Understanding Social Enterprises

August 2016: Throughout the world, the distinctive organizational forms adopted by social enterprises depend on the existing legal frameworks, on the political economy of welfare provision and on the cultural and historical traditions of non-profit development in each country. Consequently, the social enterprise sector globally encompasses both new typologies of organizations and traditional third sector organizations, re-imagined through the lens of sustainable income-generation.In this thought leadership article (TLA), we consider the landscape of the existing research on social enterprises, early forms of social enterprises in Bangladesh, evolution of the sector in the 1980s and 1990s, and intersections between businesses and social entrepreneurship. We identify key sectoral trends, assess the policy environment and envision a roadmap for future development of the social enterprise space.


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