|Chapter 4: Identifying Appropriate Organizational Models
- Different points in that conceptual space have different strengths (and different probabilities of success). From a sustainability perspective, market-based mechanisms are most likely to provide long-term solutions. From an equity perspective, a social enterprise model may help extend the reach of markets and ensure broader access for disadvantaged communities, and a purely social model may alleviate increases in inequalities resulting from the digital divide.
- Some of the existing models that started as private sector, for-profit models or purely not-for-profit models—at the two opposite ends of the continuum—are now moving toward a middle ground. In the context of a scale-up and the need to cover a broad range of geographic areas with varying levels of market maturity, a flexible model, or multiple models (similar to Gyandoot’s multiple models), may be needed. It is also important to recognize the dynamic nature of markets and the need for models that can adjust over time to changing conditions.
- In emerging markets, purely commercial enterprises may not yet believe that what they gain from serving the needs of the poor will provide the return on investment they seek, though there is growing evidence that an appropriate business model will succeed in purely return on investment (ROI) terms (see Prahalad, 2005). In the absence of commercial providers, social enterprises may find their niche.(18) The social enterprise model tries to balance social needs and economic realities. Even within a social enterprise model, there may be need for additional interventions so that areas of greatest need (least accessible rural areas, disadvantaged groups such as women, or areas with low literacy levels) get the attention they deserve to ensure equity in access.
4.12. Make It Your Own
The cases and characteristics discussed in this chapter are intended to give a realistic notion of the degree to which projects vary in meaningful ways. They differ along multiple dimensions; the most important for these purposes is the model or approach taken to solving local problems. The real world is full of hybrid cases, but there are clear conceptual differences among the public service, social enterprise, and market-driven categories that can be used to describe general areas along the continuum. These questions will help you apply the concepts and analysis to your own situation: