A hybrid approach to innovation by social enterprises: lessons from Africa

A hybrid approach to innovation by social enterprises: lessons from Africa
Document type
Article
Author(s)
Gupta, Sudheer; Beninger, Stefanie; Ganesh, Jai
Publisher
Emerald
Date of publication
1 January 2015
Series
Social enterprise journal. Vol 11; Number 1
Subject(s)
Small business & enterprise: the practicalities of running a small business and the theory of entrepreneurship, Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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This paper aims to provide a detailed analysis of the key capabilities needed for social enterprises to succeed in the context of extreme poverty. Facilitating growth and alleviating poverty in the world’s most impoverished regions requires introducing innovative solutions to achieve social impact while generating financial returns. Design/methodology/approach: this paper studies two social enterprises operating in Africa. Semi-structured interviewers were conducted with co-founders of the organizations. The transcribed interviews were analyzed through an open coding process, iterated to overarching categories, and compared between the organizations using a grounded theory approach. Secondary archival data and respondent validation were used to triangulate these findings. Findings: this paper proposes a model that highlights five key capabilities social enterprises need to tackle complex societal challenges while overcoming resource constraints and institutional voids. The processes followed to develop and deploy these capabilities are delineated, and the necessity of hybrid mechanisms that blend non-profit and private-sector approaches is shown as a key enabler for social enterprises to meet their dual objectives.

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