Determining the Criteria for Success in Social Ventures: A Case Study of Social Entrepreneurship
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This thesis attempts to provide a comprehensive list of factors that explain success in social entrepreneurship. In doing so, it defines success for social ventures to consist of three parts: 1) creating social impact, 2) ensuring implementation and survival, and 3) having the capacity to grow, expand, and develop. Based on previous literature of the field, a list of possible criteria of success is compiled, with groups of criteria associated with each of the three parts of the definition. The proposed factors associated with the first part are: 1) Presence of a Demonstrated Need and Identifiable Group of Beneficiaries, 2) Measured and Defined Impact, 3) Large Number of Beneficiaries. The factors related to the second part are: 1) Acceptance by the Community and Involvement of the Beneficiaries, 2) Social Capital, 3) Appropriate Level of Embeddedness, 4) Sound Financials and Reliable Source of Funding, 5) Dedication of the Leadership Team, 6) Relevant Work Experience, 7) Organized Structure with Well-Defined Responsibilities. The factors associated with the third part are: 1) Emphasis on Learning and Improvement, 2) Long-term cooperation with other organizations, 3) Drive to Expand and Grow. The goal of the study is to determine how effective these factors are at explaining success in grassroots development organizations. To do so, it utilizes a comparative case study of two social entrepreneurship models, microconsignment and microcredit, to systematically test each of the proposed criteria against differing models of the field. The results of the case study indicate that the literature, as it currently stands, does not comprehensively explain sustainability. Four of the proposed factors were removed, and 7 of the other 9 were all revised to some degree. This thesis also concludes that the existence of 9 commonalities between the two models studied lends credence to the concept of generalizing across the varied field of social entrepreneurship.
DepartmentPublic Policy Studies
Community Enterprise Solutions
successful social ventures
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers