Social enterprises

The fundamental idea behind social enterprise is that it starts because of the existence of a social problem that the traditional market system cannot solve. The social enterprise may or may not be profitable, but it has to be financially sustainable. A social enterprise’s main purpose is to promote, encourage, and bring about social change. Social enterprises can provide income generation opportunities that meet the basic needs of people who live in poverty. Social enterprise is increasingly acknowledged for its contribution to the creation of economic and social well-being, and most especially for its capacity to address, in an innovative way, global and local social challenges. Inclusive entrepreneurship policies aim to address any market failures that prevent an individual from setting up and operating a business based on an aspect of their identity.

This may particularly be the case in more remote areas where the central government has reduced reach. This section will review the definitions and concepts of social enterprises, outline the landscape across selected countries in Asia, and discusses challenges to scaling as faced by social enterprises.