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Case Study of Fundación Sagrada Familia and its Sume Materiales Program – Argentina

Gabriel Berger and Leopoldo Blugerman - Centro de Innovación Social Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina)

Abstract: This case explores a social business venture, the Sume Materiales program, created by Fundación Sagrada Familia (hence FSF) in 2003. This program operates a home-improvement depot that sells construction materials at discounted prices to low-income segments (hereinafter LIS ) and at market prices to all other customers. These materials are obtained through donations from different sources and are used by buyers to improve their homes. The program revenues contribute to support other FSF initiatives (for instance, self-construction and microcredits). This program intends to advance FSF’s mission –to promote individual development and to strengthen families with programs that promote adequate housing. The case describes the evolution of a social business carried out by a non-profit organization and challenges faced to achieve financial sustainability and to adjust the business and operational model. It also illustrates how a non-profit organization can operate a successful social business applying in the process proven management approaches and techniques. The information for this document was gathered in two waves: the first one in 2009 when a teaching case on this organization was produced , and the second wave in late 2017 and early 2018. The names of the persons involved are not used in this document following FAB Move guidelines. The analysis of this case provides an opportunity to delve into the following issues: - Social business venture development by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and - Socially inclusive businesses.