In our latest research that appeared in the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Chantal Hartog (Panteia/EIM Business and Policy Research, The Netherlands), Brigitte Hoogendoorn (Erasmus University, The Netherlands) and myself explored the differences between social and commercial entrepreneurship from an organizational perspective. Indeed, the concurrent social and financial value creation is likely to result from innovative business models and sustainability strategies that might differ from commercial ones. However, empirical studies to date have tended to focus on a given set of (usually successful) social entrepreneurs and omit control groups. Indeed, despite growing attention and recognition of the social entrepreneurship phenomenon, the related research field is still in its infancy, characterized by a modest base for theory building and testing purposes and a limited number of empirical studies, mostly designed as case studies.
Social impact investing is a rapidly emerging sector within the global investment community in which investors fund innovative enterprises dedicated to creatively solving the world’s most difficult social problems, such as extreme poverty, access to clean water, sanitation, agricultural productivity and literacy. Historically, these initiatives were organized as non-profits or charities and received funding from donations and grants from foundations and government agencies.
Nathan Cutler is second year student in International Affairs and Environmental Studies with a minor in Latin America Studies. Currently he is doing an international Co-op in Bolivia, Cochabamba in Fundación Pro Hábitat, an NGO which strives to improve the wellbeing of impoverished people by housing, legal paperwork and legal advocacy. However, his social work started at LIFT-Boston, a social advocacy organization that works to empower people lacking economic opportunities. Since the beginning Nathan was interested in empowering immigrants and less fortune people. Although he is currently in Bolivia he had some time to talk with me about his magnificent work in Cochabamba.