Digital Opportunity Trust's Business Model for Social Enterprise Work
(8 pages of text)
A social enterprise organization, whose mission is to battle poverty and gender discrimination through providing access to technology, is faced with the prospect of losing some or all of its government funding in a time of global recession. Under the legal structure of a non-governmental organization, Digital Opportunity Trust has partnered with large corporations and other organizations and established a local presence in disadvantaged areas. It has worked in a partnership setting to mobilize the information technology knowledge of young people and train them to become leaders of change in their local communities, which in turn will give them the relevant skills and experience to support their own career paths. The organization’s striking success has been driven by its innovativeness and, more particularly, its noticeable efforts to reconcile the corporate and non-profit aspects of doing business, along with the challenges that come with it, without compromising the quality of the social enterprise brand that it is bringing forward.
The case is relevant in both undergraduate and graduate courses that introduce and explore social entrepreneurship, social development, public-private partnerships and information technology for development.
- To explore the structure of a social enterprise including the non-profit and income-generating aspects.
- To assess the ability of a social enterprise to reconcile business and social dimensions in order to yield large-scale impact.
- To examine how a simple idea or vision can be transformed into a venture with a global social impact and how the potential of using information technology can foster social and economic development, particularly in developing and marginalized communities.
- To understand both the potential of the private sector to play a more crucial role in global development and the potential for more collaboration between the information technology industry and social enterprises.
Canada; Jordan; Lebanon; Egypt, Small, 2011
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