 50% of the chefs have completed five videography trainings in the “Trustworthy Eller” food safety training. Unilever Food Solution has launched a training course for the kitchen teams [ 17 ].

The chefs are able to see the article “Get Your Food Safety Training and Certificate Now” on Knorr products and access training videos prepared with the passwords on the product packages by entering the Food Security section where it also can be reached via . Training program consist of five short videos produced by the Food Safety Association as an education, and at the end of each training video, questions about that section must be answered in order chefs to be entitled to receive special certificates for the names of Food Safety Association certified ones. It is emphasized that there are plans to reach the chefs through not only digital channels but also product packages because of the presence of Unilever Food Solutions products at every one of them. They also note that they are taking care to be part of Unilever Food Solutions products.

The main objective is to ensure that food is healthy and maintains its nutritive properties and continues. Food safety involves the processing, preparation, transport, storage, and disposal of foodstuffs to prevent biological, physical, and chemical agents that cause food-borne illnesses. It is an approach that addresses the process of submitting to consumers. Safe food is defined as food that has been made suitable for consumption by eliminating all kinds of deterioration and contagious factors, and everything that is done to achieve this is the technical direction of the business. “He added that Food Safety Inspections in Turkey are done by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. Many countries, including Turkey, are developing and implementing standards and management systems related to food safety.” The latest method to ensure food safety is published as national standards in countries with the HACCP system. Many countries have accepted that “ISO 22000: Food Safety Management Systems Standard,” which was prepared by ISO in 2005, is included in Turkey in order to ensure the use of a common system of accreditation in international trade and a common system of food safety standards all over the world. In Turkey, TS EN ISO 22000, which was put into practice in 2006 by TS 13001-HACCP Standard, has been applied in food and food-related enterprises.“HACCP plan for the establishments identifies and monitors biological, chemical, and physical properties that are food-borne hazards. It is preventive, rather than reactive, and is an effective risk management tool [ 23 ].

Taking the risk factors into consideration, necessary precautions must be taken before delivering to the customer. “Trusted Hands” Trainings is a project that aims to raise awareness about food safety in the chiefs and close the information gap. The Turkish Food Safety Association prepares and sends the certificates to the chefs who have completed the training.

6. Conclusion

The social considerations in Turkey are rising in recent years. The society’s consciousness is increasing and also became aware of social, environmental, and health issues. The number of successful social entrepreneurs increases trends and behaviors through social actions.

Social entrepreneurs produce services and products. The disadvantaged groups can use the employment opportunities. Social entrepreneurship implements similar tools like entrepreneurs. They face the same problems and take the same risks also. The existence is dependent on the support mechanisms. In this case, the public and private support for social entrepreneurship plays an important role. The legal arrangements are needed for the financial continuance. Consultancy, knowledge sharing through awards, courses, and studies builds a net. The youth and children can be elaborated in education system. People in lower segments of society can also be informed about the social issues.

In this study is examined the project of Unilever Food Solution in the framework of the awakening consciousness in society and in the sector about food safety which is an important issue of health. It is also a good example of the collaboration of publıc and private sectors.

The suggestions made in the literature can be summarized in three points: first highlighting success stories and case studies; second accumulating the best practices; and third forming a High-Impact Entrepreneurship Index and planning exercise. These efforts will guide the new actions also [ 12 ].

There are many difficulties of continuance and establishment of social enterprises but also many advantages like the technological, financial, and human resources. Internet facilitates communication and cooperation. The definition of legal form and other problems are waiting solutions from governments [ 12 ].

The other problem is that the short-term approach will complicate the existence of the social enterprises. Tax exemptions are needed for the maintenance. The long-term focus can facilitate the partnerships. These resources can be used more effectively, and the social impact can be enhanced [ 10 ].

Private sector is an important project partner and also creates financial sources. The material contribution or sponsorship builds a synergy and a win-win position to public and private sector also. The public benefit can be taken in terms of its scope and coverage, because the society’s awareness and purchasing power will be enhanced. The wealth arises [ 10 ].

The improvements are promising for the future of social entrepreneurship. The society, the companies, and the government are more aware of the social, environmental, and health issues. It is expected to raise the interest about the research topic. This case intends to show key points in its successful implementations can be followed. The results of this research enlighten social entrepreneurial form that is likely to become much more extensive in new economy. Tables and definitions aim to present the understanding of business model and its importance. The most important contribution is intended to observe a good practice. The research enables to open the horizons in the business start-ups and explore a new way of thinking for win-win. The outlined phenomenon in an exploratory approach involves an in-depth analysis of a case for the guidance of new cases.

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© 2017 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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case study on social entrepreneurship

Collaborating to increase impact – how five cleaning social enterprises are working together

Competition lies at the heart of our economic system, purportedly driving businesses to innovate, allowing the best to flourish. Social enterprises on the other hand like to do things differently, and in the Midlands five businesses have taken a new and exciting approach to collaborate in order to win new business and increase their social impact. What’s more they are all working within a sector that is not particularly well known for its ethical practices – the cleaning industry. Argonaut Community Enterprises, Jericho Cleaning, Radiant Cleaners and Upbeat Clean are all social enterprise cleaning companies dedicated to creating job opportunities for marginalised groups. Whilst each have specific social missions (Argonaut trains and employs deaf people, Upbeat works with refugee mums and Jericho and Radiant both support anyone facing major barriers to work) they are all dedicated to using cleaning as a means to help people into secure employment, earn a good wage and increase their confidence. Each business operates in a different area of the Midlands, with a bit of crossover around Birmingham, and for a while they all worked in isolation. This started to change following a meeting between Amie Grice, Business Development at Argonaut, and Nigel Lawrence, Senior Social Enterprise Manager at Jericho, where they realised the similarities in their work and that they were talking to the same people regarding future work opportunities. Following this meeting Argonaut and Jericho decided to collaborate more, attending the same events and even pitching each other’s services – Argonaut in North Birmingham and Jericho in the South. According to Amie,through catching up and chatting at events “we saw the opportunity of working together would expand our coverage and strengthen our businesses. Opening doors that were previously closed to small Social Enterprises.” At the same time Nigel was in contact with Matt Parfitt, founder of Radiant Cleaners and both of them were also helping out Upbeat Clean, the newest of the businesses involved. Working together to find opportunities and increase impact All four organisations met at Jericho’s offices on 6 February 2023 and decided to support each other through finding potential opportunities and sharing learning, information and resources – this could be identifying new work or sharing information on what’s working and what’s not. Sharing learning has been one of the key benefits of collaborating, as Michael Gladwell, Head of Enterprise at Upbeat Clean put it: “It's been so helpful for Upbeat Clean to be part of this group and learn with these really experienced social enterprise cleaning businesses. Everyone has been so open to share what they have learned and developed over the years so that we can all maximise our social impact!” All four businesses agree that operating as a social enterprise has been a key part in fostering their collaborative approach, Nigel Lawrence stating that: “Social enterprises are united by their 'why'. We've got so much in common - we're about seeing problems in society solved. So, sharing ideas and best practice - to have more impact together - makes sense.” Where opportunities arise all four social enterprises are looking to put together joint proposals to allow them to work on bigger contracts, increasing the social value and impact of the services provided. Recently the group have submitted a proposal to a client to deliver cleaning services in a standard, uniform manner across the whole of the Midlands region. Watch this space Argonaut, Jericho, Radiant Cleaners and Upbeat Communities are showing that collaboration can work better than competition and, what’s more, another Midlands based cleaning social enterprise – Rising Stars Property Solutions has recently joined the four original businesses. Not only is working together helping each business to find new opportunities and raise each other’s profiles it has also got the potential to really help those marginalised groups which each social enterprise supports. As Matt Parfitt puts it: “Individually each of our companies is too small for some contracts. We are demonstrating to large companies that we have heard them, we are collaborating and we are offering them what they want and need. We solve a cleaning and social value problem for them – working together creates the social value they want, delivers the excellent cleaning they need and changes the lives of people across the Midlands. So if you need cleaning anywhere in the Midlands get in touch!’ It’s still early days for this new collaboration and all five involved have exciting plans for the future. Watch this space.

case study on social entrepreneurship

auticon – changing the conversation on neurodiversity

Unwritten social rules of corporate office culture and recruitment practices can present real barriers for neurodiverse people, both in finding employment and then thriving at work. Only 29% of autistic adults in the UK have paying jobs, compared with 80% of working-age people without a disability [i], despite research showing the vast majority want to work [ii]. The seemingly successful minority who do find work still face challenges, often struggling to be themselves in the workplace and not receiving the support they need. auticon is a social enterprise on a mission to change this and build a more inclusive world, by addressing inequalities in employment for neurodivergent adults and showcasing the strengths of neurodiversity in society. It was initially founded in Berlin in 2011 by Dirk Müller Remus, a father wanting better employment opportunities for his autistic son. The business model was simple: employing autistic adults as IT consultants, tapping into the STEM skills often associated with neurodiversity to help organisations in need of tech support. Following investment from Germany’s first social investment fund, the business grew to have six German offices, with large clients such as BMW and Allianz. Global expansion followed, with auticon UK opening in 2016. The company operates in 14 countries with two main workstreams: IT consulting (in data science, analytics, engineering, cyber-security and quality assurance) and offering EDI services on neuroinclusion. Creating jobs and changing lives auticon employs adults on the autism spectrum as technology consultants, supported by job coaches and project managers, who are matched with client organisations to suit their individual skills. Its innovation lab, auticon Labs, is where neurodivergent teams-members collaborate with clients and investors to develop technology solutions to the challenges of neurodivergent people in the workplace and in their day-to-day lives. Globally, auticon currently employs more than 450 autistic consultants on full-time contracts with big businesses including PwC, NatWest, Deloitte and Zurich among their many UK clients. 67% of auticon consultants had been unemployed for more than a year, despite 85% having a professional qualification or degree, and the impact of supportive employment has been transformative [iii]. 92% of consultants feel supported at work, 87% say their quality of life has improved since joining the organisation, and 91% believe they’re valued for who they are. auticon consultants Chris Lever said: “Before I joined auticon, I had been unemployed for 15 months, and was being treated for depression for the third time. auticon took me in and I’ve been working consistently for 3.5 years now. That is the power of a social enterprise.” Transforming business culture As well as directly supporting autistic people to build successful IT careers, auticon works with other employers to shift perceptions of neurodiversity in the world of work. auticon’s Neuroinclusion Services help organisations to become confident neuroinclusive employers through consultancy, training and support. 85% of clients report a greater understanding of neurodiversity as a result of working with auticon, and the same percentage say their team feels more confident working with autistic people. Furthermore, the skills and insights of auticon consultants are having a real positive impact on clients’ work; 93% reported that consultants made valuable professional contributions to projects, with increased accuracy and efficiency as well as more innovative approaches cited as benefits of their alternative perspectives. Gareth Crabtree, Head of Data Design Enablement at auticon client PwC UK, said: “Throughout my time working with auticon consultants, they have consistently demonstrated a range of technical skills that have allowed them to produce innovative and high quality work. Having autistic people on my team has led me to having a much better understanding of neurodiversity, helping to make me a more well-rounded leader. The support that auticon’s job coaches provide is highly valued, and it is very clear that the needs of their consultants are very much at the centre of everything that they do.” Shifting perceptions auticon works closely with customers, local communities and other partners to raise awareness across society of the benefits that autistic people can offer employers as well as the barriers they face. So far auticon has delivered more than 235 awareness events and trained 66 organisations. Last year, they also launched a podcast series, featuring leading voices on autism from around the world. auticon places neurodivergent people at the heart of its workforce. All consultants are on the autism spectrum and 78% of the workforce are neurodivergent, making it a majority autistic business. Its success shows how a social enterprise can transform the lives of people facing real barriers in the workplace, not only empowering individuals but changing the way they’re viewed by big businesses and wider society. In 2022, auticon’s incredible impact was formally recognised when it was named UK Social Enterprise of the Year at the UK Social Enterprise Awards, and since then the company has gone from strength to strength. This summer, auticon joined forces with a Norwegian social enterprise called Unicus that runs a similar model, making it the largest autistic-majority company in the world.   You can find out more about auticon's impact in their latest impact report [i] ONS statistics on outcomes for disabled people in the UK [ii] See the Autism Employment Gap Report from the National Autistic Society [iii] auticon Impact Report 2022

case study on social entrepreneurship

Breadwinners – rising to the challenge of supporting refugees

Breadwinners is a social enterprise set up to help refugees gain work experience and employment. The company produces organic artisan bread and pastries to sell at market stalls and wholesale to restaurants, cafés and businesses. Breadwinners was founded in 2015 with the goal of helping people struggling with employment to set up their own businesses, with a specific focus of supporting refugees. After some grant funding to get off the ground, a year later the business was ready to launch. Initially, it provided training, financing and equipment to help people start their own bicycle delivery service selling bread to customers – but in 2017 its business model shifted toward market stalls. From that first stall in East London’s Victoria Park, now there are 14 across London and Brighton, with all the profits supporting young people seeking asylum and those with refugee status. Director, Martin Cosarinsky Campos, explained: “We chose the social enterprise model business model because it allows us to directly address the problem of unemployment faced by refugees. By selling a product - in this case, bread and pastries - we are able to provide employment opportunities and give young refugees their first job in the UK. Traditional charity models are also important and helpful, but they are unable to provide the same level of direct support through employment.” Supporting people at all stages of the asylum process Breadwinners runs three separate programmes designed to help people at various stages in the complex asylum process. The core Breadwinners programme supports those who have been granted refugee status but who are struggling to find work, offering them their first job in the UK as market stall managers earning the Living Wage. Programme participants receive practical training, help with their English and support to gain professional qualifications. When Covid-19 lockdowns meant demand for online shopping rose dramatically, the Proofers programme was created, training refugees to become online sales representatives. Breadwinners no longer has online shops, so people who developed their IT skills and customer service experience on the Proofers programme now help to manage the wholesale business. There’s also the Risers programme of early intervention support for young people aged 16 to 24 who are seeking asylum, providing them with work experience and training as market stall assistants. Business success and award-winning impact So far, Breadwinners has supported 315 refugees and young people seeking asylum, delivering 405 employability training sessions and 2,904 hours of mentoring. 92 per cent of programme participants have progressed into further employment, university or volunteering work. 93 per cent report a significant increase in their wellbeing. Breadwinners is leading the way in developing innovative ways to communicate its impact, winning the Prove It Social Impact Award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2022. Martin said: “This award is a great source of motivation for us to continue improving and making a positive impact in the community.” The organisation’s 2022 impact report used a Participatory Action Research methodology, led by graduates from their programmes, ensuring that the voice of participants was central to the impact measurement process. Martin commented: “We are very proud of what young people who have been through our programmes go on to do. We have future doctors studying in university, charity workers supporting young people with housing, IT consultants and many people in hospitality and services which will continue to grow and develop. We are also very proud to have kept doing what we do through all the recent unprecedented challenges, and the fact that we were able to continue finding ways to support young refugees when they needed us the most.” Learn more in this short film from Martin and market stall manager Jamal, who came to the UK as an asylum seeker from Sudan, explaining some of the major challenges refugees face in finding work. You can read Breadwinners latest impact report here.

case study on social entrepreneurship

A spotlight on Black-led social enterprises

Social enterprises are more representative of wider society than traditional businesses with 14% being led by someone from a Black, Asian or other minority ethnic community, compared to just 8% of SMEs.[1] This Black History Month we are spotlighting Black-led social enterprises which are breaking down barriers, creating opportunities and transforming lives. The Blair Project Set up by brothers Nile and Blair Henry when they were just teenagers, The Blair Project is a Manchester based social enterprise on a mission to diversify the STEM workforce and accelerate the transition to net zero through sustainable motorsport. The business aims to provide opportunities to young people so that they can participate in the green tech revolution through building, racing and accelerating innovations in electric go-karts. Combining fun with learning, the Blair Project has helped build confidence and open up new possibilities for the young people it works with. One of the social enterprises’ main programmes is the ProtoEV Challenge which works with young people aged 10-19. The Challenge sees teams work together to convert used petrol go-karts into electric e-karts giving participants knowledge in topics such as physics, IT, design and branding as well as technical skills in areas such as 3D printing, battery technologies and electronic controls. Diversity and inclusion are core to the Project’s work and programmes are specifically set up to target young people who have low awareness of jobs in STEM with a real focus on supporting young Black and Asian youth, women and working-class talent from all backgrounds. So far the business has worked with over 560 young people. 95% of participants who complete the ProtoEV programme have found jobs, apprenticeships or moved into further education. Generation Success Founded after the London Riots in 2011 by social entrepreneur James Adeleke, Generation Success was created with the aim of countering the “lost generation” narrative which characterised much of the media coverage of the events. The company aims to give people from poorer communities access to the same opportunities open to the wealthy or as James phrases it to: “create a world where your career opportunities are not determined by your birth”. The social enterprise is dedicated to social mobility, running a series of programmes specifically focused on young people from minority and low-income backgrounds. These include mentoring, networking events, training and job opportunities designed to allow businesses to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. Generation Success now has partnerships with 70 employers including big businesses like PwC, SAP and BT and even the BBC. Through working in partnership with businesses, Generation Success has been able to work with organisations to help transform their recruitment practices and open up access to a pool of talent that is overlooked. James’ work has received several accolades, including earning a place on the NatWest SE100 Index, and winning the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award in the National Diversity Awards 2022. Generation Success’s work has been transformative. The social enterprise now has a network of over 10,000 young people, 70% of whom are from disadvantaged and/or ethnic minority backgrounds. It recently launched a programme in partnership with other organisations to increase diversity in the sustainability sector which currently is only made up of an estimated 3.1% of professionals from a ethnic minority background. Rising Star Property Solutions La’Toyah Lewis came up with the idea of setting up a business to give people a second chance when her personal circumstances led to it being difficult for her to find work. Her own lived experience meant she was keenly aware of how poverty and lack of opportunity are  barriers to employment, and it was this that inspired her to set up Rising Star Property Solutions. Rising Stars is a social enterprise property service company dedicated to supporting disadvantaged groups including ex-offenders, people with mental health issues, single parents and those experiencing long-term unemployment. It has now grown to become the third largest property service company in the Midlands, managing a portfolio of over 60,000 properties. Unlike other property service businesses, Rising Stars is “social value and people-led” with a mission to provide work experience, training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged groups. The business primarily works with the social housing sector offering four main services – cleaning, clearance, gardening and construction. All of its money is earned through trading and profit is put back into training, employing and supporting more people. [1]

case study on social entrepreneurship

Homebaked Bakery – The power of communities to ‘level up’ for themselves

The area around Anfield has a proud sense of community and at its heart was Mitchells Bakery, selling pies to locals and to football fans on match-days. However a lack of investment in Liverpool coupled with what has been described as the controlled decline of the city resulted in people moving out of the area, rising unemployment and boarded up housing. Mitchell’s Bakery was forced to close. In 2002 the area was identified as a ‘market-failure’ with properties designated to be demolished and rebuilt under the Housing Market Renewal Initiative. When this scheme was pulled in 2010, the area was effectively abandoned. Taking regeneration into their own hands What followed was an ambitious attempt by members of the local community to save the bakery and take ownership of the local area to steer development to benefit residents. It all started with an arts project, 2 up 2 down, which worked with local people to rent out the bakery space and use it as a site for public discussion on planning the future of the area. It was decided by residents that the bakery should be re-opened as a community led business and in June 2012 Homebaked Bakery Co-operative was formed. The following year a community land trust (CLT) was formed to take on responsibility for the development of the bakery building and future community assets. A bakery at the heart of the community In October 2013, Homebaked Bakery was opened as a social enterprise dedicated to feed, employ and train the local community with an absolute commitment to improve the local area. The bakery’s strapline is ‘more than a pie’ with the shop employing local people, running training courses and using the space as a community hub. What started as a small business has now grown into a thriving social enterprise turning over £500,000, employing 16 people and supporting many more through its training programmes. Pre-COVID-19, 90% of the business’s income came directly through trading. Football income from matchdays is used to subsidies affordable prices and the business’s pies have attracted national fame and recognition Despite taking a hit during the pandemic the bakery continued to be a constant source of support for the Anfield community– providing freshly baked loaves and rolls to local foodbanks and organising the delivery of free school meals. The bakery is emerging out of the pandemic with ambitious plans for the future, looking to increase pie production beyond 3,000 a week, build up stronger links with both Liverpool FC and Everton and to continue to find more ways to feed, employ and support the local community.

case study on social entrepreneurship

Butterfly Books – children’s books tackling gender stereotypes

Whilst at school Kerrine Bryan excelled at maths and science, enjoying the problem-solving aspect of these subjects. However, when it came to choosing a career, she felt that the subjects she loved did not give her many options beyond the expected accountancy qualifications. When she was 17 her maths teacher recommended she attend an engineering course which led to her having a successful career in the traditionally male dominated industry of engineering. Her experiences as an engineer and her initial lack of understanding as to what career opportunities were available to her, led Kerrine to set up a social enterprise dedicated to challenging the gender stereotypes which hold back the dreams and aspirations of so many children. Changing perceptions from a young age Butterfly Books is a business which creates playful and thought-provoking stories that aim to transform the lives and minds of children and families. Set up by Kerrine with the help of her brother Jason, the educational books challenge stereotypes and perceptions encouraging an open-minded world for future generations. “Remembering the misconceptions and lack of knowledge about engineering as a profession when I was at school, I decided to volunteer doing talks about my job across the country to children. It was then that I got the idea to develop a range of children’s books that could tackle some of these inherent misconceptions. I saw it as a good way of communicating to children a positive message about all kinds of professions, especially STEM careers that are suffering skill gaps and diversity issues.“ – Kerrine Bryan Butterfly Books is built on the premise that representation matters. Key to the social enterprise’s philosophy is the importance of challenging gender stereotypes at a young age, changing perceptions around what jobs are for girls and which jobs are for boys. Through changing this one small aspect of a child’s education they look to inspire the next generation to look beyond gender stereotypes. Their first published book was based on Kerrine’s own experiences and was called ‘My Mummy is an Engineer’. Subsequent publications have included ‘My Mummy is a Firefighter’, ‘My Mummy is a Footballer’ ‘My Mummy is a Plumber’ and ‘My Daddy is a Nurse’ which was the first of their books to focus on young boys, challenging entrenched attitudes on masculinity. Taking the message to schools and businesses Kerrine takes her stories into schools and so far around 7,000 copies of the books have been sold with the stories reaching approximately 15,000 children, addressing negative misconceptions and biases through colourful illustrations and rhyme. Butterfly Books collaborates with major organisations, working with them to ensure that content is relevant and grounded in the lived experience of the people whose jobs are being written about. These have included the British Army, Nursing Now England, London Fire Brigade and Lewes Football Club (which was the first football club to pay men and women players equal salaries). Organisations are also using the books in their own outreach, with ‘My Mummy is a Firefighter being used by fire stations across the country. Butterfly Book’s desire to break down stereotypes and promote a world of diversity and representation is an example of the ambitions of many social enterprises to build an economy based on principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and justice. @butterflybooks You can buy Butterfly Books through their website and also on the eBay for Change Platform

case study on social entrepreneurship

Real Ideas Organisation – Growing the social economy in the Southwest

At the heart of the Plymouth social economy is Real Ideas Organisation – a social enterprise based in the city which works across the Southwest and beyond. Its mission is to solve problems and create opportunity for individuals, organisations and communities. It does this through a variety of programmes centred on helping young people into careers and employment, supporting the growth and development of social enterprises and acting as a hub for community, business, and cultural activity. Turning a cherished local asset into the heart of Plymouth’s social enterprise sector Real Ideas is based in the Guildhall in Devonport, a part of the city that, following decades of deindustrialisation, became one of the poorest parts of the country.  Devonport Guildhall, a magnificent Regency era building, became symbolic of this decline gradually falling into disrepair. Real Ideas took ownership of the building in 2007 in a community asset transfer from Plymouth City Council, securing £1.8 million to refurbish the hall from the Community Assets Fund. This was no ordinary building restoration - the social enterprise took ownership of the Grade I listed Guildhall to turn it into a space that gives back to the local community. Devonport Guildhall reopened in 2010 as a space for social innovation – a place which brings people and businesses together to help build a sustainable and inclusive economy in the city. It has incubated a number of local community sector organisations, is home to a few established ones too, and has helped new food businesses to set up and grow during the pandemic by sharing access to the commercial kitchens and bakery facilities there. Most recently, Real Ideas renovated the Grade II listed Market Hall in Devonport, a £7.6million project which opened in the summer of 2021 as a new space for immersive technologies, complete with contemporary co-work and a 360-dome environment.  As well as Devonport Guildhall, Real Ideas also runs Ocean Studios – a space for arts, culture and making, with resident artists, shared making spaces and creative co-work. Real Ideas is also the Arts Council’s Bridge Organisation for the Southwest of England and works with schools, youth and cultural organisations to connect young people with art and culture. Growing the local social economy A core part of Real Ideas’ work is growing the local social economy through the development of community business. Its Empowering Places Programme, funded by Power to Change, has supported over 15 community businesses to start-up and thrive through a mixture of hands-on business support, training, tailored expert support and seed funding.  The programme has developed a focus on renewing high streets as well as in protecting parks and green spaces. Real Ideas has also supported thousands of young people take the next steps towards their future career, delivering employability projects in Cornwall funded by ESF, ERDF, National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Work and Pensions. Environmental sustainability is woven into the business’ operations, underpinned Real Ideas’ One Planet Living’ approach. It runs a range of programmes with this focus. For example, the Enrich programme, part of the Plymouth Green Estates Management Solutions Project (GEMS), specifically looks at how social enterprises and community businesses can be used to find positive solutions to sustaining the city’s parks.

case study on social entrepreneurship

NAViGO – Transforming mental health care

NAViGO are an award-winning social enterprise that provides mental health services across North East Lincolnshire in the south of the Yorkshire and Humber region, covering acute and community facilities as well as specialist services such as an older adult’s inpatients services, rehabilitation and recovery services, perinatal mental health support and a specialist eating disorder facility. A social enterprise driving innovation NAViGO runs a huge range of services, coming up with creative new ways of delivering care resulting in more responsive, available and effective services. Here are just a few of the innovations the social enterprise has created: Open access mental health crisis service NAViGO runs a 24/7 open access walk in mental health crisis service where people in a mental health crisis are brought by the ambulance or police services meaning specialist care is given and that lengthy waits at stretched A&E services are avoided. Joint response vehicle NAViGO are trialling a new mental health response vehicle to reduce pressure on emergency services. The Joint Response Vehicle is crewed by trained clinicians and support workers and is deployed when there is an urgent mental health related call-out. In the first month since launch the vehicle attended 16 incidents. Nine of these call outs would have normally resulted in the person being detained but only one of the calls resulted in this outcome. Through providing a mental health focused rapid response service, the social enterprise is delivering better support for vulnerable people and saving the time and resources. Safespace An out-of-hours, open door crisis café where people can get instant and practical mental health support without the need for calling ahead, Safespace provides a judgement-free space for people to speak to fully-trained mental health professionals either in person or via Zoom. Doing things differently Being an independent social enterprise working for the NHS family has allowed NAViGO to do things differently. This includes creating commercially viable businesses which help fund services and which provide training, education and employment opportunities for people that NAViGO supports. One of these is Grimsby Garden Centre, which now employs over 30 people from the local area, some of whom have mental health difficulties or are in rehab or recovery. It has also supported over 100 service users gain valuable training, increasing confidence and supporting them back into the world of work. The garden centre is a big part of the local community, promoting the health benefits of gardening with all profits made being reinvested back into NAViGO’s services. NAViGO’s cleaning, catering, horticulture and maintenance services are all run by Tukes – the social enterprise’s own employment service. Tukes offers training, education services and employment to people throughout their recovery and rehabilitation journey. Bringing these services ‘in-house’ means that money that would otherwise have been spent on external contractors is spent on service users. Since setting up 18 years ago, over 280 people have been supporting into work through Tukes and over 2,000 qualifications gained by service users.

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Module 6: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Case study: social entrepreneurship at tom’s shoes.

Photo of a young child wearing a pair of TOMS shoes.

While there is no universally accepted definition of social entrepreneur , the term is typically applied to an individual who uses market-based ideas and practices to create “social value,” the enhanced well-being of individuals, communities, and the environment. Unlike ordinary business entrepreneurs who base their decisions solely on financial returns, social entrepreneurs incorporate the objective of creating social value into their founding business models. Social entrepreneurship has become exceedingly popular in recent years and a number of prestigious business schools have created specific academic programs in the field. It is often said that social entrepreneurs are changing the world. They are lauded for their ability to effect far-reaching social change through innovative solutions that disrupt existing patterns of production, distribution, and consumption. Prominent social entrepreneurs are celebrated on magazine covers, praised at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and awarded millions of dollars in seed money from “angel” investors, and applauded as “harbingers of new ways of doing business.” Social entrepreneurs are thus often hailed as heroes—but are they actually effecting positive social change?

Undeniably, social entrepreneurship can arouse a striking level of enthusiasm among consumers. Blake Mycoskie, social entrepreneur and founder of TOMS Shoes, tells the story of a young woman who accosted him in an airport, pointing at her pair of TOMS while yelling, “This is the most amazing company in the world!” Founded in 2006, TOMS Shoes immediately attracted a devoted following with its innovative use of the so-called One for One business model, in which each purchase of a pair of shoes by a consumer triggers the gift of a free pair of shoes to an impoverished child in a developing country. The following video shows the company’s delivery of its millionth free pair of shoes:

The enthusiasm associated with social entrepreneurship is perhaps emblematic of increased global social awareness, which is evidenced by increased charitable giving worldwide. A 2012 study showed that 83 percent of Americans wish brands would support causes; 41 percent have bought a product because it was associated with a cause (a figure that has doubled since 1993); 94 percent said that, given the same price and quality, they were likely to switch brands to one that represented a cause; and more than 90 percent think companies should consider giving in the communities in which they do business.

Despite the eager reception from consumers, critics of social entrepreneurship have raised concerns about the creation of social value in a for-profit context. Thus, TOMS is sometimes mistaken for a charity because it donates shoes to children in developing countries, yet it is also in business to sell shoes. The company earns an estimated $300 million a year and has made Mr. Mycoskie a wealthy man. While companies are starting to look more like charities, nonprofits are also increasingly relying on business principles to survive an uncertain economy in which donors expect to see tangible results from their charitable contributions.

Our understanding of social entrepreneurship is complicated by the absence of any consensus on ways to measure social outcomes. As a result, there is little concrete statistical data available on the impact of social entrepreneurship. Indeed, there is not much agreement on a precise definition of social entrepreneurship, so it becomes difficult to say to what extent any given company is an example of social entrepreneurship. TOMS’ Chief Giving Officer, Sebastian Fries, recently told the New York Times that the company is “not in the business of poverty alleviation.” Does this mean that increased social value is merely a happy by-product of the business of selling shoes? If so, what makes Blake Mycoskie a social entrepreneur?

Some critics go so far as to suggest that social entrepreneurs are merely using public relations tactics to engage in social or environmental greenwashing—taking advantage of consumers’ desire to do good. In some cases, it has been argued, social entrepreneurs can even do more harm than good. Lacking a full understanding of the socioeconomic and cultural dynamic of the developing countries in which they intervene, social enterprises can undermine fragile local markets and foster dependence on foreign assista nce. But in the end, the individual impact of social entrepreneurial ventures may outweigh some of these concerns. 

In the following video, employees of Tom’s Shoes share some of the thank-you letters the company has received.  

  • Revision and adaptation. Authored by : Linda Williams and Lumen Learning. License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
  • Good Corporation, Bad Corporation: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Economy. Authored by : Guillermo C. Jimenez and Elizabeth Pulos. Provided by : Open SUNY Textbooks. Located at : . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
  • Toms. Authored by : Danielle Henry. Located at : . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • TOMS Millionth Pair Shoe Distribution. Provided by : TOMS. Located at : . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License
  • Thank You Notes From The Field. Provided by : TOMS. Located at : . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License

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Society Profits

(1.6) Social Entrepreneurs within Case Studies

This section will provide practical examples of successful social enterprises and social entrepreneurs, mostlyderiving from on-line videos, through which the latter are seeking to combat a variety of social issues interlinked with global poverty, climate change and environmental problems, energy and power, medicine and health services, education and entrepreneurship, etc.

Each of the narrative videos presents a successful example of social entrepreneur, regarding the procedure he has come up with a social business idea, an introduction of his concept, the social enterprise’s structure, appropriate strategies and useful technique paths while facing competition, as well as new initiatives and potential financial resources. The idea is that those social entrepreneurs who are being presented in the specially-selected videos,will provide a live presentation of the paths they have been following in order to come up with an analytical business plan, thus sharing both their knowledge and competencies with other young people.

Examples of Social Enterprises from Greece

BIOME factory, a Cooperative and Solidarity economy example active in Thessaloniki, Greece. A factory that was abandoned due to the crisis and the workers along with the society decided to take over through a participatory approach. BIOME today produces natural cleaning products which are environmentally friendly and affordable for all.

Green Ways and BiosCoop

Green Ways and BiosCoop are two examples of social economy initiatives in Thessaloniki.

A. Greenways SCE aim is to create sustainable green jobs through:

  • Promoting and communicating sustainable mobility, physical activity and accessibility
  • Planning and certifying cycle routes and greenways,
  • Organizing events, campaigns, projects,
  • Lifelong learning, training,
  • Auditing bike-friendly services and sustainable mobility and cycling policies,
  • Cycling tour operator,
  • Bike rental and repair services,
  • Deliveries by bike.

B. “Bios Coop” is a very cozy place that stocks Greek and cooperative products, most of which come from our region and are produced in ways that do not harm humans or the environment. The goal of Bios Coop is not to make profits for its members but to cover the basic nutritional needs of its clients and members during these challenging times we are facing. Prices are the same for members and non-members, and any surplus at the end of each fiscal year will be returned to members and the local community, as defined in the Articles of Cooperative and shaped by decisions of the General Assembly. Most of the surplus will remain in the accounts of members in order to be reinvested back into the cooperative.

Sofia Papachristou and Kostas Papanastasatos

Sofia Papachristou and Kostas Papanastasatos have travelled in 30 days to 40 different European locations; Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Belgium and Greece. The main aim of their action was to conduct interviews and present social entrepreneurship examples through different forms of cooperative business. The documentary is a tool for informing and promoting social / cooperative enterprises through banking sector, healthcare industry, renewable energies, rural tourism, reuse, etc. The documentary highlights potential for sustainable growth and employment and focus on a different economic model, a model that can contribute to a way out of the crisis we are experiencing today.

Examples of Social Enterprises from Cyprus

Future worlds centre.

Future Worlds Center (FWC) is an innovative non-profit initiative of social entrepreneurs using a model of horizontal entrepreneurial management. Our work harnesses the power of emerging new technologies and the science of structured democratic dialogue in order to accelerate positive social change.

Anakyklos Environmental is a Social and Solidarity Enterprise that has been the first business to bring garment recycling (including sorting, re-selling and re-purposing) in Cyprus. Their initial social premise was to minimize environmental effects by throwing out garments and create awareness for recycling by making it easy for people to do and educating the younger population through school interventions. Additional to this they have been providing free clothes from their stores to poor people in Cyprus in accordance to their solidarity mandate ( )


The Home for Cooperation is a unique community centre located in the heart of Nicosia. It is the embodiment of intercommunal cooperation, contributing to the collective efforts of civil society in their engagement with peacebuilding and intercultural dialogue. Using its sources it encourages people to cooperate with each other beyond constraints and dividing lines.

The Home for Cooperation essentially aims to act as a bridge-builder between separated communities, memories and visions. It provides working spaces and opportunities for Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals to design and implement innovative projects. Today the Home has become a landmark building within the Ledra Palace crossing, UN buffer zone. It facilitates situations for people to get together and to get to know each other. The home hosts an extensive variety of cultural, artistic and educational programs with the aim to foster creativity and intercultural trust in Cyprus and internationally.

In 2014 the Home for Cooperation was granted with the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award in the Conservation category. The Home for Cooperation project has been supported by the European Economic Area Grants and Norway Grants.

Examples of Social Enterprises across the world

Adaption- foster care.

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. How can we solve the world’s problems? We can start with social enterprises…and maybe earn some money, too. Marquis Cabrera shares what the most successful social enterprises have in common.

Marquis Cabrera is the founder and chairman of Foster Skills, an award winning social enterprise dedicated to empowering foster children to become successful, productive citizens. The success of Foster Skills and the numerous awards Cabrera has since won–including the Boston Globe’s Massachusetts Innovator of the Year, and Microsoft’s YouthSpark Change-Maker award–has led Cabrera to become a highly sought consultant for those wishing to found successful social enterprises.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


Dr. Lluis Pareras — Director Healthequity, Barcelona Healthequity is a venture capital fund investing in healthcare. Neurosurgeon, PhD, and Global Executive MBA (IESE), Lluis analyzes more than 400 business plans per year. Board member of several healthcare startups, he is also author of more than 10 books dealing with innovation, technology, venture capital and healthcare.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Muhammad Yunus

Prof. Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, an institution that provides microcredit to help its clients establish creditworthiness and financial self-sufficiency. In 2006 Yunus and Grameen received the Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus himself has received several other national and international honors.

He is a member of advisory board at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. Previously, he was a professor of economics at Chittagong University where he developed the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. He is the author of Banker to the Poor and two books on Social Business Models, and a founding board member of Grameen America and Grameen Foundation.

The Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundation has recently completed a short film about the field of social entrepreneurship. It is a great overview of the progress made over the last three decades. It starts with Mohammad Yunus and includes interviews with a number of social entrepreneurs and others in the field, including Sally Osberg of the Skoll Foundation, Bill Drayton of Ashoka, Jacqueline Novogratz of the Acumen Fund, John Elkington of Volans, and author David Bornstein.

Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by Jeff Skoll. The aim was to pursue his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. Led by CEO Sally Osberg since 2001, the mission of this foundation is to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are society’s change agents, creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better. By identifying the people and programs already bringing positive change around the world, we empower them to extend their reach, deepen their impact, and fundamentally improve society.


The animated video above speaks about a new dry land tree planting strategy to reduce poverty in East Africa through crowd funding. The strategy was set-up by a company which is named Better Globe Trees ( ). It is possible to support Better Globe’s green and sustainable development through social entrepreneurship and a form of social impact investing. Better Globe customers buy trees and Donation Packages designed to maximise environmental and social impact in East Africa while giving a long-term profit in return.

It is showed also some of the strategies Better Globe are employing in order to help poor farmers and their families out of poverty. The instant message is to learn how the one can help to make a difference and to learn why tree planting is crucial to secure sustainable economic growth and food production in many African countries.

By adhering to this concept, it is possible to provide jobs, education, water, microfinance, and reduce desertification while getting a return. This is the vision of Better Globe as regard to sustainable development through social entrepreneurship and impact investing. It is also possible to make a contribution by giving trees as gifts. Each tree comes with a promised return of €208.25 to the tree owner.


Puifung Leung is on a mission to make trade more equitable. She is a social entrepreneur who pays farmers a fair price for their crops, which she uses to make drinks and snacks. “The most important thing is to take risk. Where there are risks, there are opportunities”. Puifung Leung is the founder of an organisation named Fair Taste ( ).

Important messages within the video:

  • You have to be brave in order to start a business;
  • You need to be determined because you’ll face many challenges, but that is normal;
  • You definitely have to take risks.

Some inside information about Fair Taste, with a reference to their core value:

Our world behaves as a collective of dynamic, interconnected systems. Manipulation in one will undoubtedly cause effects to the other. The over-exploitation of resources has made sustainability the watchword of our generation.

We, at Fair Taste, believe that sustainable development can be achieved by restoring social equity and the environment to equilibrium, and that priority should be given to the essential needs of the world’s poor to create a better and fairer world. In return, producers have the capacity to take care of their farmlands and live with nature. Consumers can vote with their consumption power for a sustainable future so that adequate resources remain for our future generations.

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The Covid-19 Pandemic is Forcing Companies to Build AI Skills Quickly

  • Marco Iansiti
  • Karim R. Lakhani
  • January 19, 2021

case study on social entrepreneurship

Should Your Business Be Nonprofit or For-Profit?

  • February 01, 2013

The $300 House: Businesses Take Up the Challenge

  • Vijay Govindarajan
  • July 18, 2011

case study on social entrepreneurship

How Low and Middle-Income Countries Are Innovating to Combat Covid

  • Ben Ramalingam
  • Benjamin Kumpf
  • Rahul Malhotra
  • Merrick Schaefer
  • June 09, 2021

The Downside of Focusing on Women and Girls

  • Timothy Ogden
  • March 09, 2011

case study on social entrepreneurship

Two Keys to Sustainable Social Enterprise

  • Roger Martin
  • Sally Osberg
  • From the May 2015 Issue

case study on social entrepreneurship

Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya on the Journey from Abandoned Factory to Yogurt Powerhouse

  • April 25, 2022

An Innovative Approach to Funding CSR Projects

  • Theo Vermaelen
  • From the June 2011 Issue

The Microwork Solution

  • Francesca Gino
  • Bradley R. Staats
  • From the December 2012 Issue

The Reluctant Social Entrepreneur

  • Steven Prokesch

A New Approach to Funding Social Enterprises

  • Antony Bugg-Levine
  • Bruce Kogut
  • Nalin Kulatilaka
  • From the January–February 2012 Issue

case study on social entrepreneurship

Why Social Ventures Need Systems Thinking

  • Vanessa Kirsch
  • Jeff Walker
  • Jim Bildner
  • July 25, 2016

case study on social entrepreneurship

It’s Time to Invest in Climate Adaptation

  • Ravi Chidambaram
  • Parag Khanna
  • August 01, 2022

case study on social entrepreneurship

Design an Organization that Makes a Difference

  • Christian Busch
  • January 12, 2013

Transformational Entrepreneurship: Where Technology Meets Societal Impact

  • April 23, 2012

Deviating from the Business Plan, Spanish Version

  • Steven S. Rogers
  • June 22, 2015

Women Entrepreneurs for Peace in Afghanistan

  • Susan McPherson
  • March 19, 2012

case study on social entrepreneurship

How Cities Are Using Analytics to Improve Public Health

  • Bechara Choucair
  • Raed Mansour
  • From the November 2012 Issue

case study on social entrepreneurship

Accountants Will Save the World

  • Peter Bakker
  • March 05, 2013

case study on social entrepreneurship

Act Bigger than You Are

  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter
  • July 17, 2012

case study on social entrepreneurship

Father Joe's Villages: How a One-Stop-Shop Tackles Homelessness in San Diego

  • Sara L. Beckman
  • October 01, 2022

Dialogue in the Dark: Social Enterprise in China

  • William Hua Wang
  • Jennifer Dugosh
  • Kylie Oberdorf
  • August 05, 2014

Mountain Hazelnuts: Social Entrepreneurship in Bhutan

  • David W. Hoyt
  • May 23, 2011

Negotiation Exercise on Tradeable Pollution Allowances: Group B, Utility #2

  • Willis M. Emmons
  • December 21, 1992

Critical Concrete: Pivot possibilities for a sustainable architecture social enterprise

  • Stephanie E Raible
  • June 30, 2022 in South Korea: An Innovative E-Commerce Platform

  • Jin-Su Kang
  • Stephen Downing
  • February 19, 2015
  • Michael Chu
  • Krishna G. Palepu
  • Dilyana Karadzhova Botha
  • September 08, 2020

case study on social entrepreneurship

Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy

  • Stephen S. Cohen
  • J. Bradford Delong
  • March 01, 2016

Familia Torres: From Sustainability to Regenerative Agriculture

  • Alfred Vernis
  • Marcel Planellas
  • Veronica Devenin
  • October 31, 2022

Prayas by Sanofi-Aventis in India: Making Healthcare Accessible to the Bottom of the Pyramid

  • Harit Palan
  • Anand Kumar Jaiswal
  • Jagdip Singh
  • Garima Sharma
  • November 14, 2011

Challenging an Industry: The Rise and Fall of Teo Taxi, French Version

  • Linda Bensalah
  • Luciano Barin-Cruz
  • Marie-Renee Lambert
  • May 31, 2019

Chaudhary Group: Rebuilding Nepal

  • Christopher J. Malloy
  • Lauren H. Cohen
  • Inakshi Sobti
  • March 25, 2018

REI Rentals

  • Damian Beil
  • Wallace Hopp
  • January 01, 2013

Acumen Fund: Measurement in Impact Investing (A), Portuguese Version

  • Alnoor Ebrahim
  • V. Kasturi Rangan
  • September 16, 2009

Warby Parker: Vision of a "Good" Fashion Brand, Spanish Version

  • Christopher Marquis
  • Laura Velez Villa
  • July 25, 2012

PlayPumps: A Playful Solution to Africa's Water Problem? (B)

  • Julie Perreault-Henry
  • September 07, 2018

Han Solar and the Green Supply Chain

  • Omar Romero-Hernandez
  • Tony Kingsbury
  • Sergio Romero
  • Celeste Lindsay
  • August 01, 2012

Social Capital Ventures: Water For Life In The Cambodian Countryside

  • Anne-Valerie Ohlsson
  • Philip Zerrillo
  • January 08, 2014

Andy Chew at Siemens Nixdorf: Change from the Middle

  • John F. McGuire
  • March 04, 1996

Meridian Credit Union: Taking on the Big Banks

  • Michael Valente
  • July 06, 2018

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