Assignment 2 2017 – Social Entrepreneurship Field Research

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Time frame

21.03. – 23.05.2017, 9 am presentation on 11.04.2017

Task Description

After identifying your local challenge you are now invited to do desk research (i.e. use secondary data sources) what others are already doing in this field.

  • What types of social business models exist and how do they work?
  • Which individuals are behind those initiatives and what motivates them?
  • What could you learn from them?

Individual assignment:

  • You are asked to individually collect secondary data on a social enterprise in your local area and to summarize the information available by filling out the case study template.
  • Write a brief report (ca. 5 pages) in which you summarize the information of your local case. You may concentrate on specific aspects of the case study. Attach supplementary information (e.g. graphical material) if available.
  • You need to submit the completed case study template and the brief written report by 19 May 2017.

Team assignment:

  • You are further asked to reflect on similarities and differences between the SEs in your team and how far local conditions of the respective countries might be affecting them.
  • Focus on one cross-cutting question in order to compare the SEs (see 5) for examplary questions)
  • Present your findings in your team on 11 April 2017.
  • Use this presentation template

Identifying Social Enterprises

There are several options to identify a social enterprise for your case study:

Selecting Social Enterprises

Keep the following characteristics of social enterprises in mind for selecting appropriate ventures:

  • Explicit social aims – There is a clear social purpose which drives the organisation or business. This explicit social aim is core to the activities, rather than incidental.
  • Commercial activity – The venture will aim to derive a significant portion of its income from commercial activities such as the sale of goods and services to a market. The organisation may still however generate income from a variety of other sources such as grants etc.

In order to select which SE you are preparing a case study, you might consider the following aspects:

  • Does the SE work on a similar challenge as your team? (this is not mandatory for the case study, but it might help to learn how other people have approached the specific challenge)
  • Does the SE have a homepage with detailed information on the SE?
  • Do you find sufficient information on the SE in other secondary data sources (e.g. online publications and directories, journal articles, media in general, company databases)
  • Which SE do you personally find most interesting?

Please note:

  • You may contact the social entrepreneurs directly and ask for additional information to that you found in secondary sources. However, this is not mandatory due to the limited time frame.

Analyzing the Data

Use the case study template to summarize the information from secondary data sources. Concentrate on the main aspects. Please note that you may not find (sufficient) information on all aspects asked for in the case study template. Therefore chose your SE wisely. It is usually easier to find secondary data on larger SEs and SEs that are funded/supported by third-parties (e.g. Ashoka).

In your team, choose one of the following cross-cutting questions to compare your SE cases:

  • Do the SEs have a clear social vision and mission and how do they communicate those?
  • How can the SE’s relationships with internal and external stakeholders be characterized?
  • How and for whom do SEs measure their social impact?
  • Which strategies do the SEs pursue to cope with current challenges?

Please note:

  • Your team can also agree to use another cross-cutting question that you define within your team (provided that this question can be answered on the basis of the available information)
  • Discuss similarities and differences of the local cases with respect to the selected cross-cutting question. Reflect on what differentiates the SEs and in how far local conditions of the respective countries might be affecting them.

Time Frame,deadlines and evaluation