Case Study Series

Launched in 2000, the NESsT Case Study Series is the first of its kind to focus on social enterprise in emerging markets. Modeled on the case study methodologies of leading business schools, the cases document the practical lessons learned by social enterprises in applying business practices to address critical social problems.

The cases documented in the series are selected to reflect a diversity of social enterprises from various fields, of varying sizes and utilizing various business models. Starting with general background information on the mission, programs, and financial situation of the organization, the cases walk readers through the steps taken to start up, manage and develop the social enterprise, analyzing the impact against eight impact indicators developed by NESsT, and highlighting key lessons learned.

The NESsT Case Study Series is a valuable “real-life” teaching and learning tool for business school and nonprofit management faculty and students, social enterprise practitioners, foundations and individual donors to better understand the challenges and lessons of applying entrepreneurial approaches to critical social problems.

Each case study may be viewed and downloaded at no cost. Click on a case name below to view/download.

NESsT Case Study Series

Case Study 1: The Corona Foundation “Building an Endowment” (Colombia) A private, corporate foundation dedicated to social development in Colombia, the Corona Foundation uses a conservative investment strategy to invest all hard assets donated by its corporate founders for its endowment, using only cash donations for grant-making purposes.

Case Study 2: Hogar de Cristo “Mobilizing Local Resources” (Chile) The largest operating foundation in Chile, Hogar de Cristo raises 82 percent of its revenues through five types of self-financing. The myriad of enterprises range from membership fees, to sale of products and services, to royalties and real estate rental income.

Case Study 3: The FES Foundation “Permanent Matching Funds” (Colombia) The FES Foundation, formerly one of the largest community foundations in Colombia, established Permanent Matching Funds as a way to build its endowment.

Case Study 4: Casa de la Paz “Diversifying funding sources by generating new clients” (Chile) Casa de la Paz generates income for its activities in citizen participation, environment and conflict resolution through consulting contracts.

Case Study 5: CIEM Aconcagua “Furthering organizational mission through self-financing” (Chile) CIEM Aconcagua generates income for its community development work by offering workshops and trainings and selling artisanal goods.

Case Study 6: CODEMU “Managing a non-mission-related business” (Chile) CODEMU, a labor rights group for women textile workers, generates income through its trainings and a for-profit laundromat in Santiago.

Case Study 7: Mexfam “Offering high-quality services at subsidized prices” (Mexico) Mexfam generates 40% of its income through the sale of educational materials and products for family planning, health and sex education.

Case Study 8: Fundamor “Building Self-financing from organizational mission and assets” (Colombia) Fundamor generates more than 60% of its income from numerous enterprises in support of its services to children living with HIV/AIDS.

Case Study 9: Fundaempresa “Using know-how as a basis for self-financing” (Colombia) Fundaempresa generates nearly 80% of its income from trainings and consultations on business planning and enterprise development.

Case Study 10: Eco Center Caput Insulae Beli “Becoming financially autonomous while capitalizing on hard assets and know-how” (Croatia) BECCIB’s first self-financing activity provided accommodation for Center visitors. Since then, self-financing activities have expanded to include consultancy work in the environmental filed, provision of guided tours, and charging of admission.

Case Study 11: Slap Association for Creative Development “Balancing human resource capacity while earning revenues” (Croatia) Slap’s main self-financing activity consists of providing training and consultancy services to CSOs, local authorities and firms on topics related to nonprofit entrepreneurship. The second activity is knitwear line produced by a group of socially vulnerable women.

Case Study 12: Udruga Slijepih Association of the Blind “Providing employment for the organization’s target group with reaching organizational sustainability” (Croatia) The Association established cooperation with a small family business and started the production of wooden toys. The Association has hired four previously unemployed beneficiaries.

Case Study 13: Zelena Akcija (Green Action) “Supplementing donor funds through several small-scale self-financing activities” (Croatia) The organization sells T-shirts and pens carrying Zelen Akcija’s logo, they collect membership fees, and rent out space at their summer resort to visitors.

Case Study 14: Udruga MI “Supplementing donor funds through several small-scale self-financing activities” (Croatia) The organization sells T-shirts and pens carrying Zelen Akcija’s logo, they collect membership fees, and rent out space at their summer resort to visitors.

Case Study 15: P-Centrum “Limiting Financial Returns for Greater Rehabilitation Success” (Czech Republic) P-Centrum launched a wood-sculpting business focusing on construction of hand-carved benches and multifunctional sculptures for children’s playgrounds, parks, zoos, etc. The enterprise both employs at-risk youth and generates income for P-Centrum’s youth programs.

Case Study 16: Vydra “Outsourcing Social Enteprise Management to Maximize Mission Impact” (Slovakia) Vydra launched a “Tourist Camp” (café, cultural, environmental & recreational events) in the Vydrovská Valley to encourage tourism, create local employment opportunities, and sustain itself.

Case Study 17: La Morada “The Challenges of Adopting an Entrepreneurial Culture in a Social Change Organization” (Chile)

Case Study 18: Parques para Chile “Creating an Organization While Simultaneously Developing a Social Enterprise” (Chile)

Case Study 19: Motivation Romania Foundation “Diversification: A Key to Long-term Sustainability” (Romania)
Motivation produces and sells personalized, tailor made quality wheelchairs. The organization’s production is certified with ISO standards, and it also trains the disabled in the use of the new wheelchairs.

Case Study 20: Ruhama Foundation “Understanding the Importance of Business Planning” (Romania) Ruhama provides training programs targeting the adults willing to work in the social sector (home care, social worker) or in CSOs or education field (trainer, project proposal writing). They also provide home care services to disadvantaged persons.

Case Study 21: Bioterra “Restructuring to Ensure Continued Growth of Self-financing Activities” (Romania) Bioterra provides, to farmers, fee based consultancy for ecological agriculture, sells books and brochures on ecologic and organic production, and collects membership fees.

Case Study 22: Patrir “Building Self-financing Into Core Activities” (Romania) Patrir provides national and international fee based training programs (both off and on-line) and international consultancy. They also rent their training room to CSOs and for profit companies.

Case Study 23: Copeme “Adapting Self-Financing strategies to new Market Conditions” (Peru) Credit and loan cooperative for partner organizations.

Case Study 24: GEA “Balancing Mission and Success in the Marketplace” (Peru) Environmental consulting services (ECOLAB).

Case Study 25: SER “Self- Financing Activities Respond to the Needs of the Community” (Peru) Rural development consulting services.

Case Study 26: MH20 “Strengthening Ventures Through Network Ties” (Brazil) MH2O helps Brazilian youth living in impoverished communities to channel their energy into productive social engagement rather than gang involvement, drugs and violence.

Case Study 27: (forthcoming)

Case Study 28: Sport in Action “Increasing Program Participation Through Self-financing” (Zambia) Sport in Action was founded in 1998 as a response to the lack of education, life skills activities, and empowerment opportunities provided through sports, especially for at risk-children and youth.

Case Study 29: Tiflonexos Asociación Civil “New technologies and self-financing: a complement to social integration” (Argentina) Online library for Spanish-speaking visually-impaired people.

Case Study 30: Mediapila País “Promoting a labour culture in the fight against extreme poverty and unemployment” (Argentina)

Case Study 31: Fundación Hermano Miguel “Self-financing in support of people with disabilities” (Ecuador) Medical and rehabilitation services.

Case Study 32: FUNDAMYF “Promoting the integral development of women and their families, implementing projects that include economic and productive aspects, with an emphasis on eduacation, health and leadership themes.” (Ecuador) Processing of Andean cereal and grains for sale and export in the national market.

Case Study 33: Andar “Leadership Challenges to Sustainable Growth” (Argentina)

Case Study 34: Quito Eterno “Organizational Culture Tested by the Challenges of Market Growth” (Ecuador)

Case Study 35: AGTR La Casa de Panchita “Presenting a Fair and Profitable Business Model to the Domestic Labor Market” (Peru)

Case Study 36: Prietenia: Adapting a Swiss model of work integration for people with disabilities to the Romanian context (Romania). More about Prietenia ›

Case Study 37: FRUIT OF CARE and Mid-Europa: Mixed Financing for a Social Enterprise Start Up (Hungary). More about fruit of care ›

Case Study 38 – Incores and Actis Acts: Consolidating a Proven Model in Order to Scale (Brazil). More about Incores ›

Case Study 39 – Ingenimed and The Lemelson Family: Overcoming Early Stage Challenges through Incubation (Peru). More about Ingenimed ›

Case Study 40 – Kek Madar and the Aushermans: Using a Soft Loan for Infrastructure Development and Growth (Hungary). More about Kek Madar ›