Abstract

With regard to the nature of social enterprises to blend business and philanthropic approaches Froelich (1999) speculates whether “greater emphasis on commercial strategies lead to reduced efforts and outcomes in the traditional arenas [of funding]” (p. 264). While the discussion about the emphasis on commercial income by social enterprises is mainly focused on (dis-)advantages of philanthropic versus commercial income to our best knowledge there is no publication in the emerging social entrepreneurship literature that answers the question which strategy social enterprises actually apply to achieve financial independency. Thus, drawing on resource dependence theory (Pfeffer/ Salancik 1978/ 2003), we suggest two alternative strategies for social enterprises to move toward commercial market-based (earned) income and phrase these strategies accordingly in two mutually exclusive hypotheses.

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