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South Asia Conference on Business Models and Social Entrepreneurship


Venue: TISS Mumbai

Organised by: Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, School of Management and Labour Studies

Social entreprenurship (SE) combines the resourcefulness of traditional entrepreneurship with a social mission to change the society (Seelos & Mair, 2005). According to Austin, Stevenson, and Wei-Skillern (2006), social entrepreneurship is defined “as an innovative and social-value creating activity that can occur within or across the nonprofit, business, or government sectors.” SE is used to refer to the rapidly growing number of organizations that have created models for efficiently catering to basic human needs that existing markets and institutions have failed to satisfy (Seelos & Mair, 2005).). “A business model describes the design or architecture of the value creation, delivery and capture mechanisms employed” (Teece, 2010, p. 191). It is a conceptual, rather than financial, model of a business, which makes assumptions about customers, the behaviour of revenues and costs, the changing nature of user needs, and likely competitor responses. It also defines the way the enterprise ‘goes to market’ (ibid.).

he emergence of major global phenomena and concepts, such as social entrepreneurship, shared value (Porter & Kramer, 2006), corporate sustainability, triple bottom line, and market at the bottom of the pyramid (Prahlad, 2004) has contributed to a need for the development of new innovative and sustainable business models. “Business model innovation is about generating new sources of profit by finding novel value proposition/ value constellation combinations” (Yunus, Moingeon, & Lehmann-Ortega, 2010, p. 312). In addition, over the past few decades, the boundaries between three traditional sectors-the public (government), private (business), and non-profit (voluntary) sectors, have been blurring, as many organizations have been blending social and environmental goals with business approaches (Fourthsector.net, no date). Over the past two decades, business has come a long way from general philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and corporate social investment (Schieffer & Lessem, 2009). They are developing new ways of engaging with society simultaneously including all three dimensions- economic, social and environmental (ibid.). As a result, new hybrid organizational models have been formed at the intersection of the public, private and social sectors to address a variety of societal challenges. These new enterprises, a new sector, are called the 'fourth sector' (Fourthsector.net, no date). Sharing two common characteristics- pursuit of social and environmental goals and the use of business methods position them within the landscape of the emerging 'fourth sector'. Some of the examples of newly emerged hybrid organizational models are sustainable enterprises, social enterprises, blended value organizations, cross-sectoral partnerships, community wealth organizations etc (ibid.). In particular, the inclusive business model offers new opportunities to a company to conduct business responsibly and, at the same time, generate economic and social value. Inclusive businesses models “include the poor on the demand side, as clients and customers, and on the supply side, as employees, producers and business owners at various points in the value chain. They build bridges between business and the poor for mutual benefit. The benefits from inclusive business models go beyond immediate profits and higher incomes. For business, they include driving innovations, building markets and strengthening supply chains. And for the poor, they include higher productivity, sustainable earnings and greater empowerment.” (UNDP, 2008, p. 14).

All the businesses, traditional or hybrid, either explicitly or implicitly employ a particular business model (Teece, 2010). Currently, the business model concept is attracting much attention from researchers, and seems useful in offering guidance as how to create social businesses (Yunus, Moingeon, & Lehmann-Ortega, 2010). Obviously, social entrepreneurship model, which aims to solve social problems and create social value, is not an exception. Thus, it is important to understand sustainable business models in order to create impact on all the three parameters of triple bottom line. The study of business models is an interdisciplinary topic, which has been neglected not only in social sciences, but in business studies too (Teece, 2010). Most research on business models lies in the literature on strategy and competitive advantage and focuses on their role as descriptors of actual phenomenon only (Baden-Fuller, & Mangematin, 2013). Recognizing this gap in the literature, the Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the School of Management and Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, organizes a Conference on the theme 'Business Models and Social Entrepreneurship' from January 17-19, 2018 at TISS, Mumbai, to bridge this gap.

With this background, we propose to raise the following themes for discussion in the South Asia Conference,

  1. Business Models: Theories and Concepts
    1. Innovation in Business Model
    2. Role of technology
    3. Sustainability
    4. Context and Business Model
  2. Philanthropy
    1. Role of individual
    2. Individual as Business Model Innovator
    3. Individual as Change Maker
  3. Family Foundation
    1. Family as a Change Maker
    2. Family Business as an Enabler
    3. Family as a Resource Provider
  4. Community-Based Business Models
    1. Co-operation
    2. Producer Organization
    3. Self-Help Promoting Institutions
  5. Green Supply Chain Based Models
    1. Ecology Enabling Supply Chain
    2. Conservation of Natural Resources
    3. Reverse Supply Chain
  6. Inclusive Value Chain
    1. Business Development Services
    2. Marginalized as Co-Producer
    3. Financial Model for Inclusion
  7. Emerging Role of CSR in Developing Models
    1. Re-defining CSR for Social Business Models
    2. Innovative CSR Model
    3. CSR based Social Business Model Reporting

The Conference will not only create a network of academicians, scholars, professionals, social entrepreneurs and students from across the globe especially among the South Asian Countries to collaborate in solving social, economic and environmental issues for sustainability and overall well being. The Conference will also establish a network of educational institutions to launch Global Masters Programme on Impact Investment to create a pool of professionals to deal with investment decisions for sustainable development.

We invite delegate, both from academics and practice fields, to participate in these deliberations. We are particularly interested in understanding the processes of social entrepreneurship and its role in building sustainable societies.

Invite for other delegates

We also invite other delegates interested in participating in these deliberations without submitting paper.

Registration and Accommodation for the Conference

The delegates, both paper presenters and otherwise are expected to pay registration fee as per the table below for the conference. Individual registration will be required in case of papers written by multiple authors.

For the Conference, we have limited accommodation at TISS Guest House on nominal payment. This will be offered on twin sharing basis. Registration without accommodation for the conference, covers conference kit, lunch, conference dinner, whereas registration fee with accommodation includes conference kit, conference dinner, breakfast, lunch and dinner and for three nights i.e. from January 16 to 18, 2018. All the registration fees are non-refundable. Paper presenters seeking accommodation will be required to apply for the same latest by 20 October, 2017. For other delegates, accommodation will be available on first-come-first-serve basis.

Nationality Registration Fee for Paper Presenters Registration Fee for other Delegates
Without Accommodation With Accommodation Without Accommodation With Accommodation
Indian INR 6000 INR 12000 INR 8000 INR 15000
International USD 300 USD 500 USD 400 USD 800

The registration fee should be paid through demand draft or multi-city cheque drawn in favour of ‘Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ payable at Mumbai, mailed to Dr. Samapti Guha, Professor, Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, School of Management and Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, V N Purav Marg, Deonar, Mumbai 400 088 (Maharashtra)'. Senders must write their names, addresses and affiliation on the backside of the cheque or draft.

Important dates for authors

Notification of Acceptance (First Draft): October 15, 2017

Submission of Revised Full Paper: November 30, 2017

Notification of Acceptance (Revised Paper): December 15, 2017

Powerpoint Presentation (PPt.) Submission: January 05, 2018

South Asia Conference: Jnuary 17-19, 2018


  • Austin, J., Stevenson, H., and Wei-Skillern, J. (2006). Social and Commercial Entrepreneurship:Same, Different, or Both? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(1), 1–22.
  • Baden-Fuller, C., and Mangematin, V. (2013). Business models: A challenging agenda. Strategic Organization, 11(4), 418–427.
  • Fourth Sector Network (no date) The emerging fourth sector. http://www.fourthsector.net/the-emerging-fourth-sector. Accessed 24 Jan 2017
  • Michelini, L. (2012). Chapter 2 Corporate social entrepreneurship and new business models. In “Social innovation and new business models: Creating shared value in low-income markets”, SpringerBriefs in Business. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-32150-4_2
  • Porter ME, Kramer MR (2006) Strategy and Society. The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Business Review, Boston pp. 78–92
  • Prahalad CK (2004). The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: eradicating poverty with profits. Wharton Business Publishing, Philadelphia.
  • Schieffer A, Lessem, R. (2009). Beyond social and private enterprise: towards the integrated enterprise. Trans Stud Rev 15(4),713–725.
  • Seelos, C., and Mair, J. (2005). Social entrepreneurship: Creating new business models to serve the poor. Business Horizons, 48, 241—246.
  • Teece, D. J. (2010). Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation. Long Range Planning, 43, 172-194.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), European Research Network (EMES), (2008). Social enterprise: a new model for poverty reduction and employment generation. Accessed on 25 Jan 2017 from http://emes.net/content/uploads/publications/11.08_EMES_UNDP_publication.pdf
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2008). Creating value for all: Strategies for doing business with the poor. Accessed on 25 Jan 2017 from http://growinginclusivemarkets.org/media/gimlaunch/Report_2008/GIM%20Report%20Final%20August%202008.pdf
  • Yunus, M., Moingeon, B., and Lehmann-Ortega, L. (2010). Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience. Long Range Planning, 43, 308-325.


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