Impact Assessment of Social Entrepreneurship Ventures on Socio Ecological Sustainability of Least Developed Regions of an Emerging Economy
Posted: 20 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 17, 2011
An emerging economy represents a vibrant and dynamic state with a continuous change in almost all social, economical and demographic factors. The dynamic state of change is represented by various measurable indicators which are also used to assess the impact of any economic or non economic venture. An emerging economy exemplifies a dynamic environment having a significant impact on its people, culture, ecology and social characteristics. The demography undergoes significant change and is in a state of continuous flux. The dynamism is also reflected by a significant increase in the number and diversity of social entrepreneurship ventures. While it is easy to see the positive changes on the society, measurable more in qualitative terms, the impact assessment through quantitative measurement of various indicators is still non standardized and is often contextual because of the existence of a number of variables and qualitative indicators. The biggest impact of an emerging economy is on the society and ecology. The sustainability of societal norms and ecology assumes prime importance in an emerging economy because in an urge to progress, growth often dwarfs the concerns for society and ecology. In an emerging economy, the least backward regions often remain insulated to changes in growth indicators due to various topological and ecological factors. The emergence of economical and non economical social entrepreneurship ventures independent of any government initiative, brings about a significant change in the immediate region where the venture is located. As other factors which impact the measurable indicators are not present, it is easy to assess the impact of social entrepreneurship ventures on the societal norms and ecological parameters of the region.
An extensive field study was conducted by identifying social entrepreneurship ventures in some of the least developed regions of an emerging economy; India. The selected ventures represented a diverse sample with respect to intervention through technology, education, production, appropriation of natural capital, community integration as well as integration with external mechanisms like finance, marketing and governmental support through development agencies and public funds and also a judicious mix of economic and non economic ventures. Changes in a number of qualitative as well as measurable indicators were mapped to assess the impact of the social entrepreneurship ventures on the society and ecology of the immediate region. The changes in the indices also led to the assessment of impact of the venture in the creation of a positive regenerative equilibrium on the social and bio diversity of the region. As sustainability is significantly dependent on the sustenance of social and ecological equilibrium, hence the study provides a vital platform for future research on the impact of social entrepreneurship ventures on the social and ecological sustainability of emerging economies. The findings can be used to develop a model for prediction and planning for integration of least developed regions with the mainstream economy.
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