Who pursues social goals if the state withdraws and a purely profit-oriented model doesn’t take hold? A possible answer is: social enterprise. That is, businesses that pursue social goals by entrepreneurial means. Much hope is vested in these in both rural and urban areas. On behalf of the State of Brandenburg, the IRS is currently developing a structured overview of the status and potential for development of social businesses in Brandenburg, as well as of the assistance they require.
In Brandenburg, there is a broad array of social businesses. Among these are young startups, but also more established social operations with entrepreneurial approaches and business spin-offs from charitable organisations. To record, categorise, and map all of these, as well as to communicate the ways in which they require assistance, is the goal of the study “Market-Oriented Social Businesses in Brandenburg”. The research is being carried out by the department “Dynamics of Communication, Knowledge and Spatial Development”, which has extensive experience in research on social enterprise. At the heart of the study are market-oriented social businesses – those that earn profit from their positioning of novel products, services, and business models. The study is led by Gabriela Christmann with a team comprising Ariane Sept and Ralph Richter. Its findings will be presented at the end of 2020.