The Role of Human Capital in Scaling Social Entrepreneurship

Dawn Harris, Yasemin Kor


In this article, we discuss the importance of human assets in growing and scaling a social venture in order to achieve its objectives and attain financial sustainability. We focus on the three key dimensions of how a social enterprise’s human assets contribute to the effectiveness of the company’s operations and its missions: 1) human capital acquisition, 2) human capital development, and 3) human capital retention. In discussing and unpacking these three dimensions, we draw from rich insights and real- life examples from two social ventures we studied: Solar Sister of Uganda and E-Health Point of India. These inductively-generated research insights underscore the importance of productive engagement of human assets for the long-term viability of social ventures and in achieving their objectives on a broader social scale.

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