Edited by John R. McIntyre, Silvester Ivanaj and Vera Ivanaj
Chapter 7: Eco-social business in developing countries: the case for sustainable use of resources in unstable environments
Despite recent interest in the ‘new’ social enterprise movement, the issue of how to connect this successfully to ecological concerns has not yet found widespread interest. There is much development in the relations between business and social ventures: for example, there is an extensive history of nonprofits using fees for services and other revenue-raising techniques in order to supplement or complement their mission activities (Alter, 2007). Over more recent years, many nonprofits have formed closer ties with corporate sponsors, and they have adopted more business-like procedures. Drawing on a survey of nonprofit activity around the world, Sustain Ability (2003: 51) believes that the nonprofit sector is gearing towards more market-based solutions, mechanisms and dynamics. On the other hand, businesses in general have assumed social responsibilities in a broad array of their activities, as well as responsibilities for the natural environment and natural resource consumption. We have also seen the rise of an organization type in an apparently new hybrid space, which combines social and economic goals. The literature most commonly identifies this as a ‘social enterprise’. Alter (2007) sees the pioneer social entrepreneurs as: John Durand, who began the first ‘social firm’ with disabled employees in 1964; Mimi Silbert, who established Delancy Street social businesses for recovering addicts in the 1970s; and Mohammad Yunus, who popularized microfinance with the Grameen Bank in 1976.
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