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Social enterprises as supply-chain enablers for the poor

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  • Sodhi, ManMohan S.
  • Tang, Christopher S.

Abstract

Many social enterprises use the poor as producers to improve their living standards. We seek to answer how they do so, from a supply chain perspective. Drawing on various successful social enterprises in Afghanistan, Africa, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Philippines and Sri Lanka, we look at the material, information and cash flows of the micro-entrepreneurs for these social enterprises. We show how a social enterprise helps its associated micro-entrepreneurs by improving the latter's supply chain operations via: (1) easier access to financial credits; (2) easier access to market information; (3) easier market access; and (4) better access to supplies and raw materials and higher productivity through better health and equipment. We then speculate on how to make social enterprises economically sustainable and propose that social enterprises would be better off enabling micro-enterprises rather than running production operations themselves.

Suggested Citation

  • Sodhi, ManMohan S. & Tang, Christopher S., 2011. "Social enterprises as supply-chain enablers for the poor," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 146-153, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:45:y:2011:i:4:p:146-153
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. London, Ted & Anupindi, Ravi & Sheth, Sateen, 2010. "Creating mutual value: Lessons learned from ventures serving base of the pyramid producers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 582-594, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karthik Balasubramanian & David F. Drake, 2015. "Service Quality, Inventory and Competition: An Empirical Analysis of Mobile Money Agents in Africa," Harvard Business School Working Papers 15-059, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2015.
    2. Reiner, Gerald & Gold, Stefan & Hahn, Rüdiger, 2015. "Wealth and health at the Base of the Pyramid: Modelling trade-offs and complementarities for fast moving dairy product case," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(PB), pages 413-421.
    3. Niu, Baozhuang & Jin, Delong & Pu, Xujin, 2016. "Coordination of channel members’ efforts and utilities in contract farming operations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 255(3), pages 869-883.
    4. Gold, Stefan & Hahn, Rüdiger & Seuring, Stefan, 2013. "Sustainable supply chain management in “Base of the Pyramid” food projects—A path to triple bottom line approaches for multinationals?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 784-799.

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