Business Support Organizations and For-profit Social Ventures
Abstract: The rise in entrepreneurial activity over the last 15 years has created space for a nascent industry among the public and private sectors: Business Support Organization (BSO). In the last years, some BSOs have broadened their offer to include for-profit social ventures. Unlike traditional businesses, these ventures try to create a positive social impact while attempting to be economically self-sustainable. However, these disparate goals create several paradoxes and tensions within the organization of the venture that can put at risk its growth and existence. It is relevant to ask whether the support that BSOs offer to social ventures differs from that which they offer to traditional ventures. In a qualitative analysis of how BSOs in the Skåne region of Sweden understand and work with for-profit social ventures and the performing tension inherent to them, results show that there is significant variety between BSOs. BSOs that work primarily with traditional ventures do not account for the performing tensions when providing guidance, while those BSOs that are socially oriented have widely recognized that this and other tensions are an unavoidable part of running a social venture, and view them as inherent to the business model.
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