3 tips for social entrepreneurs
Dawn Harris is leading the way in social enterprise research.
Money isn’t everything, especially in social entrepreneurship. So why not emphasize the human side of things?
That is the question put forth by Dawn Harris, PhD, associate professor of management at Quinlan, in her latest article, "The Role of Human Capital in Scaling Social Entrepreneurship: How Can Social Entrepreneurship and Human Assets Contribute to the Growth of Business?"
Cases in point
The article, recently published in the Journal of Management for Global Sustainability (from the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools), focuses on two case studies: Solar Sister of Uganda and E-Health Point of India. Solar Sister sells alternative-fuel lamps in a country largely reliant on kerosene—a combustible liquid often within easy reach of children. E-Health Point provides clean water and healthcare services in rural India.
In interviewing directors of these businesses, Harris and her research partner, Yasemin Kor, built a model for how human assets can contribute to a company’s operations and mission. In it, they outline three critical components:
- Human capital acquisition: skill development; getting the right people for the job
- Human capital development: training, motivating, and rewarding employees
- Human capital retention: preventing unwanted turnover
Harris says these organizations face particular challenges that make human assets valuable.
“Social ventures often have resource scarcity,” she says. “For example, the legal setup is often weak where these businesses are operating. So human assets have to function differently; they have to learn quickly and have a strong entrepreneurial drive.”
Greasing the wheel
There are other considerations to take into account when looking at this model, Harris adds. First, it is important to consider specialized skills, not just generic skills and education. Second, it is essential that informal training and incentives are promoted. Last, in the recruitment stage, the skill sets of the candidates should be assessed alongside their values, and how well each aspect fits with the social venture.
“We wanted to start building a model so that social entrepreneurs don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Harris says. “We want to continue to expand on this in our future research.”
Want more? Read Harris's article in the Journal of Management for Global Sustainability.
More Featured Stories
On Tuesday, December 1, charities, families, businesses, and students around the world will come together for a common cause: to celebrate generosity and to give.
January Term, also known as J-Term, can help students catch up, get ahead, or graduate early by enrolling in a three-credit course over the winter break.
Loyola continued to show that it belongs among the nation’s elite, recording its highest-ever Graduation Success Rate score according to the latest NCAA data. The Ramblers' 98 percent GSR puts them in a tie for third nationally, behind only Dartmouth and Samford in the rankings.
Two business degrees, two continents, three countries. All in four years. That’s the promise of Quinlan’s new U.S./Europe Double Degree program.
Loyola University Chicago is No. 99 on the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings—the first time ever that the University has cracked the Top 100 list. With 1,376 schools included in the latest rankings, the new list puts Loyola in elite company.
Professor Philip Hong’s research helps unemployed adults get back on their feet. And now, after receiving a $500,000 grant, he hopes to help even more people.
Three Loyola students were recently selected for the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program and will spend the next year working on health care related projects to help underserved communities in Chicago.
Loyola’s nationally ranked sustainability efforts are featured in this FOX-32 segment about Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment.
Assistant professor Reuben Keller, PhD, is an expert on invasive species, and he’s taking a new approach to try to solve an age-old problem. “You’ve got to go beyond ecology,” Keller says. “I learned that pretty quickly.”
Months before they arrived on campus, incoming Loyola students received their first official assignment: Read the book Acts of Faith.
See how Loyola’s innovative curriculum gets students ready to teach—right away. Thanks to a partnership with Chicago Public Schools, the School of Education is giving undergraduates the chance to learn directly from working teachers.