Marfan Lineros, Carolina Ximena
Assessing Social Entrepreneurship in Chile: Factors
Involved in the Definition of Social Enterprises.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Chile is right in the limit of between being an emerging and a developed country.
Chile has recently entered to the OECD, has an unemployment rate of 6,2%, but has one of the worst income distribution indexes in Latin America. There is unrest in the population regarding public education, transport and health because of their lack of quality.
In this scenario, and while NGOs have been around for long, the term ‘social entrepreneurship’ has only been used in Chile for less than 5 years. In spite of this, a blooming of for-profit social enterprises has marked the last 2 or 3 years.
This dissertation attempts to provide empirical data using Townsend and Hart’s
(2008) model for determining the organisational form of a social
entrepreneurship venture as it explores the social entrepreneurship environment
Chile, identifying opportunities and barriers for the development of this kind of
Six semi-structured interviews to key participants in the decision-making
process that defined the organisational form in different cases were conducted
through Skype from 7 July 2013 to 17 August 2013, running an average of 41
minutes. The cases had to comply with the following: have a social mission, be
located in Chile, founded within the last 5 years, be currently operating, and
have different operating fields than the rest. The cases were classified as forprofit
or non-profit social ventures. Additionally, mission statements were
analysed in order to obtain the organisation’s orientation.
The results show that the organisational form of a social venture may be
influenced in the first place by the founders’ goals. However, an organisational
identity approach might be preferable.
Social norm enabling the legitimacy of such ventures is another determining
factor. Evidence seems to show that it is at least more important than any other
Other factors determining the organisations’ form are, to a lesser degree,
resource acquisition and the newness of the model implemented. Formal
legitimacy is not considered an issue, given the flexibility of the Chilean laws.
Associations and networks of social entrepreneurs contribute to the legitimacy of
social entrepreneurship by making the concept more present in the collective
conscious, contributing twofold: by fostering participation of individual
entrepreneurs in new ventures, and by changing the norm on what is viewed on
as ‘acceptable’ in the social and business world.
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