The Social Enterprise Zoo

The Social Enterprise Zoo

A Guide for Perplexed Scholars, Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Leaders, Investors, and Policymakers

Edited by Dennis R. Young, Elizabeth A.M. Searing and Cassady V. Brewer

The Social Enterprise Zoo employs the metaphor of the zoo to gain a more comprehensive understanding of social enterprise – especially the diversity of its forms; the various ways it is organized in different socio-political environments; how different forms of enterprise behave, interact, and thrive; and what lessons can be drawn for the future development and study of organizations that seek to balance social or environmental impact with economic success. Recommended for students, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and managers of social purpose organizations.

Chapter 8: Feeding the animals

Elizabeth A.M. Searing and Dennis R. Young

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, non-profits


This chapter first describes the different financial resources that are available to nourish the for-profit, not-for-profit, cooperative, and other (hybrid) enterprises in the social enterprise zoo. Each type of financial source, instrument or method is described in some detail, including its traditional and potential applications. This includes the several new types of financial resources designed or adapted specifically for social enterprise, such as program-related investments (PRIs) and social impact bonds. We then apply benefits theory to assess where in the zoo, and to which types of social enterprise animals, these various kinds of financial sustenance are most likely to apply.

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