Social Entrepreneurship

The Search for Social Entrepreneurship

The Search for Social Entrepreneurship
Brookings Institution Press

Light, P.C.
01/01/2008

Research on social entrepreneurship is finally catching up to its rapidly growing potential. In The Search for Social Entrepreneurship, Paul Light explores this surge of interest to establish the state of knowledge on this growing phenomenon and suggest directions for future research. Light begins by outlining the debate on how to define social entrepreneurship, a concept often cited and lauded but not necessarily understood. A very elemental definition would note that it involves individuals, groups, networks, or organizations seeking sustainable change via new ideas on how governments, nonprofits, and businesses can address significant social problems. That leaves plenty of gaps, however, and without adequate agreement on what the term means, we cannot measure it effectively. The unsatisfying results are apple-to-orange comparisons that make replication and further research difficult. The subsequent section examines the four main components of social entrepreneurship: ideas, opportunities, organizations, and the entrepreneurs themselves. The copious information available about each has yet to be mined for lessons on making social entrepreneurship a success. The third section draws on Light’s original survey research on 131 high-performing nonprofits, exploring how they differ across the four key components. The fourth and final section offers recommendations for future action and research in this burgeoning field.

Recommendations Forestalled or Forgotten? The National Commission on the Public Service and Presidential Appointments

Recommendations Forestalled or Forgotten? The National Commission on the Public Service and Presidential Appointments
The National Commission on the Public Service and Presidential Appointments. Public Administration Review, May 2007, Vol. 67 Issue 3, p408-417, 10p.

Light, P.C.
05/01/2007

Nearly two decades after the first Volcker Commission issued its report on the federal public service, the presidential appointment and confirmation process remains long, cumbersome, intensive, and embarrassing. As the evidence presented in this essay suggests, the process may attract people who are motivated more by personal rewards than by the intrinsic value of public service. Although recent administrations have displayed little enthusiasm for reforming the federal appointment process, the best hope for change may reside in future presidents' desire to assert tight political control over executive departments.

Financial Performance and Outreach: A Global Analysis of Leading Microbanks

Financial Performance and Outreach: A Global Analysis of Leading Microbanks
Economic Journal, February 2007, Vol. 117, Issue 517, pp. F107-F133

Morduch, J., Cull, R. & Demirguc-Kunt, A.
02/01/2007

Microfinance promises to reduce poverty by employing profit-making banking practices in low-income communities. Many microfinance institutions have secured high loan repayment rates but, so far, relatively few earn profits. We examine why this promise remains unmet. We explore patterns of profitability, loan repayment, and cost reduction with unusually high-quality data on 124 institutions in 49 countries. The evidence shows the possibility of earning profits while serving the poor, but a trade-off emerges between profitability and serving the poorest. Raising fees to very high levels does not ensure greater profitability and the benefits of cost-cutting diminish when serving better-off customers.

Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers

Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers
3rd Edition with interactive CD, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, May 2002, 400 pages. New York: Aspen Publishers.

Finkler, S.A.
05/01/2002

For all entrepreneurs and nonfinancial professionals with budget and/or P&L responsibilities, Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers provides the basics necessary to make a solid contribution to the financial goals and success of their companies. This indispensable and easy-to-read primer gives all entrepreneurs and managers in nonfinancial areas--sales, marketing, production, and more--a complete understanding of financial terms, statements, and ratios and how they affect the operations of a business or corporation. With this information, financial managers will be able to understand: owners' equity, ratio analysis; balance sheets; income statements; LIFO liquidations; asset valuation; cash flow statements; capital leasing; liabilities; present value; operating leverage; breakeven analysis; and more. New to the third edition are chapters covering: basic tax concepts; capital structure; business plans; working capital management and banking relationships; personal finances; and accountability and controls.

Replicating Microfinance in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges

Replicating Microfinance in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges
(with Mark Schreiner) Chapter 1 of Replicating Microfinance in the United States, edited by Jim Carr and Zhong Yi Tong. Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Center/Johns Hopkins University Press,

Morduch, J.
01/01/2002

Microfinance was pioneered in the developing world as the lending of small amounts of money to entrepreneurs who lacked the kinds of credentials and collateral demanded by banks. Similar practices spread from the developing to the developed world, reversing the usual direction of innovation, and today several hundred microfinance institutions are operating in the United States.

Replicating Microfinance in the United States reviews experiences in both developing and industrialized countries and extends the applications of microlending beyond enterprise to consumer finance, housing finance, and community development finance.

This book reviews experiences in both developing and industrial countries and extends the applications of microlending beyond enterprise to consumer finance, housing finance, and community development finance, concentrating especially on previously underserved households and their communities.

 

The Volunteering Decision

The Volunteering Decision
Brookings Review, Fall2002, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p45.

Light, P.C.
01/01/2002

Discusses what prompts and sustains the volunteering decisions of presidents in the U.S. Views of President John F. Kennedy on volunteerism; Volunteer programs that former president Lyndon Johnson helped create; Other presidents of the U.S. that gave contributions to the nation's national service; Effect of service learning on volunteering.

Placing the Call to Service

Placing the Call to Service
Brookings Review, Spring2001, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p44, 4p.

Light, P.C.
01/01/2001

Reveals the message from two surveys of senior-level appointees from the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Estimated number that said they would strongly recommended presidential service to a good friend; Percentage that said that presidential service would be both an honor and an opportunity to make a difference.

The Microfinance Promise

The Microfinance Promise
Journal of Economic Literature, Dec 1999, Vol. 37 Issue 4, p1569, 46p.

Morduch, J.
12/01/1999

The article presents information about a set of financial institutions in underdeveloped countries which are striving to alleviate poverty by providing financial services to low-income households. These institutions, united under the banner of microfinance, share a commitment to serving clients that have been exclude from the formal banking sector. Almost all of the borrowers do so to finance self-employment activities, and many start by taking loans as small as $75, repaid over several months or a year. Only a few programs require borrowers to put up collateral, enabling would-be entrepreneurs with few assets to escape positions as poorly paid wage laborers or farmers. The programs point to innovations like "group-lending" contracts and new attitudes about subsidies as keys to their success. Group-lending contracts effectively make a borrower's neighbors co-signers to loans, mitigating problems created by informational asymmetries between lender and borrower. Neighbours now have incentives to monitor each other and to exclude risky borrowers from participation, promoting repayment even in the absence of collateral requirements.

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