Filling Government Gaps in Mexico: The Role of Social Entrepreneurs: How Do Social Entrepreneurs Address Voids That Are Insufficiently Attended by Mexican Government Authorities?

Pia Lipke & Seher Nihal Cam

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The phenomenon of social enterprises raises the hope for the emergence of a business actor that contributes to development and social change where state governments do not. Particularly in developing countries and emerging economies, governments are not always able enforce rules and provide collective goods within the national borders. This is also the case of Mexico, where the state government struggles with inefficient public spendings, corruption and safety issues. The Mexican government displays significant shortcomings in the provision of collective goods, health care, education and an inability to enhance the economic inclusion of marginalized groups. This gives space for non-governmental actors such as social entrepreneurs, to step in. However, the field of non-state actor engagement in the provision of governance in areas of limited statehood is under researched. It gives reason to wonder whether or not social entrepreneurs do attend gaps which the Mexican government does not address. If social enterprises do address governmental gaps, then how do social entrepreneurs tackle such voids? Despite the vast literature on both fields - entrepreneurship and governance - there has been no effort to explore the potential of socially-oriented businesses in providing governance. Merely the role of the traditional private sector and the third sector has been touched upon. Our thesis has the goal to determine the role of social entrepreneurs in the contribution of governance in Mexico, particularly regarding basic goods and services, health, education and economic inclusion. On the course of doing so, we investigate the existing governmental gaps and the motivation that drives social entrepreneurs to target a number of these voids. In our empirical research we interviewed the representatives of 16 social entrepreneurs and eight practitioners with vast expertise in the discipline of entrepreneurship in Mexico. We combine these findings to extend a framework that explains governance by non-governmental actors in areas of limited statehood (Börzel & Risse, 2010). Our research sheds light on social entrepreneurs which represent actors that strive to contribute to the improvement of the Mexican society. They are part of the collaborative force that triggers and fosters social process and development. The outcome of our research does not only complement a theoretical construct but gives hope for a societal change through collaboration between the state and non-state actors in Mexico.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages131
SupervisorsHans Krause Hansen