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The future of funding for social enterprises

Paul Chong and Linda Kleemann

No 34, Kiel Policy Brief from Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)

Abstract: The funding of social enterprises has undergone significant transformation over the last 20 years shifting from direct grants provided by government and philanthropic foundation sources, to earned revenues from a broader range of sources. In addition, the global economic crisis in 2008 has created new challenges and opportunities for the social enterprise sector. Fiscal tightening by traditional social funding sources was exacerbated by investor wariness of investments without clear reporting transparency and impact accountability. However, the high volatility of conventional markets has led investors to consider diversification strategies and counter-cyclical investments, benefiting many types of social enterprise. This paper describes the challenges and opportunities for funding faced by the social enterprise sector post-economic crisis. It also proposes recommendations for social enterprise managers and policy makers that are intended to increase the pool of funding available to the social enterprise sector.

Date: 2011
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