Elements needed for successful social enterprises
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SubjectFinancial Sustainability; Non-Profit Organizations; Social Enterprise; Success; Success Factors
Research shows that non-profit organizations are essential to the fabric of society in social, political, and economic ways (Tink & Kingsley, 2021) and contribute to the betterment of the people they serve (Guo & Saxton, 2014). However, due to social and political changes, funding for non-profit organizations has been continually decreasing, despite an increasing demand (Dees & Elias, 1998; Tan & Yoo, 2015; Tink & Kingsley, 2021). Due to this pressure, non-profit organizations have been forced to find new ways to secure funding. One option is to establish a social enterprise, an organisation that embraces commercial philanthropic activities (Dees, 1998) in order to generate revenue while meeting the needs of the community (Di Zhang & Swanson, 2013; Stecker, 2014). Extensive research has been conducted on social enterprise and non-profit organizations; however, very little research has been conducted on what elements need to be present within a non-profit organization to establish a social enterprise that will be primed for success. This research used the case study method to explore the elements important to establishing a successful social enterprise. Six participants were interviewed to explore what elements were present in their non-profit organizations and what elements might currently and ideally lead their social enterprises to be successful. In addition, there is a review of how supportive Alberta is towards these types of organizations. Themes arising from these semi-structured interviews, their practical applications, and their implications for future research are explored.
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