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Sustainable development: How social entrepreneurs make it happen

  • Seelos, Christian

    ()

    (IESE Business School)

  • Mair, Johanna

    (IESE Business School)

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    This paper demonstrates that entrepreneurs who have created innovative organizations and service provision models are contributing to sustainable development. The processes, structures and outcomes of their initiatives are contrasted with more traditional efforts. World leaders have recently renewed the momentum for 'buying' sustainable development through massive allocation of development funds. The authors argue that such traditional approaches have repeatedly failed in the past and are unlikely to overcome the more fundamental hurdles to create development. Building on the findings of a three-year research project, the paper presents case studies which demonstrate how so-called 'social entrepreneurs' succeed in creating social and economic development in a poor country context. The process of discovery and creation from the ground up, in contrast to traditional design-driven development processes and strategies, is illustrated. The cases show how social entrepreneurs cater to various levels of needs: the basic needs of individuals, the institutional needs of communities, and the needs of future generations. The impact of social entrepreneurial activity on sustainable development measures such as the Millennium Development Goals is demonstrated. The findings suggest that social innovation may change the very structures and systems that recreate the circumstances for poverty and that development processes need to consider the link between social and economic development.

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    File URL: http://www.iese.edu/research/pdfs/DI-0611-E.pdf
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    Paper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/611.

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    Length: 16 pages
    Date of creation: 19 Oct 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0611
    Contact details of provider: Postal: IESE Business School, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN
    Web page: http://www.iese.edu/

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    1. Seelos, Christian & Mair, Johanna, 2005. "Social entrepreneurship: Creating new business models to serve the poor," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 241-246.
    2. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    3. Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Divergence, big time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1522, The World Bank.
    4. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2004. "Does the IMF Perform a Catalytic Role?," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 5(1), pages 117-132, January.
    5. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
    6. Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2004. "The Quest for Development," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 5(2), pages 1-31, April.
    7. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990, August.
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