Beyond Organizational Scale: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Systems Change
Published by: World Economic Forum


“The objective of this research report is to help practitioners understand what systems change means in the context of social entrepreneurship, how it is distinct from direct service or “business-in-a-box” models and, most importantly, what it looks like in practice – not as lofty exhortations and abstract concepts, but as a set of concrete activities, processes, and leadership lessons. Our intent is to move beyond systems theories – which, while useful, can be difficult to apply in a practical context – and instead tell the stories of how these theories can be applied across a range of circumstances. These stories follow six for-profit and non-profit social entrepreneurs in the Schwab Foundation network, working in education, health, consumer rights, land rights, rural development and the informal economy, as their strategies evolved beyond organizational scale – growing the reach of a prescriptive, organizationally designed solution to a problem – to systemic scale, with the goal of shifting the rules, norms and values that make up social systems.”