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Do social enterprises walk the talk? Assessing microfinance performances with mission statements

Roy Mersland (), Samuel Anokye Nyarko and Ariane Szafarz

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: We study mission drift in social enterprises by examining whether these organizations stick to the actual mission enshrined in their mission statements. We use data from microfinance organizations (MFOs), a homogeneous group of social enterprises which have been scrutinized—and sometimes criticized—for mission drift. We focus on three publicly recognized and non-mutually-exclusive microfinance social missions identified by previous studies: poverty alleviation, women's empowerment, and rural financial inclusion. Based on hand-collected data from 199 MFOs worldwide, our results suggest strong coherence between social missions and actual practices. Hence, we argue that, with respect to MFOs' own stated social missions, mission drift is no serious concern. The trustworthiness of social mission statements makes them suitable evaluation tools for social enterprises.

Keywords: Content analysis; Microfinance; Mission drift; Mission statement; Social enterprise (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fle, nep-hme and nep-mfd
Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
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Published in: Journal of Business Venturing Insights (2019) v.11

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Journal Article: Do social enterprises walk the talk? Assessing microfinance performances with mission statements (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Do Social Enterprises Walk the Talk? Assessing Microfinance Performances with Mission Statements (2019) Downloads
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