Microfinance Interventions of Social Enterprises in Promoting Sustainable Development: Evidences from Bangladesh

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Tahsina KHAN, American International University-Bangladesh, Bangladesh
Purpose of the paper: This research explores the emergent micro-finance interventions of social enterprises to stimulate sustainable development in Bangladesh, which are not sufficiently addressed in current social enterprise debates and discourse. From the context of developed new triple bottom line products, services and business models from the social entrepreneurs, this paper encapsulates the development implications derived from the social enterprises in the country.

Rationale of the study: Despite the persistent poverty and climate change adversity, Bangladesh sustained a notable advancement in recent years with gross domestic product growth exceeding 6% from the period of 2013-2016. To comprehend this development conundrum, social investors and scholars in development studies, denote several key factors including an active civil society and social business ventures initiated by government and non-government organizations.

Methodology: By utilizing Key Informant Interviews and field observation, the paper manifests the socio-economic and environmental welfare derived from the evolving social enterprise communities in the country. To inform this proposition, this study additionally consolidates the development initiatives and micro-finance experiences from the pioneering rural development organizations in Bangladesh, BRAC, Grameen Bank and other non-government organizations.

Findings and implications: In spite of being home to two world-famous social enterprises, presently, Bangladesh has no explicit policies required to govern and nurture the diverse social enterprise fraternity. As multidisciplinary considerations are essential in achieving sustainability, this paper attempts to identify the stakeholders in the domain of social enterprise and suggests a framework on multilateral collaboration consisting of policy makers, social investors, practitioners and scholars worldwide. In doing so, the study aims to set out the current theoretical landscape of social enterprise development.

Research significance – This paper sheds light on development potential from triple bottom line landscape and proposes a holistic framework for the sustainability of social enterprise research.