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  5. Ways to Promote and Evaluate Social Business

2012 Vol.4
Ways to Promote and Evaluate Social Business


We often hear the term “social business” these days. Summarizing the definition and requirements of social business and reexamining its recent trends in terms of the issues surrounding social businesses, we discover the importance of incorporating various social resources into the value chain. In this paper, these social resources are deemed as “supporters” or “partners” of social businesses. Since the main purpose of social businesses is to make improvements or provide solutions to social issues, their existence becomes valuable only when they are accepted in society. However, with limited resources, it is not necessarily easy for them to make their existence or role known in society. In this respect, efforts are needed to help social businesses increase the number of their supporters and partners. Such efforts include emerging attempts to assess the social impact of a business activity based on the social return on investment (SROI) and to evaluate the organization of a social business. The creation of an evaluation framework and a variety of mechanisms utilizing it is being sought so that such assessment enables social businesses and the various stakeholders surrounding them to cooperate and lead society to a better place. The evaluation system introduced in this paper is still a tentative one, and its future development in Japan and other countries is anticipated.