Tip of the Iceberg
social enterprise, civil society, fair trade, socially responsible investing, economic sociology
Market-based solutions to social and environmental problems in the form of for-profit social enterprise ventures have attracted considerable attention in recent years. According to popular discourse, the reason for their appeal is that they are not dependent on government grants or charitable support and are therefore more efficient and sustainable than existing alternatives. Using data collected from two social enterprise industries, this article challenges that discourse. It concludes that even though the recent focus on market-based ventures crowds out the importance of philanthropic ones, social enterprises rely substantially on civil society to accomplish their prosocial missions. By shifting attention away from the nonprofit–government relationship and toward the nonprofit–business one, these findings have implications for theorizing in nonprofit studies.
Original Publication Citation
Child, Curtis. 2016. “Tip of the Iceberg: The Nonprofit Underpinnings of For-Profit Social Enterprise.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 45(2):217–237.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Child, Curtis, "Tip of the Iceberg" (2015). Faculty Publications. 2693.
Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations & Voluntary Action
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
© The Author(s) 2015