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Social enterprises in the Global North and South

In this video, Professor Fergus Lyon from Middlesex University discusses the unique challenges facing social enterprises in the Global South.
In this video, Professor Fergus discusses the differences between social enterprises in the Global North and South. What differences would you expect? So the difference between the Global North and the South is very interesting. To a large extent it goes back to some things I’ve always been saying through our research, is that, a social enterprise wherever they are, they need to have a very good social objective and a very good business behind it as well. And that’s the case wherever you are. We’ve being doing some work both in Africa and in Asia as well, and there again we find these amazing businesses, doing amazing social objectives as well.
In the South, some of the key differences might be the smaller role of the state, as a sort of the size of it, the investments, and some of those opportunities can be limited. Also the regulatory environment is different, there can be to a certain extent weaker institutions. as many business might rely on issues more on personal trust and personal relationships, where contracts are less easy to develop, but on the other hand they might find stronger institutions and stronger regulation, particularly when there’s regulation on NGO and civil society activities. So we find that around the world as well. But we do find as well that there are these growing market opportunities.
And that’s why in, for example, in work in Bangladesh we’re finding people and one social enterprise have found this great role for using rickshaws as advertising. And so they could do that to find ways of using rickshaws for advertising, getting money back to the rickshaw owners, and then linking that to short of art on the rickshaws, becoming a commodity in itself and selling that internationally as well. So being quite entrepreneurial, but finding these little niches. Particularly in many countries there are opportunities that aren’t exploited yet.

Social enterprises, as organisations that integrate economic and social value, have a strong global presence.

In this video, Professor Fergus Lyon from Middlesex University gives his opinion about the differences between social enterprises in the Global North and South based on the extensive work he has conducted about the topic in Europe, Africa and Asia.

What differences did you expect? Can you identify other differences between social enterprises in the Global North and South?

Note: We are aware of some of the limitations of using the terms ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’. However, we consider the concepts important for the discussion.

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Social Enterprise: Business Doing Good

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