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Social entrepreneurship on the social services market in Russia: models, actors and ways to institutionalize (in the framework of the international project “International comparative social enterprise model”, ICSEM)

Priority areas of development: sociology
2015
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research: identification and justification of the main social enterprise models by identifying the driving forces, areas of tension and vectors of institutionalization of social entrepreneurship in Russia; the establishment of an empirical base (the Russian part) for the project of International Comparative Social Enterprise Model (ICSEM) project. 

Methodology: work is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of sociological research. This is due to the necessity of solving the dual problem. On the one hand, the embedding in an international comparative study ICSEM involves conducting formalized interviews with social entrepreneurs across the questionnaire, which will be analyzed with quantitative methods following the formation of the international database in 2016. On the other hand, the relevance of the study of social entrepreneurship in Russia is based on its own context associated with an early stage of its development, non-obvious trajectories of institutionalization and opening with 1.01.2015 access to provision of public social services for non-governmental organizations. This makes the interest in a thorough study of the activities of social enterprises fro which 45 semi-structured interviews with social entrepreneurs from 7 regions of Russia have conducted. In them we have specified some of the themes of the international survey, and also considered additional issues concerning the organizational nature of social enterprises as well as the role of the three sectors in their legitimation. The results of the survey of social entrepreneurs were supplemented by the study of open Internet sources and normative documents within the framework of the Desk research and the study of the representation of the main actors of the institutionalization of social entrepreneurship in the Internet using Russian search engine Yandex.

Empirical base of research: Empirical base of research are materials and normative documents regulating activity of social enterprises in Russia; materials from websites of organisations, reflecting the role of representatives of government, business and NGOs in promoting the discourse of social entrepreneurship; the answers to a search query by keyword "social entrepreneurship" in the system "Yandex"; semi-structured interviews with 45 social entrepreneurs from 7 regions of Russia; 47 formal interviews with social entrepreneurs (he Russian contribution to the international study ICSEM); 9 interviews with key representatives of 3 sectors – public, for-profir and non-profit in order to receive commentary on the role of the corresponding sector in the institutionalization of social entrepreneurship.

Results of research: the study identified 4 areas of institutionalization of social entrepreneurship (SE, which are based on prior experience, beliefs, views and current interests of the main actors: (1) a business in the social sphere, or "social business", (2) "the perfect business", (3) “entrepreneurial activities of nonprofits”, and (4) hybrid  organizations with social mission, combining the features of for-profit and non-profit organizations. The first discourse promoted mostly by the state, the second - by business, the third – by nonprofits and the fourth is determined by the activity of the existing social entrepreneurs. The leading vector of the institutionalization of SE is the first model. Its significance is determined not only by the fact that it is backed up by the interests of the formation of the non-state sector of social services and state support, but also by the fact that it is supported by other representatives that of business and NPOs. The other two models are dependent and weak, so the second important discourse in the adoption of SE, despite the small number of actors, is a hybrid type. Its relative resistance is defined not so much by reasoning, but by a real practice. This refutes the original hypothesis that the institutionalization of SE is the result of mainly external influence, i.e. the institutionalization from the "outside". Thus the leading role in the institutionalization of the SE and in the replication of statements about SE in the Internet belongs to different actors. The latter is performed by for-profit actors and replicable representations are in the nature of "information flea market". The main areas of inconsistency in the institutionalization of SE are observed inside the state structures (due to the mismatch in the estimates of the impact of each other on their own legitimation. While social entrepreneurs see in NGOs a close partner, NPOs seek to avoid identification with the social enterprise, seeing this as undermining their legitimacy).

Level of implementation,  recommendations on implementation can be consider the recommendations on the adjustment of public policy on the criteria and in direction of institutionalizing social entrepreneurship in order to more fully use its potential and promote development on the base of for-progfit and non-profit organizations; a more complete implementation is possible after the formation of the international database of ICSEM project in 2016 and conducting of comparative research models of social enterprises in different countries.

Publications:


Московская А. А., Берендяев А. А., Силаева В. Л. Москва как центр интеллектуальной экономики: критический взгляд с позиций занятости. // Форсайт. 2018. Т. 12. № 2
Boguslavskaya S. B., Rozhdestvenskaya N. Calculation of social return on investment (SROI) ratio of a local ecological initiative // ACRN Oxford Journal of Finance and Risk Perspectives. 2015. Vol. 4. No. 3. P. 102-134.
Vieta M., Quarter J., Spear R., Moskovskaya A. A. Participation in Worker Cooperatives, in: The Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations. Houndmills : Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Ch. 20. P. 436-453. doi
Nefedova A. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN RUSSIA: KEY PLAYERS AND DEVELOPMENT POTENTIALITY / NRU HSE. Series SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION "SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION". 2015. No. 51.
Sadykov R. A. Homeopathy within Russia Healthcare: the Challenges of Professionalisation // Journal of Social Policy Studies. 2016. Vol. 14. No. 4. P. 597-608.