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Country: Argentina,China,Costa Rica,Indonesia

Comparative Report III – Driving forces of Social Enterprises in weak-welfare States: comparative study of four Developing Countries

Thomas Dietz (University of Muenster) - Urs Jäger (INCAE Business School)

Abstract: The report describes the similarities and differences between four emerging market countries involved in the project. By comparing the cases of Costa Rica, Argentina, China and Indonesia it allows for reflecting on specificities of social entrepreneurship development in non-European countries, where there is no welfare state nor special programs supporting social entrepreneurs, yet the sector exists and in some cases offers some extremely successful solutions to societal problems. In emerging countries, most companies face both social and environmental challenges. Because of this, generally many incubators include social and environmental issues in their services. However, the specific services of each incubator depend on their assumptions about the role of government and business. Importantly, in emerging countries, social enterprises have little access to donors. That is why social companies seek financing in markets, while governments are in the process of finding ways to help social enterprises. In most of those countries, the greatest need to strengthen the ecosystem of social enterprises is to create specific laws that are based on a clear definition of social enterprises. It therefore makes sense to explore whether a legal form of social enterprise can help the ecosystem grow. The report tries to address the issue of needs of the social entrepreneurship sector in emerging countries context, formulating recommendations concerning ways of supporting SEs to allow for tapping on their potential for social change. We will analyze trends in SE development, their main field of activity and the role of national, regional and local regulations in their everyday functioning.