Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector

Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector

Getting Things Done Sustainably

Rafael Ziegler, Lena Partzsch, Jana Gebauer, Marianne Henkel, Justus Lodemann and Franziska Mohaupt

There are few sectors where ‘getting things done sustainably’ is as important as it is for the water sector. From drinking water and sanitation to water use in agriculture, industry, and ecosystems, Rafael Ziegler and his co-authors investigate the contribution of social entrepreneurship to the sustainable use of water.

Chapter 8: Getting things done sustainably? Synthesis chapter on social entrepreneurship and water

Rafael Ziegler, Jana Gebauer, Marianne Henkel, Justus Lodemann, Franziska Mohaupt and Lena Partzsch

Subjects: business and management, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, environment, water


This book was an intellectual and physical journey for us into social entrepreneurship initiatives dealing with water challenges in drinking water and sanitation supply, in agriculture and industry, as well as for entire ecosystems. This journey opened us up to the diversity of water challenges and to the variety of ways of addressing these challenges - from toilet monuments for public sanitation to river jumps for water conservation. The social entrepreneurs and their organizations were just as heterogeneous: we met social activists and political lobbyists, consultants and businessmen, architects and hydrologists (with social entrepreneurs frequently wearing more than one hat), and their NGOs, companies and networks. To acknowledge this diversity of persons and organizations, we speak here of social entrepreneurship initiatives (SEI) to cover both the social entrepreneur and the organization or network. As we met a diversity of problems, people and organizations, we need to be cautious and acknowledge the difficulty of generalization. In this synthesis chapter we revisit our initial theses and our working conception of social entrepreneurship (see Chapter 1) with a view to our final conception of social entrepreneurship and its role for sustainable development. We first present our findings from the case studies for the theses proposed in the introduction (Sections 8.2 to 8.4).

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