Published in: Journal of Business Research.
Cited as: Reficco, E., F. Layrisse and A. Barrios (2020). “From donation-based NPO to social enterprise: A journey of transformation through business-model innovation.” Journal of Business Research.
Nonprofit organizations (NPO) have suffered from two interrelated bottlenecks: lack of funds and difficulties to grow and operate at scale. Business model innovation (BMI) has been found to be important to overcome those bottlenecks, but the extant literature is limited and lacks a solid empirical foundation. To explore this topic, we conducted a retrospective analysis of a single case study, tracking the evolution of an organization’s business model as it went from being a traditional, donation-based NPO, to a dynamic sales-driven social enterprise (SE). As a result, the organization gained financial autonomy, scaled up operations and increased impact. Our findings add to the literature by identifying BMI change drivers and outcomes. We show how a platform-inspired business model can enhance value creation and value capture in a SE.
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1. This analysis of a single case study was conducted tracking the evolution of an organization’s business model as it went from being a traditional, donation-based NPO, to a dynamic sales-driven social enterprise (SE). Time will tell the extent to which the organization “Unidos”’ new market orientation will fulfill its promise of delivering financial autonomy, enhanced scalability, and ultimately, increased impact. Thus, further studies should take a longitudinal approach using a wider time-window to test whether this premise can be empirically validated. Researchers interested in carrying this line of research forward may put their exploratory propositions to the test with other methodological approaches, to validate, extend or challenge the findings.