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“So, you want to be a social entrepreneur? A framework for the establishment of social enterprises and a discussion of the ways in which social enterprises provide social value”

Author: Mandalyn Renicker

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor: Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE


Interest in social enterprises has grown over the past several decades as a meaningful way to bridge the gap between the private and non-profit sector but the formation process of social enterprises can be difficult to parse. This report details the establishment and basic formation of social enterprises and in what ways they can provide social value, particularly in areas of inequity, where employment opportunities are scarce, and among populations who are often excluded from the workforce. A framework is provided for future social entrepreneurs to follow in order to achieve success in the field. Data is gathered from a review of the literature in research journals across the globe. Findings indicate that social enterprises have a bright future as part of the solution addressing community needs, inequities, local job creation, and economic opportunities at the community level. Finally, a recommendation for local policy is offered in the establishment of a Social Enterprise Development fund to provide support to early-stage entrepreneurs. The fund will provide grant money awarded to social entrepreneurs who exhibit compelling innovation and a dual goal of financial sustainability and social impact.