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The diverse world of social enterprise: a collection of social enterprise stories

Thompson, John L. and Doherty, B. (2006) The diverse world of social enterprise: a collection of social enterprise stories. International journal of social economics, 33 (5/6). pp. 361-375. ISSN 0306-8293

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the diverse world of social enterprise.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper profiles 11 different social enterprises from around the world. These range from a profit-achieving business in a very competitive industry, but one with strong social principles, through a profitable workers' co-operative to ones needing to find financial sustainability if they are to continue their social aspirations. The paper discusses a number of key issues in defining an organisation as a social enterprise and highlights the central issue of measuring success and impact.

Findings – In some of the enterprises the important contribution of a pivotal social entrepreneur is apparent. The need to create and add value for customers and clients is always apparent, as is the need to find effective routes to market. It can be concluded that whilst certain beliefs and principles are routinely evident, social enterprises most certainly cannot be described as “one-size-fits-all”.

Originality/value – The paper presents a collection of social enterprise stories.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Uncontrolled Keywords: Entrepreneurialism; Business enterprise; Social problems; Corporate social responsibility
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Schools: Huddersfield Business School
References: Acknowledgements: Geoff Jackson for the Trinity Partnership story, Maggie O’Carroll for the Train 2000 story, Neil Rotheroe for the MDI story and Richard Williams for the Genesis story.
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:37


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