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Taking Appropriate Measures: Demonstrating the Value of Social Enterprise

Sat, November 19, 8:15 to 9:45am, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Yosemite

Abstract

How do proponents of social enterprise demonstrate the value of this type of organization? Using the case of REDF, we analyze how these actors created a measurement tool – Social Return on Investment – that provided numerical evidence of social enterprise’s superior blended economic and social value. We show that their ability to develop a measurement tool that reflected the intended value of social enterprise was made difficult by the material nature of the tool, resulting in a discrepancy between the value of social enterprise that proponents aimed to show and the value of social enterprise that ultimately was demonstrated by SROI.

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