Social Enterprises, Venture Philanthropy and the Alleviation of Income Inequality

Francesco Di Lorenzo, Mariarosa Scarlata

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Building on the literature on hybrid organizations, this manuscript explores the relationship between the organizational activity of social enterprises backed by venture philanthropy investors and income inequality. Using Ashoka’s portfolio of Indian social enterprises as empirical context of Western venture philanthropy investing activity, our results suggest that (a) Indian municipalities with social enterprises that have received venture philanthropy investments experience a decrease in income inequality level and (b) when these social enterprises are dominated by a collectivistic organizational identity orientation the effect is stronger. Our findings have implications for the research on hybrid organizations, financing of social entrepreneurship and grand ethical challenges.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)307-323
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: 5. November 2018


  • Hybrid organizations
  • Income inequality
  • Social enterprises
  • Venture philanthropy

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