The symbiosis of entities in the social engagement network: The role of social ventures

Moriah Meyskens, Alan L. Carsrud, Richard N. Cardozo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Social entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized as a mechanism for creating social and economic value. By applying population ecology, resource dependency and resource-based view perspectives, this paper develops a conceptual model to provide greater insight into how social entrepreneurship ventures collaborate with other organizations in a network to fulfill resource requirements. Through this process social ventures address unmet social needs to create value which leads to the development and growth of individuals, communities, and regions. Using a large city's economic development actors involved in small business promotion as test cases, this exploratory study illustrates that social ventures effectively acquire resources from the primary social engagement network actors: corporations, governments, and other social ventures. The framework introduced in the paper provides a means by which to better understand the context in which relevant social engagement players in a network exist and the synergies that they can develop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-455
Number of pages31
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Finally, the foundation or philanthropic division of a financial institution provides grants to financially support the operations of social ventures. These often include funding for building organizational capacity. By supporting microfinance social ventures, banks enhance their image and legitimacy in a community by becoming known as supportive of underserved communities. As one financial institution explained, ‘We look to collaborate with local organizations to get the message out to the larger community that we are helping the community. We want to show that we are part of the community so we can maintain our positive brand’. Thus, as demonstrated by these different types of relationships that microfinance social ventures have with different divisions of financial institutions in New York City, the social venture gains financial, social and human capital. At the same time, the financial institution increases access to clients, fulfills regulatory obligations and improves their brand and legitimacy in the community.


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Economic and social value
  • Network
  • Partnerships
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Social venture

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