Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Languages, Philosophy and Speech Communication

First Advisor

Matthew Sanders

Second Advisor

Timothy Curran

Third Advisor

Dan Holland

Abstract

Hybrid social businesses address social problems in a new way, distinct from nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Social businesses are broadly defined as organizations that seek to realize a social mission through business means, and they have the potential to change the landscape of social impact and social services. This study examines such businesses using the lens of the narratives their founders and other leaders tell about how their organizations formed. The current study includes interviews with founders and leaders of social businesses in Utah. Analysis of the data demonstrates similarities and differences between the stories and motivation of individuals who enter the unique social business sector, in comparison to more traditional non-profit founders' stories. In particular, the data suggests that similar to nonprofit narratives, personal rewards and identity played a major role in participation in social businesses. Additionally, analysis suggests that social business leaders emphasize entrepreneurial and business skills as a driving motivator, and strength, of their work. Crucial insights about this new social organization structure are highlighted to show how social businesses can contribute to society in meaningful ways that can restructure the ways in which we address social problems.

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