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Social entrepreneurial business models: An exploratory study


  • Mair, Johanna

    () (IESE Business School)

  • Schoen, Oliver

    (IESE Business School)


Although social entrepreneurial organizations have begun to receive more scholarly attention, we still know relatively little about how they are able to create both social and economic value. This paper presents a comparative case analysis of three social entrepreneurial organizations, based in Bangladesh, Egypt and Spain, whose success has been widely recognized. Analysis of these organizations' business models reveals common patterns: in their use of strategic resources, in their value networks, and in their customer interface. The findings suggest that successful social entrepreneurial organizations pro-actively create their own value network of companies that share their social vision; develop resource strategies as an integral part of the business model; and integrate the target group into the social value network. Propositions are advanced regarding the business models of successful social entrepreneurial organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Mair, Johanna & Schoen, Oliver, 2005. "Social entrepreneurial business models: An exploratory study," IESE Research Papers D/610, IESE Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0610

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuckertz, Andreas & Wagner, Marcus, 2010. "The influence of sustainability orientation on entrepreneurial intentions -- Investigating the role of business experience," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 524-539, September.
    2. Paul Benneworth & Willem-Jan Velderman & Martin Stienstra, 2016. "Social Entrepreneurship and Shrinking Regions paper thoughts," CHEPS Working Papers 201604, University of Twente, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS).
    3. Beckmann, Markus, 2009. "The social case as a business case: Making sense of social entrepreneurship from an ordonomic perspective," Discussion Papers 2009-15, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Chair of Economic Ethics.
    4. Mary Han & Bill McKelvey, 2016. "How to Grow Successful Social Entrepreneurship Firms? Key Ideas from Complexity Theory," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 24(03), pages 243-280, September.
    5. Chantal Hervieux & Eric Gedajlovic & Marie-France B. Turcotte, 2010. "The legitimization of social entrepreneurship," Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(1), pages 37-67, March.
    6. repec:eur:ejserj:313 is not listed on IDEAS

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    social entrepreneurship; business model; developing countries;

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