These are the must-read social entrepreneurship research reports from 2013

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Every year foundations, research organizations, think tanks and academic institutions bring out in-depth reports on the social enterprise industry. We sifted through a great many to bring you a list of reports that make mandatory reading for anybody interested in the sector.

Presenting the top reports from 2013.

Picture courtesy:

Picture courtesy:


1) Title: Social Entrepreneurship: How Innovative Change-Makers Are Testing New Solutions to Entrenched Social, Economic and Environmental Problems

Who by: McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute

What’s it about: Social enterprises are using innovative new business models to affect social change. Georgia Levenson Keohane looks at the US in particular and leverages case studies that include Teach for America and the government of New York City to paint a picture of this brave new world that is changing the way social and public services are being offered.

Download the report here.

2) Title: Financial Inclusion: Inverting The mMoney Approach

Who by: Intellecap Research

What’s it about: India is a country that has let its poor and disadvantaged down. Be it providing them with adequate healthcare, insurance, food or education. But one of its most glaring letdowns has been in the area of financial inclusion. This is perhaps one of the most solvable problems, especially when there is widespread use of mobile phones, which can be used as a tool for banking. This report explores the possibilities that mobile money offers and how it can be leveraged.

Download the report here.

3) Title: Impact Investing 2.0: The Way Forward – Insight from 12 Outstanding Funds

Who by: The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University and Impact Assets,

What’s it about: Globally, there has been explosion of social enterprises in the past decade, and most of them are hungry for capital. This demand has been met by social venture funds like Omidyar Network, Acumen and Aavishkaar. Given the tough market that social enterprises operate in, getting both social and financial returns is tricky. Some global funds have been able to do that. This report talks about these funds, their modus operandi and what the learning is for other fund managers who are considering investing in social ventures.

Download the report here.

4) Title: Pathways to Progress: A sectoral study of Indian social enterprises:

Who by: Intellecap Research

What’s it about: If you want to know what’s happening in the Indian social enterprise space then this report is a must-read. Based on interviews with 92 social enterprises, impact investors and sector enablers in India, the report analyzes social enterprises in five main sectors: agribusiness, clean energy, education, healthcare and water & sanitation sectors. It unravels factors for success, opportunities and challenges that the sector presents.

Download the full report here.

5) Title: 2013 India Venture Capital and Private Equity (VCPE) Report

Who by: IIT-Madras

What’s it about: This is the fifth year that IIT-Madras has been publishing their annual report on the Indian venture capital and private equity industry with every report focuses on a specific facet of the industry. The 2013 report focuses on social enterprise investments.

Download the report here.

6) Title: From the Margins to the Mainstream Assessment of the Impact Investment Sector and Opportunities to Engage Mainstream Investors:

Who by: World Economic Forum (WEF)

What’s it about: The focus of this report is on the mainstream investor angle and the opportunity to scale the social entrepreneurship industry.

WEF’s access to the senior decision-makers and portfolio managers of the world’s largest impact investors sets this report apart. Hopefully the collective wisdom of these top social venture investors will help take the industry from the margins into the mainstream.

Download the report here.

7) Title: Eight Years In: Lessons Learned in Impact Investing from Omidyar Network:

Who by: Omidyar Network (ON)

What’s it about: ON is the big gorilla in the venture philanthropy space. In this report they share the collective wisdom and knowledge of eight years of impact investing. This report is a must-read for anybody interested in the impact investment sector. Drink deep these insights.

Sample these: problem first structure second; talent is key.

Download the report here.

8) Title: Social enterprises and local governments:

Why by: The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government and the Institute for Regional Development at the University of Tasmania

What’s it about: As the UK has demonstrated, government support is an important part of getting social entrepreneurship off the ground. The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government partnered with the Institute for Regional Development at the University of Tasmania to explore this relationship and found that there’s surprisingly little evidence-based research that talks about best practices in this context. This preliminary paper explores a framework for future investigations on social enterprise and role of local government.

Download the report here.

9) Title: State of social enterprise survey:

Who by: Social Enterprise UK

What’s about: The State of Social Enterprise Survey 2013 is the largest survey of social enterprises in the UK and is the result of 878 telephone and online interviews with senior figures from the world of social entrepreneurship. Some of the findings: social enterprises are growing faster than mainstream businesses, they have more female executives at the top compared to traditional sectors and being young is not a hindrance for climbing to the top echelons of management.

Download the report here.

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Nelson Vinod Moses

Nelson Vinod Moses

Journalist with a keen interest in all things social entrepreneurship.