Social Enterprises as a Mean to Reduce Poverty in Mexico

Vanessa Arellano Merino

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this study is to understand how social enterprises in Mexico are a mean to reduce poverty. The notion of social entrepreneurship has shown to effectively contribute with innovative and effective solutions using a range of organizational formats to maximize social impact and bring change (Nicholls & Cho, 2006); nevertheless, the concept itself has been recently recognized in Mexico and therefore, the country's research are still recent and few (Conaway, 2018). This study is of qualitative and exploratory nature and follows an inductive research approach. Over onemonth fieldwork to the regions of Mexico City and Guadalajara, research was conducted on ten case studies of social enterprises from distinct sectors that are part of the social field. The means of collecting data were semi-structured interviews. In the process of analyzing data, theories, and concepts from the fields of social entrepreneurship, social value, business models, and social entrepreneurial ecosystems were applied. By uncovering determinant approaches towards social value creation, understanding the different attributes of social enterprises business models, and analyzing supportive elements in the social entrepreneurial ecosystem, this study identified how the study cases impact positively communities and scale its solutions. Main findings include the challenges that the companies face to its social value measurement, the key role that social entrepreneurs play to carry out innovative systems for assessing social impact, and the potential of scaling solutions when employing these systems. Moreover, it was found a division between the case companies according to the impact outcome generated, and the different elements that each division employ during the value creation stage of their business models. Moreover, it was noteworthy the similarities between conventional and social enterprises when employing managerial strategies for identifying a real need and ideating the right solution for it. Lastly, the material, social, and cultural main attributes that form the social ecosystem of the case companies were found, in where the importance of getting a validated concept over capital funds, and the entrepreneurs' academic preparation was highlighted. It was concluded that actors aiming to social justice should reconsider their perspective in regards to the country's social situation and adopt a fact-based worldview (Rosling et al., 2018) that will enable them to acknowledge the real situation, make informed decisions, and achieve a more significant result. Finally, the study closes underlying the importance of achieving social change through the collaborative effort of a whole social-oriented community rather than the result of individual efforts. Keywords: social entrepreneurship, social innovation, social impact, social value measurement, scaling, business model, entrepreneurial ecosystem, social entrepreneur, social innovator.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages133