Market-based social economy firms such as social enterprises, social purpose businesses, co-operatives, credit unions, and community economic development corporations aim to meet distinct social needs while making money. Do these types of businesses have the potential for growth in the modern economy? Are they destined to function only in areas where conventional firms cannot achieve a sufficient rate of return? Or will the role of social economy organizations change as businesses begin placing more emphasis on corporate social responsibility?
Building on the popular 2010 collection Researching the Social Economy, Businesses with a Difference explores the challenges and opportunities faced by firms that seek a genuine balance between their social and economic objectives. Through international case studies, including comparative analyses, this innovative collection highlights the unique issues that must be addressed when associations are accountable not to investors and shareholders, but instead to ordinary people.
About the authors
Laurie Mook is the co-director of the Social Economy Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
Jack Quarter is a professor and co-director of the Social Economy Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He is the author of Canada's Social Economy and Crossing the Line. He edited How to Start a Worker's Co-op and co-edited Partners in Enterprise: The Worker Ownership Phenomenon.
Sherida Ryan is a post-doctoral fellow, co-director of the Social Economy Centre and faculty member with the Adult Education and Community Development Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
Other titles by Laurie Mook
Other titles by Jack Quarter
Pensions at Work
Socially Responsible Investment of Union-Based Pension Funds
Management and Policy Issues for Social Purpose Businesses
Understanding the Social Economy of the United States
Building a Community-Controlled Economy
The Evangeline Co-operative Experience
Crossing the Line
Unionized Employee Ownership and Investment Funds
Canada's Social Economy
Co-operatives, Non-profits, and Other Community Enterprises