The drastic market decline brought in by COVID-19 is already causing dramatic changes in the economic and social contexts of many countries. These impacts can be addressed by social enterprises – organisations that generate revenues by creating social value for societal stakeholders and local communities (Santos, 2012). Since social enterprises are able to selectively couple market (i.e., commercial) and social welfare (i.e., public goods) logics (Pache & Santos, 2013) in complex economic and social environments (Cherriera, Goswamib, & Ray, 2018), they are in a unique position to create employment and other social benefits for multiple stakeholders affected by the pandemic.
However, to be able to create social value when their own economic existence is under threat, social enterprises need to (re)discover mechanisms to effectively couple market and social welfare logics in the (post)covid world. While we know some mechanisms of how social enterprises can combine market and social welfare logics in the conditions of working markets, we, however, know little about how social enterprises couple market and social welfare logics to create value during and after a crisis, such as the current COVID-19. The aim of this project is to generate new knowledge on how social enterprises can create value in the (post)covid world and identify key factors that drive or hinder their ability to do this effectively.
Moral Fairground – an Australian business with impact, which creates spaces and events to champion ethical business practices and to raise awareness of the benefits of ethical consumerism. They believe that to create change, small or large enterprises, profits or not for profits and individuals need to come together and find ways to collaborate to grow their causes and beliefs. We collaborate with Moral Fairground on the organisation of the Ethical Enterprise Conference 2020, where we will access social enterprises and collaborate with them on this project.
Social entrepreneurship, value creation
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer