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Environmentally-motivated social enterprise growth strategies

Client - ESRC Third Sector Research Centre

This research examines the strategies by which environmentally-motivated social enterprises are seeking to scale up their positive impacts in transitions to a more sustainable economy and society.  Case study evidence is used to explore different forms of enterprise growth and diverse contributions to economic, environmental and social value.  A typology of three distinct approaches or modes is introduced to help explain orientations and strategies that reflect both conventional conceptions of growth and alternative ways of creating social and environmental value:  Small and Beautiful niches, involving deepening impact through close engagement within specific communities/localities; Green Knowledge Economy enterprises, seeking wider impacts through developing, sharing and selling knowledge; and Green Collar Army enterprises focused on employment creation.  In each of these categories, there is a need to develop strategies that are sensitive to the tensions and challenges encountered when combining enterprise approaches with social and environmental goals.

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