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Tackling economic exclusion through social business models: a typology

Caroline Gauthier, Genevieve Shanahan, Thibault Daudigeos, Adélie Ranville and Pascal Dey

International Review of Applied Economics, 2020, vol. 34, issue 5, 588-606

Abstract: This article contributes to on-going research on social business models by establishing a link with arguably one of the most salient global challenges we are confronted with today: economic exclusion. We conceive of economic exclusion broadly as a lack of access to salaried employment, finance, or essential goods and services. Addressing how and to what extent social business models can alleviate economic exclusion, we first review and synthesize various bodies of literature on grand challenges and social business models to unpack the constitutive factors of economic exclusion and the constraints social businesses face in their attempts to alleviate them. Based on these insights, and inspired by former works, we draw up a typology of 12 ideal-type social business models. In doing so, we illustrate how each model operates, based on the specific configuration of business model elements required to overcome the relevant barriers underpinning economic exclusion. The main contribution the paper makes is to advance a typology of ideal-type social business models covering the diverse constraints pertaining to economic exclusion. In concluding, we reflect on this contribution, its limitations and avenues for future research.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/02692171.2019.1707785

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