Managing social enterprises in the Philippines: Challenges and strategies


Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business


Management and Organization Department

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Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues





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The purpose of this paper is to uncover the challenges faced by Philippine for-profit social enterprises as they pursue both financial and social objectives, and to determine the strategies they utilize to achieve these dual bottom-lines. Our research builds on Dees and Anderson's work (2002) that proposed a set of strategies to address the challenges faced by for-profit social ventures. Utilizing multiple case study research design as proposed by Yin (2003), we gathered primary data by interviewing key informants involved in the following social enterprises: Greenius, Bayani Brew, and ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle. We also examined publicly available data on these three companies, including those taken from their web sites, published articles, and other studies conducted on these companies. We analyzed our data using the following theoretical lenses: resource dependence theory and stakeholder theory. We also made references to existing social entrepreneurship literature to augment our analysis. Our case study research reveals that Philippine social enterprises indeed encounter tensions as they pursue both their economic and social objectives. Successfully reconciling dual bottom lines requires business acumen on the part of the social enterprise's owners/managers, who must not only know how to manage their internal operations efficiently, but also be able to leverage on the resources of stakeholders that are sympathetic to the enterprise's social mission. Developing a strong brand attached to a quality product is also critical. Our study contributes further to the vastly growing yet still largely unexplored area of social entrepreneurship in the country. It also provides some guidance not only to aspiring social entrepreneurs but also to business educators who could contribute to the development of a new breed of entrepreneurs and managers of mission-driven enterprises. Our study also shows policy makers that they should put in place measures that will encourage cross-sector collaborations between the private sector, government, and civil society.



Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations


Social entrepreneurship--Philippines

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