Social Venturing

Published: July 2009 Publication Type: Publication

Authors: Geoff Mulgan , , Robin Murray

Social Venturing – part of a series on methods and issues in social innovation – focuses on how to establish and grow a social venture.

The past thirty years has seen a remarkable growth of social ventures in both the developed and developing worlds. Sometimes referred to as the Third Sector, they in fact operate across sectors, in parts of the state, the grant economy, the collaborative household economy and in the market as social enterprises.

While there is a long-standing economic and managerial literature on the market economy, and methods of operating within it, as well as a complementary body of work on public finance and public sector management, there is remarkably little on the distinctive character of social ventures and the social economy. Yet this economy and its ventures are set to play a critical role in addressing many of the most urgent contemporary problems, from climate change to chronic disease, and from social welfare to new forms of consumption.

The work is the result of a major collaboration between Nesta and the Young Foundation: two organisations that are committed to the role that social innovation can play in addressing the most pressing issues facing society today.

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