Social Enterprise Initiative
Using market forces to sustain pathways out of adversity
Despite progress made in global development and local capacity building in the past decade, sustainability remains a key challenge for actors looking to create change and maximize impact globally. Too frequently, innovative ideas and solutions to complex issues are tied to grant cycles, with progress left to atrophy at the end of grant periods and their assured financial support. Ultimately, true sustainability in global development lies in economic independence from foreign aid and decision-making occurring within functioning, efficient systems at the local level.
By integrating market forces, sound business principles, and science-based innovations, the Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child’s (GC-DWC) Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) translates knowledge into opportunities and sustainable excellence for children, families, and communities.
Guided by the knowledge that low-income and fragile countries face unique challenges and therefore require unique solutions, the GC-DWC embraces a social enterprise model of change and development. A social enterprise lens, through which market forces and business principles coalesce to sustain education, child welfare, and community development initiatives, is especially necessary to employ in contexts where government investments in human capital and social development are woefully insufficient. Unlike other sustainable development options, social enterprise is not only an approach to development challenges, but a solution based on business principles employed by the world’s most successful companies and corporations. Fundamentally, social enterprises leverage entrepreneurship to address complex social issues and ultimately foster sustainable solutions, create capacity, and empower people at local levels. Social enterprises apply business principles and leverage commercial supply chains to cost effectively and efficiently achieve social objectives. By partnering with like-minded NGOs and government agencies, social enterprises improve the lives and livelihoods of marginalized communities by enabling access to affordable goods and services.
Progress, Goals, and Impact
Building on a series of long-standing relationships, partnerships, and programming, the SEI team currently embeds its social enterprise philosophy through multiple avenues and mechanisms in Haiti to create sustainable change. Based on high-impact evidence generated and lessons learned through the SEI in Haiti, the GC-DWC will be well-positioned to contextualize and replicate similar approaches in other low- and middle-income countries.
Current Social Enterprises
The GC-DWC’s SEI invests in Haitian institutions with a demonstrated impact and commitment to advancing the social good of Haitian communities.
The Haiti Salt Project
Using science-backed, business principles for public good in the fight against IDD and LF.
Mail Boxes Etc. Haiti
Providing Haitians with business services and low-cost, reliable package delivery while using a social enterprise model to generate profits to support community-led initiatives.
University of Notre Dame Haiti-Hinche
Partnering to foster sustainable and significant contributions to the health, well-being, and futures of Haitian citizens.
The Earl Carter Fellowship
The Earl Carter Fellowship and the Earl Carter Fellows designation honor the life and legacy of Earl Carter, commemorating his lifetime of leadership spent ministering in Christ’s name.