Call/WhatsApp: +1 914 416 5343

Entrepreneurship Dissertation Sample

The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development in China: A case of Narada Foundation China


The concept of social entrepreneurship emerged in the recent years due to the dying need to offer solutions to the social problems experienced in the business environment. Social entrepreneurship initiatives are believed to offer solutions to the social issues and problems that may arise in the society. A number of studies have focussed on analyzing the concept of social entrepreneurship and its ability to offer social solution. However, there is scanty information on the role that this form of entrepreneurship in sustainability development. The current study sought to determine the role of social entrepreneurship in sustainability development focusing on the case of Narada foundation China. Through the use of critical review of literature, this study determined the strategies that have been adopted by Narada foundation to solve the social issues in the society as well as evaluated their extent of sustainability. The study findings indicate that the organization has been involved in a number of activities that are mainly focussed on addressing the education problems for immigrants in China. The company offers grants to other NGOs to support education for the immigrants in China. The study findings also revealed that the sustainability of the social initiatives put in place by Narada foundation is questionable. This is due to the fact that the company mainly receives funds from donations that are not a sustainable source. This explains why high level of sustainable development has not been accomplished following the implementation of the initiatives. It is observed that the social entrepreneurship initiatives have a major role in promoting sustainable development; however, this is only observed when the initiatives are sustainable. It is recommended that Narada foundation seek for alternative sources of funding other than donations that will enhance the sustainability of the social initiatives put in place to ensure sustainable development is accomplished.

Table of contents

Chapter One: Introduction. 2

1.1. Introduction to the research topic. 2

1.2. Problem Statement 2

1.3. Aims and Objectives. 3

1.4. Research questions. 3

1.4. Rationale and significance. 3

Chapter Two: Literature review.. 5

2.1. Introduction. 5

2.2. Social Entrepreneurship: concepts and trends. 5

2.3. Conceptualizing Sustainable development 7

2.4. Relationship between social entrepreneurship and sustainable development 8

2.5. Gap in Research. 10

Chapter Three: Methodology. 11

3.1. Research Approach. 11

3.2. Research Strategy. 11

3.3. The case (Narada Foundation) 11

3.4. Population and Sampling. 12

3.5. Data collection and Analysis. 12

3.6. Ethical considerations. 13

Chapter 4: Results and analysis. 14

4.1. Introduction. 14

4.2. Social intervention strategies adopted by Narada foundation. 14

4.3. Sustainability of the social interventions. 16

4.4. Revenue generating model adopted by Narada Foundation. 17

4.5. Sustainability of the Revenue generating model 18

4.6. Challenges faced by Narada Foundation. 18

Chapter 5: Discussions of the findings. 20

Chapter 6: Conclusion. 23

6.1. Limitation of the study. 24

6.2. Recommendations and further work. 24

References. 26

     Chapter One: Introduction

1.1. Introduction to the research topic

The concept of social entrepreneurship is not a new one. It is a concept that emerged in the early 1970s. The rationality for the introduction of the concept was in order to solve some social problems sustainably (Baron, 2006). Among the first scholars to come up with the term social entrepreneur was Joseph Banks, who in 1972 used the term to describe the need to use managerial skills for the purposes of solving social problems as well as addressing business challenges (Baumol, 2004). From the pioneering work of Joseph Banks, social entrepreneurship as a concept has continued to grow with a number of other scholars advancing on the earlier definitions and perspectives on the same.

Social entrepreneurship practices began to dominate literature and organizations in the late 1980s with the establishment of Ashoka, which is considered as the first organization that was responsible for supporting social entrepreneurs across the globe (Butler, 2004). Advancing on the concept of social entrepreneurship was Peter Drucker who examined it in the context of social innovations. He argued that there was need to use management practices in non-profit organizations so as to increase efficiency and effectiveness of producing social good (Casson, 2003). Thus, the growth of social entrepreneurship picked up from this period with a growth in the number of non-profit organizations that have implemented social innovations and management practices to improve the performance of these firms (Cohen & Winn, 2007).

Over the years, by studying the issue of social entrepreneurship and explaining the social enterprises unique qualities and behaviours has seen the growth of many of these institutions (Darling & Leffel, 2010). The growth of these businesses has seen a new dimension of innovation that has worked to improve public wealth and not only a focus on the private wealth, but also business performance. Given the focus of social entrepreneurs on creating social impact and social change, the impact of this process on the society has increased over time impacting positively on the public (Dover & Dierk, 2010).

1.2. Problem Statement

Sustainable development holds two meanings for social enterprises. First the people who pay for social ventures are not same as those who use them. This doubles the firm’s workload as it seeks to pursue the work to provide products or services and work to secure funding for the products. Thus, the need for revenue generating models has become critical in order to reduce over reliance on philanthropic infusions. There is tension between mission and financial urgency in these firms. Secondly, the issue of durability of the social benefit also comes in mind. The question of whether the community can improve lives through the social ventures without the firm’s interventions also comes into mind. There is need for these firms to continually add new programs for the entrepreneurial offerings to have long lasting benefits. Therefore, two important problems have emerged: how can these firms ensure the sustainability of their interventions and secondly how do they generate the funds to support their entrepreneurial ventures?

1.3. Aims and Objectives

The aim of this study is to examine the role of social entrepreneurship in sustainable development in China with a focus on Narada Foundation.

The objectives of the research include the following

  • To explore how Narada foundation has ensured sustainability of the social entrepreneurship interventions in the Chinese society.
  • To examine the revenue generating model adopted by the firm and its sustainability in supporting its social mission
  • To explore the challenges has Narada foundation faced in the process of implementing its mission

1.4. Research questions

  • What approaches and strategies have been developed by Narada Foundation to ensure sustainability of its social interventions in China?
  • What is the revenue generating model that has been implemented by Narada foundation in supporting its social mission?
  • How sustainable is the revenue generating model of the firm in terms of helping it achieve its mission?
  • What challenges has Narada Foundation faced as it strives to implement its social entrepreneurship mission?

1.4. Rationale and significance

Social entrepreneurial firms are important not only in the Chinese society but also in other societies because of their social missions that seek to improve the livelihoods of the poor. However, in the process of doing this, achieving sustainability becomes a problem as they grow because they need revenues to sustain their businesses. Additionally, these firms also experience problems in the process of ensuring sustainability of their offerings once they move from one area to another. Through this study, it will be possible to understand how some of these firms generate revenues sustainably and approaches they use in ensuring sustainability of their ventures. Additionally, it will also be possible to understand challenges they face which can go a long way in improving their performance.

Chapter Two: Literature review

2.1. Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to explore a range of literature on the concept of social entrepreneurship and sustainable development. The purpose of a literature review is to summarize, evaluate and synthesis a wide range of data from different sources with the intention of understanding different perspectives on a given topic. In this chapter, the researcher seeks to understand what other studies have done on the topic in order to identify a gap in research that could be filled by the current study.

2.2. Social Entrepreneurship: concepts and trends

The concept of social entrepreneurship has received great attention from entrepreneurship literature. There are a myriad of definitions that have been propagated with the intention of examining the concept. Most of these definitions come from the business and the non-profit literature (Gupta & Srivastava, 2013). A recent article by Dacin, Dacin and Matear (2010) identified 37 definitions of the concept. The myriad of definitions on this concept although provides value in the process of theory development can result in conceptual and theoretical problems in research processes. Social entrepreneurs are defined as individuals who balance organizational economic and social goals, who value local initiative and participation and who seek social justice outcomes to guide the mission and evaluation of social entrepreneurship activity (Kumar, 2008). Another definition of social entrepreneurship is a process in which individuals, organizations and groups seek sustainable, large scale change through pattern-breaking ideas in different areas such as non-profits, governments and businesses so as to address significant social problems (Lenka, Suar, & Mohapatra, 2009). Thus, from this perspective, social entrepreneurship is different from entrepreneurship in general and can be perceived as entrepreneurship that has a specific purpose which is to achieve a social mission.

From a traditional entrepreneurial perspective, most of the researchers have examined entrepreneurship in the context of the creation of new ventures so as to produce profits. This is true with the work of early entrepreneurship scholars such as Schumpeter (1934 cited in Knox & Singh, 2008) and Moore (1986). However, contemporary scholars examining entrepreneurship have argued that it is more about discovering a fit between certain needs and resources as witnessed in the works of Kirzner (1973) and Gartner (1985 cited Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2008). Despite this, entrepreneurship has also been perceived as establishing an innovative venture, working on its growth and pursuing more opportunities in order to produce sensible outcomes. The concept of social entrepreneurship deviates from these arguments which Nicholls (2006) arguing that the role of social entrepreneurs is to tackle market failures. Although this perspective resembles what Kirzner (1973 cited in Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2008) argued, it differs in the sense that social entrepreneurs seek market failures that are related to externalities and public goods and distributional equality. This means that the role and purpose of social entrepreneurship is to achieve a social mission with the aim of achieving social benefits.

A number of trends have resulted in the development of social entrepreneurship across the globe. Studies have examined these trends with a number of issues coming up. The first driver is increased privatization of government run programs which has resulted in governments playing a limited role in providing primary services (Morris, Kuratko, & Govin, 2008). Many governments are partnering with non-profit companies with the aim of addressing social needs. Secondly is the increased reliance on soft money to fund or supplement core budgets (Baron, 2006). A number of agencies are dependent on grant finding to enhance bare-bone budgets. These often require long term plans to sustain programs once the funding period is over. Third is the strong criticism of the social welfare system (Lenka, Suar, & Mohapatra, 2009). The social welfare system is argued as inefficient, uncoordinated and that it disempowers consumers. The call for a coordinated system for sustainable services has resulted in the growth of social solutions by individuals and communications that acknowledges local knowledge and capacities (Baron, 2006).

The concept of social entrepreneurship has grown across the globe. However, in China, social entrepreneurship is only gaining traction as studies indicate this began to develop in 2004 (Nicholls, 2006; Zahid & Jehangir, 2012). Unlike the west where social entrepreneurship is developed with non-profit organizations being legally recognised, social entrepreneurship in China is still in its infancy (Baron, 2006). Non-profit organizations in can take the legal forms as social organizations, foundations or civilian run-non enterprise units. However, in China, this is different due to legislative and regulative obstacles by the government (Strydon, 2009). Social enterprises in China are registered as commercial or for profit firms. Thus, there operations is in disguise because of limited norms, values, expectations and legitimacy which are still lacking (Patz, 2013). Studies also indicate that running a not for profit enterprise in China is difficult and challenging and hence these firms have adopted a profit based approach and commercialised their activities with the intention of achieving regulatory obligations (Longenecker, William Petty, Palich, & Moore, 2009; Patz, 2009).

2.3. Conceptualizing Sustainable development

The concept of sustainable development has been discussed in many circles. Achieving sustainable development has been argued to be a key element in ensuring sustainability of the society. Sustainable development as a concept emerged from the earlier work of the Brundtland report in 1987 which examined it as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs (Zahra, Korri, & Yu, 2005). Based on these findings of the report, it was argued that there was need to ensure sustainability across different dimensions. Sustainable development was thus perceived to go beyond the local issues to the global issues in a complex interplay of economic, environmental and social processes (Zahid & Jehangir, 2012). However, studies have argued that since the emergence of the concept of sustainable development, there continues to be systematic improvements on the concept with new theoretical and methodological elements being added that make it a complex concept to understand and implement (Ucbasarana, Wrightd, & Westhead, 2009). However, the overall objective of sustainable development is to find an optimal interaction of economic, social, human, environmental and technological systems. Although it is not possible to achieve this ideal situation, there is a need for continual investments in these elements in order to improve sustainability.

Studies have indicated that society is still looking for appropriate solutions that lead to sustainable development (Strydon, 2009). Different approaches have been used from the local, regional, national and global approaches being suggested with a wide range of tools such as education, communication and participation being implemented (Shepherd & Choi, 2004). However, there are limited outcomes that could be attributed to these efforts especially with the growing environmental problems and the growing human population that is continuously impacting negatively on the environment (Schweizer, Vahlne, & Johanson, 2010). Thus, studies have called for further investment in solutions that will be able to respond to the fast changing society in a positive manner.

The concept of sustainable development has continued to be alongside issues of environmental protection and preservation. However, studies have argued that these two concepts are different and seek to achieve different objectives (Sambasivan, 2009). Sustainable development seeks to place social and environmental objectives on equal footing with economic objectives. This has been significantly examined the tipple bottom line approach which has sought to examine how organizations can ensure sustainability from these three perspectives. While the environment and the economy have traditionally been examined as two competing dimensions, sustainable development argues that economic development should not necessarily lead to resource degradation (Quadir & Jahur, 2011). Sustainable solutions need to be implemented in order to reduce environmental degradation and resource depletion and such solutions can be achieved through approaches such as elaborate pricing of previously unpriced values via elaborate cost-benefit analyses or the establishment of regulations and laws that seek to improve environmental production and resource preservation (Patz, 2013). Therefore, sustainable development seeks to ensure that societies are achieving social, environment and economic objectives and ensuring that future generations also have an opportunity to benefit from the same.

Studies on sustainable development in China are many. The rationale for the increased interest by scholars in the nation is because China’s population growth has been a source of severe long term environmental pressure. (Byrne, Shen, & Li, 1996) The growth in the population is straining already stretched resources through increase consumption, growth in environmental pollution among others (Lia & Oberheitmann, 2009). The calls for sustainable practices have seen introductory of many approaches including the one child policy and a raft of environmental protection measures. However, even with this, studies show that sustainability is long from being achieved (Zhanga & Wen, 2008; Lia & Oberheitmann, 2009).

2.4. Relationship between social entrepreneurship and sustainable development

Given the growth of the sustainable development concept, there has been a focus on understanding how entrepreneurship as a concept can contribute to a sustainable economy and to sustainable development in particular (Longenecker, William Petty, Palich, & Moore, 2009). The rationale behind this is that entrepreneurship has been strongly recognised as a vehicle for societal transformation, especially in a fast moving economy. Therefore, studies argue that both sustainable development and entrepreneurship are perceived as solutions to assure the future development of the entire society (Baron, 2006).

Despite the belief among entrepreneurship scholars and sustainable development scholars on the important role played by entrepreneurship in sustainable development, studies show that there has been a limited number of empirical studies that have examined the relationship between the two concepts (Morris, Kuratko, & Govin, 2008). Additionally, with the issue of social entrepreneurship in China still at its infancy and only starting to grow post 2006, there is a limited number of studies examining the concept from the Chinese perspective (Quadir & Jahur, 2011; Baron, 2006). However, from a global perspective, studies seem to examine this concept in relation to the concept of creative destruction. The argument has been that new sustainability pressures as witnessed with the growth of population and environmental problems in China, create various types of market failures and this opens up new opportunities for new entrants such as social ventures that seek to develop social offerings to fill the gap in the market (Nicolaou, Shane, Cherkas, & Spector, 2009).

On the issue of social entrepreneurship, the greater mission for social entrepreneurs is to achieve a social mission with their innovations. Recent studies examining the issue of social entrepreneurship and sustainability has focussed on how entrepreneurs can implement social innovations that could have a positive impact on the society by providing sustainable, innovative solutions to unsolved social problems (Baron, 2006). Thus, there has been on a focus on the concept of sustainable entrepreneurship that encompasses many other elements including eco-entrepreneurship that is environmentally oriented (Baumol, 2004), institutional entrepreneurship that seeks regulatory change, societal and market and institutions; responsible entrepreneurship that seeks to ensure a healthy entrepreneurial business that joins economic, technological and environment factors for a responsible society among others (Grichnik, Smeja, & Welpe, 2010).

The notion of sustainable entrepreneurship thus builds on the need for sustainable solutions for social problems. Studies argue that the main features of sustainable entrepreneurship which are tied to society include social responsibility, knowledge creation, innovativeness and dynamism that seek to create social value (Baron, 2006). Studies argue that the value that is driven from social entrepreneurship is tied to the ability of the social entrepreneurs to provide sustainable social solutions to address many of the social problems that affect society (Butler, 2004). Sustainable social innovations are purely not for profit and are not intended to create a surplus but are implemented for the purpose of fostering sustainability. Such innovations are built on specifically identified social problems, an evaluation of the social impact of problems as well as the proposed solutions and the development of a business model that ensures the sustainability of the venture (Lenka, Suar, & Mohapatra, 2009). Social entrepreneurs and enterprises that are sustainable are those that consider strategic moves aimed at subsidizing their services through the exploitation of profitable opportunities in the core activities of their non-profit ventures or through cross-partnerships with other commercial enterprises.

2.5. Gap in Research

Literature on social entrepreneurship and sustainable development is scarce from a Chinese perspective. Although there are a number of studies that have examined what social entrepreneurship are, the concept of sustainability in social entrepreneurship is yet to receive significant attention from the Chinese perspective with major conceptualizations emerging from studies from the west. Based on the review, there is a limited understanding of social entrepreneurship and the social solutions that are important in improving social problems. Additionally, there is limited understanding of how social enterprises in China generate revenues or operate because of their commercial activities that are viewed as different from those of the west. From this, the need for further analysis to identify operational models, challenges and approaches to sustainability is of essence.

Chapter Three: Methodology

3.1. Research Approach

This research takes a qualitative approach. It seeks to gather data that will describe and explore the issue of social entrepreneurship and sustainable development. The rationale for the choice of this strategy is built on the need to understand how social entrepreneurship has grown in China from already published literature (Caldwel, 2008). Qualitative research approach provides an easy approach of identifying themes and patterns in research, and identifying motivations, attitudes and perceptions and hence perceived as an effective approach in conducting this study (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2003). Thus, it will be used to trace social entrepreneurship in China identifying trends and patterns in literature.

3.2. Research Strategy

Research strategies provide the researcher with a road map to developing the study. They provide direction to the researcher helping them to effectively achieve the objectives of the research. This study uses the case study research strategy with a focus on understanding social entrepreneurship from an employee dimension in a social organization in China (Connaway & Powell, 2010). The case study approach is important because it will provide case specific data that could be used to understand social innovations, barriers and sustainability issues in China (Grichnik, Smeja, & Welpe, 2010). The advantage is that it is flexible, versatile and allows for case specific analysis and comparison improving research reliability. Although, the use of this approach does not allow generalizability, it will provide insights into the nature of social entrepreneurship in China, barriers and sustainability practices.

3.3. The case (Narada Foundation)

Narada Foundation is a private foundation which acts as a supplier of funds and resources in the public welfare industry chain. The firm issues grants and plays the role of “seed money” promoting the development of excellent public welfare projects and organizations and fostering social innovation conducted by non-government organization. The organization mainly focuses on the problem of the education for migrant children, which is a social problem that demands prompt solutions. This organization is selected because of its participation in improving the public welfare. Additionally, it is also selected because of its entrepreneurial activities in funding projects that seek to provide local solutions to problems. This makes it an effective case for analysis and use in this study.

3.4. Population and Sampling

Each study is conducted on a given population. The research population is defined as the group from which the research selects the study participants. Population must be homogenous in order to allow for ease of generalization (Murray, 2003). The population that is targeted are employees from Narada foundation. The selected employees are key informants who are aware of the developments in the firm, its approach to operations and how the firm generates its revenues to support its operations. On the other hand, selection of sampling will be done through simple random sampling. Simple random sample is used because of ease of application and selection of study participants. In order to conduct this, the study will focus on the use of random numbers generated through statistical software. The study intends to select a total of 20 participants to take part in the study although it will target at least 50 in order to get the right sample size. The sample is large enough for study allowing for a reduction of sampling errors (Murray, 2003).

3.5. Data collection and Analysis

Data collection in this study will be done through the use of telephone interviews. Telephone interviews are considered appropriate data collection instruments in case study research because of their ability to facilitate effective collection of qualitative data (Yin, 2009). The reason for using telephone interviews is because of the inability of the researcher to visit Narada foundation in person. However, the researcher will use telephone calls to collect data from the participants. The researcher will ask the interview questions and record the responses from the participants that will have accepted to participate in the study. Thus, note taking will be important in gathering the data. Each interview will take approximately 15 minutes and will be carried out at a time that is convenient for the participant so as to encourage feedback. Additionally, secondary data collection will also be used to collect data from books, journals, newspapers and magazines (Siragusa & Dixon, 2006).

The analysis process will take a thematic approach in which themes and patterns will be identified from the research in order understand the growth social entrepreneurship and sustainable development in China (Siragusa & Dixon, 2006). After the data has been collected, the researcher will identify the common themes that will emerge from the study, code them down and then analyze them in relation to previous studies.

3.6. Ethical considerations

Given that human participants are involved in the study, the research will ensure ethical considerations in order to avoid causing harm to the participants. Consent forms will be issued to the study participants for them to sign before participating in the study. Additionally, privacy and anonymity will be ensured by not requesting personally identifying information and by not mentioning the research participants in the final draft. Lastly, confidentiality will be ensured by not exposing the data to third parties.

Chapter 4: Results and analysis

4.1. Introduction

This section presents the findings obtained to respond to the research questions developed. The main aim of the study was to determine the role of social entrepreneurship in sustainable development. The study used the case of Narada foundation China to determine the role of the social entrepreneurship in promoting sustainable development. The main focus of the study was to determine the social intervention strategies that have been adopted by the company since its inception, to evaluate the approaches that have been put in place by the company to ensure there is sustainability as well as to determine the challenges that have been faced by the company in the process of accomplishing its social mission. The study was based on secondary data hence critical review of the company reports and information on websites were used to draw the findings needed. The study findings gathered are advanced herein.

4.2. Social intervention strategies adopted by Narada foundation

Narada foundation is a non-governmental organization that operates in China. The company is referred to as a grant making company since it offers grants to other NGOs operating within the nation. The company offers grants to public projects that are directed towards improving the education life of the immigrant children in China. There are a number of projects that have been supported by the company to ensure that the children obtain quality education.

The new citizen program is one of the social initiatives that have been put in place by the Narada Foundation. This program provides grants to projects proposed by various NGOs working within the region. Through bidding the, NGOs present their proposals that are selected based on quality and viability. The main aim of this program is to ensure that the migrants’ children living in China achieve quality education and suitable environment for learning.

New Citizen School construction program is another social initiative that has been put in place by the organization in its process of embracing social entrepreneurship. The program is designed by Narada Foundation to ensure that migrants; children have equal opportunity to access and join good schools in China. It is believed that higher performance can only be reported by the children when they get access to schools with good teaching facilities as well as highly qualified teachers. Unless the children are given equal opportunity to join good schools in China just as the children of the Chinese origin, their possibility of reporting higher performance is unlikely.

To ensure that the immigrants’ students get access to the good schools as perceived by Narada Foundation, the company has focussed on establishing private schools under the New Citizen School Foundation Program. The company has a goal of making donations to various NGOs that will ensure more than 100 schools are built in the next 5-7 years. These schools will focus on offering quality education to the children as well as allow the public to participate in the education system such that quality education is availed to the immigrants’ children.

Narada foundation also makes grants to NGOs for running public welfare program. This includes the volunteer programs that are designed to offer benefits to the community under which the organizations’ operates. Under this program, the organization funds the volunteer services that are managed by the NGOs to offer environmental conservation as well as training on the strategies and approaches that can be adopted by various organizations to ensure that their activities do not have negative effects on the environment. The foundation has therefore taking part in ensuring there is proper management and conservation of the business environment under which various companies operates in China.

New CitizenCupCollege Student Public Welfare Project is another social initiative that has been implemented by the Narada Foundation. The project was initiated in the year 2007, with an objective of engaging the university students in some activity. According to the Narada Foundation report, the university students are involved in the teaching process of the young immigrant children in regions where there is inadequacy of teachers. This has not only ensured that the children get quality education but have also acted as a source of income to the graduates who are yet to get employed. With the increasing population in China, it is possible that the graduates’ ay stay for a longer period before getting employed, this program by Narada foundation is therefore suitable to these individuals in ensuring they meet their needs. The foundation has succeeded in offering quality education to the immigrants’ children as well as offering income to the graduates that are unemployed.

The aforementioned programs are the approaches that have been out in place by the Narada Foundation to solve the social problem within the Chinese economy. Social entrepreneurship refers to the involvement in activities that mainly focuses of offering solutions to the solutions within the society. In this case, the approaches that have been put in place by the Narada foundation are considered social entrepreneurship initiatives. This is due to the fact that they are designed to address the education issue of the immigrants’ children in China which is a major social problem in the region.

4.3. Sustainability of the social interventions

A number of social entrepreneurs or companies that adopt social initiatives and innovations have considered venturing into marketing and commercialization. The main reason for this turn is to attain funds needed to ensure their social initiatives are sustainable. Narada foundation has also taken this shift to ensure that its role of offering grants to other NGOs is sufficiently sustainable. The company has focussed on getting volunteers to work in the implementation of its roles and programs to reduce on the human resource costs. These volunteers are mainly sourced from the colleges and posted to various NGOs that implement the objective of Narada foundation. In this case, the company offers experience to the fresh graduates as well as save on the human resource cost that would have been incurred if the worker were employed. The reduction in the cost of human resources is one of the strategies that have been put by the organization to ensure its social role in the society is sustainable.

Narada foundation also works closely with the Chinese government in all its activities. The main focus of the organization is on matters of education hence it works in collaboration with the ministry of education to ensure its mission is well executed. While working with the government Narada foundation expects to get some waiver in its operation as well as reduction in the costs involved in offering quality teaching services to the immigrant children. In the last 2 years, Narada Foundation has received teachers in some of its centres to offer education services to the children. This has equally saved the company on the human resources funds that would have been incurred.

The Chinese government have also offered subsidiaries to the foundation in their process of construction of additional schools so that the children get access and enrolled in well constructed institutions with quality facilities. The subsidiaries have reduced the overall costs that the company would have spent in the whole construction giving them an opportunity to build additional number of schools. This has not only saved on the cost that would have been incurred but have also ensured that the social problem that the company sought to solve has received a better solution. 

Narada foundation normally embarks on proper evaluation of the projects presented before selecting on any to implement. The viability of the proposed project and the reputation of the NGO presenting the proposed project form the major basis for the selection of the project to be funded by the company. It is obvious that cases of funds embezzlement are likely leading to loss of the allocated funds that were intended for the implementation of a certain project. Proper selection of the company to implement the projects is therefore necessary to ensure that the desired project is effectively implemented.

Apart from proper selection of the project, Narada foundation also conducts monitoring and evaluation of its activities to ensure that the allocated funds and the grants offered was used only for the intended purpose. This is a way of eliminating any possibility of fund misuse by the implementers and ensuring that the approved projects are fully implemented.

The sustainability of the social initiatives put in place by Narada foundation is depended on the availability of funds and the effectiveness in the use of the funds allocated for various projects. Sustainability of the activities is guaranteed to some extent since the organization has put in place measures that ensure there is proper usage of the allocated funds. However, the issue of funds acquisition is still worrying making it improper for full sustainability to be guaranteed. It is therefore important that the issue of funds acquisition be addressed to ascertain that the social initiatives put in place and supported by the Narada foundation will be sustainable.

4.4. Revenue generating model adopted by Narada Foundation

Narada Foundation needs funds to be able to offer grants to the NGOs that focuses on implementing the programs designed to offer quality education to the immigrants’ children. The company main source of funds is from donations. These donations are received from religious organizations as well as global foundations that have an aim of offering solutions to the social problems within the society. The company also receives funds by selling its social services to the companies operating within china. Moreover, the foundation also sells the same services to the Chinese government. It is observed that companies today have focus on ensuring that they contribute and participates towards solving the social problems within their society. This has led to their willingness to buy the services that are offered by the social entrepreneurs. The purchases are made in terms of offering their employees to offer technical services to the social support offered by the foundation as well as fund the social programs and activities that the company seeks to accomplish. This saves the Narada foundation on the cost and resources that would have been needed in the implantation of the projects that will ensure the immigrants get quality education.

Apart from selling the services to the companies and the Chinese government, Narada foundation also gets its funds from the public. The funds are attained in terms of human resources as well as capital needed to support the various projects presented by different NGOs. The public also wants to be involved in the social activities so in certain cases volunteer to offer free services or funds that can be used in the implementation of the projects. Apart from selling its services to other companies operating within China, the main source of funding for Narada foundation is donations received from different sources such as the public, and other global foundation operating across the world.

 4.5. Sustainability of the Revenue generating model

The sustainability of the revenue sources for Narada foundation largely influences the sustainability of the social initiatives that are put in place by the company. From the critical review of the reports on social entrepreneurship, it is evident that the foundation mainly relies on the donations as the source of its funds. The sustainability of this source is worrying since the management needs to submit proposals that must be viable for the donations to be accomplished. Moreover, the donations from the public are based on the extent of well wishers available and the perception of the people to support the social initiatives being conducted. In case, that the donors or well wishers are absent then the company is likely to face a deficit in the funds needed to manage its social activities. As much as the selling of the services to other companies may be a sure way of generating additional revenue for the foundation, getting the companies that are willing to purchase the social services in China is also difficult. In addition, the companies are not obliged to make the purchases rather they do it at will. This therefore makes the sustainability of the sources of revenue to the foundation worrying.

4.6. Challenges faced by Narada Foundation

The major challenge faced by Narada Foundation is the acquisition of funds needed to offer grants to all the NGOs that focus on solving the immigrants’ social problem in China. The company has an objective of ensuring that the immigrants’ children receive quality education, moreover, the projects presented to be accomplished by different NGOs focuses on ensuring that this aim is accomplished, nevertheless, the company has insufficient funds to offer in form of grants to the NGOs so that the aforementioned objective can be accomplished.

The legislations put in place by the Chinese government also offer major challenges in the implementation of the social initiatives. The Chinese government must approve all the social initiatives prior to their implementation; this has slowed down the rate at which the company is likely to accomplish its goal.

Chapter 5: Discussions of the findings

From the findings of the findings of the study, it is evident that Narada foundation has put in place strategies designed to offer social solutions to the Chinese citizens. From the analysis of the findings, the major focus of the social initiatives that have been put in place by the foundation is on the education issues for the immigrants in China. According to Rajput & Chopra (2014) there are an increasing number of immigrants in China. Initially, the government policies put in place to govern the education offered priority to the original Chinese origin leading to the discrimination of the Chinese immigrants in terms of access to good schools and quality education. Schaltegger & Wagner (2011) have indicated that the failure by the immigrants to get access to quality education is not just their own problem but will also have negative impacts on the Chinese economy and business environment. This explains why the issue is a social problem in China that needs to be immediately addressed.

Narada foundation is one of the organizations operating in China that have embarked on addressing the identified social problem. From the findings gathered from the review of literature and organizations’ report, the company has put in place a number of programs that focuses on ensuring that the immigrants’ children get quality education as well as get access to good schools. This they have accomplished by building private schools with quality teaching facilities to ensure that the children are enrolled in good schools. In addition, the foundation, through other NGOs provides qualified staffs that are capable of offering quality teaching services to the children. It is believed, that through the aforementioned programs, the foundation will be able to accomplish its mission of ensuring that the immigrants children get access to quality education just as the other children of Chinese origin.

From the information provided, it is evident that the Narada foundation offers grants to the NGOs to implement projects that will ensure its mission is accomplished. The main source of the funds for the foundation is through donations. This explains why the sustainability of the social initiatives put in place by the foundation is worrying. According to Schaltegger & Wagner (2011) the sustainability of the initiatives depends on the availability of funds that can be used for the implementation of the activities. The fact that the foundation mainly relies on donations to get it funds that it provides in form of grants makes it unsustainable (Avory & Lane, 2011). As Santos (2012) indicates, failures by the donors or the public to offer the funds are likely to result into the failure by the foundation to support its major projects. In this case, the future of the foundation in executing its social initiatives is not guaranteed.

As much as the company have indicated that they sell some of their services to other companies that operate within the Chinese economy, the possibility of using the funds in supporting all its social activities is impossible. It is reported that the companies makes purchases at will, hence there is no distinct amount of capital that can be said to be generated through the sale of the social service. This makes this source of revenue very unreliable. The sustainability of the social services supported by Narada foundation is therefore worrying.

From the definition of the social entrepreneurship, the approach taking by Narada foundation does not clearly reflects the social entrepreneurship approaches. According to Lyne (2012) social entrepreneurs participate in activities that solve social problems within the society.  In addition, these individuals or organizations take part in activities that ensure they can get sufficient funds needed to support their social activities. For instance, Dacin, Dacin &Tracey (2011) have indicated that social entrepreneurs may sell their social services directly to different clients or third party organization to generate revenue needed to support their social services. To ensure that their services are purchased, these individuals offer membership cards to various organizations that are required to subscribe on a monthly basis. It is also evident that social entrepreneurs will offer services, similar to what is offered by other companies, however, at a lower rate. The main objective in this kind of revenue generating approach is to ensure that they get access to the clients that could have otherwise not afforded the prices set by the other players in the market. In this case, the organization is able to make additional cash needed to support its social services.

From the discussion above, Narada foundation mainly relies on grants to fund its activities. There is no clear revenue channel that has been implemented by the organization. The selling of the social services is unlikely to generate higher amount of capital making it impossible for the foundation to offer all the grants needed to finance the viable projects that are presented by different NGOs that operates in China. According to Griskevicius, Cantú & Vugt (2012), the organization needs to put in place additional revenue generation model that will not only provide the capital needed for the provision of the grants to the NGOs but will also ensure that the social initiatives that are implemented by the foundation are sustainable.

Social entrepreneurship has a major role to play in sustainable development. According to Avory & Lane (2011) social entrepreneurship do not only focus on offering solutions to the social problems within the society but also focuses on ensuring that adequate amount of revenue is obtained to sustain the approaches and the strategies that have been put in place to solve the social issues. In this case, the implementation of social entrepreneurship approach in solving social issues in a society is likely to lead to social development of the region.

As seen in the case study above, the failure by the Narada foundation, to incorporate revenue generation models in their process of solving social issues within the Chinese society makes their ability to accomplish social development questionable. As Schaper (2012) indicates, as much as the social enterprise main aim is to offer social solutions to the problems identified in the society, unless, the foundation involved has means of getting additional capital other than the donations, the sustainability of the strategies put in place to address the social problems is questionable.  Hence the possibility of attaining sustainable development is not guaranteed.

Chapter 6: Conclusion

Social entrepreneurship has a major role in promoting sustainable development. From the empirical review of literature and reports, social entrepreneurship need not only to focus on initiatives that offers suitable solutions to the social problems within the society, rather, there need to be other models and avenues through which revenue needed to support the initiatives are created. This study looked at the case of Narada Foundation to identify the role of social entrepreneurship in sustainable development. The study first identified the different kinds of initiatives that have been put in place by the foundation to solve the social issues. In addition, an evaluation of the sustainability of the initiatives as well as the revenue generation model that have been put in place by the organization was also done.

From the findings of the study, it is observed that Narada foundation has supported a number of projects since its inception that aim at offering quality education to the immigrants in China. The company through other NGOs that operates in China have supported the project that is designed to build additional schools with facilities needed to offer quality education. Availed qualified teachers to offer quality teaching services to the children to ensure their receive quality education and suitable environment for learning.

The sustainability of the approaches that have been taken by the foundation to solve the social issue on education for the immigrants is however, worrying; it is observed that the company mainly relies on donations as its main source of funds. In addition, the involvement of the company in selling of its services is not reliable since the companies are not obliged to make the purchases of the social service. In this case, the company is likely to report a deficit in the amount of funds needed to fund the projects that are needed to accomplish the aim and the mission of the foundation.

It is important that Narada foundation put in place strategies for income generation other than the donations. This will ensure that there is sustainability of the social initiatives that are put in place by the organization. In addition, the attainment of sustainable development is also likely. From the analysis presented, the company needs to sell its social services through the provision of membership cards such that each company that desires to purchase the social services makes subscription on monthly basis. In this case the organization is sure of getting funds from the sale of the service. The ability of the foundation to attain sustainable development is influence by their ability to ensure that the programs put in place to address the social issues are sustainable. In this case, Narada foundation needs to ensure that they implement a revenue generation model that will avail sufficient funds needed for the implementation of the strategies put in place to address the social issues to ensure that sustainability is accomplished.  

6.1. Limitation of the study

This study focussed on a case study of a single organization operating in China. In this case, the findings gathered by the study can only be used to inform the managers of the organization on any new direction to take as well as changes to be made in their line of operation. For instance, the study sought to establish the role of social entrepreneurship in sustainable development; the findings of the study are effective in information the management to the organization on the way forward that will ensure they attain sustainable development. Moreover, the findings are effective in information the management on the changes they need to make in their process of social entrepreneurship such that sustainability is accomplished.

Generalizability of the findings is unlikely hence the major limitation of the study. The findings may be beneficial to other organization with near similar mission and operating principles but not to any other social enterprise. In addition, the findings can only be applicable to such organizations only if they operate within the Chinese market. This therefore makes the findings relevant to limited number of organizations that operates within the Chinese market.

6.2. Recommendations and further work

From the findings of the study, it is recommended that Narada foundation put in place strategies for generation of revenue to ensure there is sustainability of its social initiatives put in place to address the social problem identified. The organization may consider selling its social services through the provision of membership cards to the interested companies. This will ensure that they attain a defined amount of capital on monthly basis that will enhance their ability to promote the sustainability of the social initiatives.

The management to the foundation also needs to carry out an evaluation of any other approach that can be adopted to create the revenue for the support of the social activities. The evaluation needs to be based on the approaches that have been implemented by other foundation and the level of success that they accomplished.

Since the findings of this study was based on a case study of a single enterprise, future studies needs to focus on different organizations and determine how their social entrepreneurship approach is likely to influence their sustainable development. The company to be included in such studies needs not to be confined to those operating within China but can also include other companies operating in different economies across the world. ‘Future research also needs to include the role of entrepreneurs in sustainable development, to know how individuals, other than organizations are likely to influence sustainable development through their social entrepreneurial activities. This will provide a wide range of information on the concept of social entrepreneurship and its role in achieving sustainable development.


Avory, B. & Lane, A. (2011). Catalyzing social investment in China, BSR, CIYUAN report,

Dacin, M. T., Dacin, P. A., & Tracey, P. (2011). Social entrepreneurship: A critique and future directions. Organization Science22(5), 1203-1213.

Griskevicius, V., Cantú, S. M., & Vugt, M. V. (2012). The evolutionary bases for sustainable behavior: Implications for marketing, policy, and social entrepreneurship. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing31(1), 115-128.

Lyne, I. (2012). Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship as Models of Sustainability for Local NGO’s: Learning from Cambodia’. International Journal for Management Research2(1), 1-6.

Rajput, N & Chopra, P. (2014). Social Entrepreneurship and Social Sustainability: An Analytical Study, Journal of Finance and Management, 6, (9), 961-966

Santos, F. M. (2012). A positive theory of social entrepreneurship. Journal of business ethics111(3), 335-351.

Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2011). Sustainable entrepreneurship and sustainability innovation: categories and interactions. Business strategy and the environment20(4), 222-237.

Schaper, M. T. (Ed.). (2012). Making ecopreneurs: developing sustainable entrepreneurship. Gower Publishing, Ltd..

Leave a Reply