Social Enterprise and the effect of Isomorphism: The blurring boundaries between the not for profit and for profit market (Carebright Case Study)

Social Enterprise and the effect of Isomorphism: The blurring boundaries between the not for profit and for profit market (Carebright Case Study)
Alan Curtis
2013

EMES-SOCENT Conference Selected Papers, ECSP-LG13-66

Moving from a work integrated social enterprise (WISE) to a market led social enterprise, Carebright (formerly RCCN Caring) was initially set up as a work integration social enterprise. Funding came from government in the form of direct provision for the reintegration of long term unemployed people back into the labour market. These are known as active labour market programmes (ALMP). The initial objective of the company was twofold (1) focus on developing employment in the rural economy and (2) the provision of services to older people living in isolation and suffering from loneliness. Having set up in 1998 the company has gone through many forms of growth and developments over the years and is now faced with the many challenges and tensions that exist for hybrid organisations like Carebright i.e. the focus on the pro-social and pro-market/financial aspects of a double bottom line organisation. The case study traces the development of the organisation that began life as a not for profit organisation with a funding model based on acquiring funding, mainly from government as a public provider of essential social services, to, an organisation that has developed a business model that provides value to customers i.e. it creates value for the customer who pays for that value hence, creating a tension and challenge between providing services to beneficiaries to selling services to customers.

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