Social Innovations and its Barriers of Scaling Social Impact - A case study on Bangalore

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Abstract: The world is currently facing many great challenges, including a rising inequality as a result of the benefits occurring from economic development accrues to some individuals on the expense of others. This is an issue which is even more significant in the Global South. Hence, social innovations have been proposed as an important factor to tackle this problem. Yet, many social innovations fail not because the idea doesn’t have the potential of making a difference, but because they fail to appeal and adapt to the market, and hence scale up the social impact. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate what barriers social ventures experience when trying to scale the social impact of social innovations, and how the process of scaling the social impact could be improved. This study follows a qualitative approach and was realised in Bangalore, India. Data was collected through interviews in a multiple-case study with four social ventures, their collaborations partners and connoisseurs from different relevant fields. The results indicate that alliance building with the government, universities, private- and civil sector is important to succeed with scaling the social impact. Moreover, the barriers experienced are mostly connected to communication, stimulating market forces and lobbying, with important elements such as lack of public support, high bureaucracy and cultural barriers among others. The ease of scaling social impact could hence be improved by emphasising these drivers, with actions such as supportive policies and utilizing collaborations to raise awareness and understand the context where the social ventures operate.

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