How to enhance the engagement of social enterprises with the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

Conference paper


Tomasella, B. 2021. How to enhance the engagement of social enterprises with the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference. Newcastle 06 - 08 Sep 2016 British Academy of Management (BAM).
AuthorsTomasella, B.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Social enterprise is an inter-disciplinary field that includes charitable trading activities, co-operative and mutual enterprises, and social business initiatives that collectively advance sustainable development (Bacq et al., 2016; Bull & Ridley-Duff, 2018). It is widely recognised that all businesses have a key role to play in resolving pressing environmental, social, and economic issues (van derWaal & Thijssens, 2020; Pizzi et al, 2020).

The role of the mainstream, for profit sector in addressing the SDGs, has been the subject of numerous studies (e.g. Scheyvens et al., 2016; van derWaal & Thijssens, 2020; Pizzi et al, 2020; van derWaal et al., 2021). However, there has been limited work seeking to understand the role of social enterprise in meeting the SDGs. This is particularly problematic has it has been widely recognised that SEs have an “important role (…) in driving sustainable and inclusive development, tackling inequality, and helping to address some of the biggest challenges targeted by the UNs’ Sustainable Development Goals” (Social Enterprise UK, 2015: 4). Notable exceptions include Littlewood and Holt (2018) presenting a conceptual framework on how social enterprises can contribute to the SDGs, Günzel-Jensen et al’s (2020) recent examination of ‘bottom up’ approaches to addressing the goals by socially entrepreneurial ventures, and Tabares (2021) exploration of how BCorps in Colombia contribute to SDGs. Given the limits identified in existing scholarship on social enterprises and the SDGs there remains substantial scope for further enquiry.

This article answers to calls to explore in depth the how’s and why’s of the SEs engagement with the SDGs (Littlewood & Holt, 2018). We present a case study of a national network of student social enterprises utilising the SDGs as a benchmark for mapping their own social value. This research is significant and timely for the development of SEs, as their economic, social and environmental benefits can aid in addressing the structural imbalances in the economy, now exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.

Year2021
ConferenceThe British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference
JournalRecovering from Covid: Responsible Management and Reshaping the Economy
PublisherBritish Academy of Management (BAM)
Web address (URL)https://virtual.oxfordabstracts.com/#/event/1821/submission/338
ISBN978-0-9956413-4-1
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttps://virtual.oxfordabstracts.com/#/event/1821/program
Output statusSubmitted
Publication datesSep 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Jun 2023
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