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This analysis seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the social enterprise and its legitimacy in nonprofit human service organizations work by providing a foundation for further research based on an Israeli case study of one agency in Israel that can inform practice and research implications for this subject.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are two of the most intriguing organizational concepts to emerge in recent years. Social entrepreneurship does not belong only to the business world, as it is present also in the public and the voluntary scope (Han, 2017). The difference between for-profit businesses compared to not-for-profit entrepreneurship, according to Mort, Weerawardena and Carnegie (2003), is that in the latter, the range of stakeholders, owners, clients, donors and governments is much more equal in understanding and willing to work on social value by contributing to the long-term viability of the social organizations.
Organizations, in all three sectors (for-profit, nonprofit, and public) search for ways to encourage their employees to become more entrepreneurial and to foster innovation through systematized and structured processes (Chell, 2007; Hoogendoorn, Pennings & Thurik, 2010). In this spirit, while nonprofits continuously seek to justify their existence and demonstrate their social values in addressing social problems, the emergence of social enterprise strategies provides them a new way to address social issues, to increase organizational stability and legitimacy and to discover new funding opportunities (Dart, 2004 ;Taylor and Warburton, 2003).
The paper is based on an Israeli case study, through which factors that promote entrepreneurships are examined: Changes in the external environment that nonprofit organizations are faced with encourage entrepreneurships as a coping strategy. In addition, entrepreneurships are further promoted in the individual level by certain skills and personality traits present in the entrepreneur. After a discussion of those factors, the paper suggests a model that can provide a base for constructing a research agenda for the study of entrepreneurships in nonprofit organizations, and could possibly be implemented in practice. Using the model and examples from the case study, the article illustrates one of the social enterprise principals, the ‘double bottom line’, specifically as it was described by Emerson and Twersky. (1996).