Social Entrepreneurship that Truly Benefits the Poor: An Integrative Justice Approach
Nicholas J. C. Santos, S.J.
June 1, 2013
Africa, Asia - Pacific, Europe, Latin & South America, North America
Ethics & Social Justice, Entrepreneurship
Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, Innovation, poverty, Society
The phenomenal growth of social entrepreneurship over the last decade has ably demonstrated how technology, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit can afford better solutions to the vexing social and environmental problems of our time than can traditional aid and charity- based efforts. In most cases, but not always, the poor and disadvantaged have benefited from the growth of social entrepreneurship. In order to ensure that social entrepreneurship does indeed benefit the poor, it is imperative that there be normative guidelines for fair and just engagement with impoverished populations. A model that has been presented in the marketing and public policy literature is the integrative justice model (IJM) for impoverished populations. While the IJM was developed primarily in the context of multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in emerging markets, its applicability extends beyond MNCs. This article attempts to apply the IJM principles in the context of social entrepreneurship in order to provide social entrepreneurial organizations (SEOs) with a normative framework aimed at ensuring that the poor truly benefit from their activities. Based on this framework, the article suggests certain areas to which SEOs ought to be particularly attentive in their practice. The article also makes some suggestions for further research.