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Terracycle Outsmarting Waste Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1117 777 Words (3 Pages) John Stuart Read, Lepoutre Jan, Philippe Margery IMD : IMD710
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During the last couple of decades, the field of social entrepreneurship has come into the limelight as an increasing number of scholars have made an effort to explore it from various aspects yet, it seems that the studies carried out up till now are very much limited as compared to the potential prospects of this field. Various scholars have defined ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ from different perspectives, but the baseline of almost all definitions revolve around the fact that it is a process or an act of pursuing creative and innovative ideas and means for the purpose of providing solutions to a persisting social problem within the society (Mair & Marti, 2005) (Driver, 2012). According to Dees (2001), it is highly possible for a normal large or medium-sized business to address a social issue of society, but for it to be considered as social entrepreneurship, it must have a social mission as its central organization goal. Drayton (2006) also put forward a similar definition, which regards social entrepreneurs as those individuals who assume the responsibility of bringing a positive change within the society without worrying about the profit or return on investment. On the other hand, Michael Porter defines social entrepreneurship as an effort to create a shared value i.e. creating economic value for the investor while addressing the need of the society. Based on this definition, the social entrepreneur can have a shared central mission rather than a societal good mission only (Driver, 2012).

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Critique the various definitions of social entrepreneurship listed below and create your own definition.

  2. Compare the two cases (Terracycle and Correcting Market Failures)

Case Analysis for Terracycle Outsmarting Waste

Despite the availability of so many definitions within the literature, the biggest challenge is to define the word ‘social’ within Social Entrepreneurship as it will decide the course of definition. In my personal opinion, social entrepreneurship is a process of addressing one of the many social issues within society by providing a continuously sustainable, innovative, and proactive method. The initiative can be both for-profit and not-for-profit, but the core mission should not be to earn money but to resolve issues that create hindrance in improving human quality of life.

2. Compare the two cases (Terracycle and Correcting Market Failures)

Both case studies i.e. Terracycle: Outsmarting Waste and Social Entrepreneurs: Correcting Market Failures (A) are a classic example of social entrepreneurship. As discussed above, all definitions of social entrepreneurship focus on addressing a societal issue through a sustainable and innovative approach, which is apparent in these two cases. Terracycle is a case where young entrepreneurs make an effort to produce consumer products by using both pre- and post- consumer waste materials. The company accepts more than three dozen types of waste materials and produce products like fertilizers, plastic lumber, racks, etc. Similarly, the business model briefed in the second case i.e. an entrepreneurial effort of David Green to manufacture low-cost health-related equipment, primarily in areas of vision, hearing, and sutures. His business idea was in response to the failure of governments and large-sized organizations because for various reasons were unable to provide support with health equipment to lower class people.

The first case addresses the environmental cause; whereas, the second case is focused upon providing relief to poor and less-fortunate people within society. Both these entrepreneurial efforts are aimed at improving the quality of life of humans by creating opportunities for them. One aspect, which particularly calls for the approach of Michael Porter that he used in defining social entrepreneurship, is that unless the business focuses on a shared value i.e. economic value for the investor while addressing the societal needs, the business can never continue the process of innovation and creativity continuously.

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