A social enterprise in the developing world? Social/business tension and benefits distribution in a community managed forest in Palo Seco, Mexico

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Peach, Andrew
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University of Guelph

In the literature on social enterprises a tension between business and social missions has been identified. The literature focuses almost exclusively on social enterprises that conform to conventional business structures in the developed world. In this research paper we conduct a case study on a community forestry enterprise in Palo Seco, Mexico that allows us to look at the tension in an entirely different institutional structure. Through literature review, interviews and document analysis we have made the case that by including stakeholders in the decision-making process Palo Seco has been able to mitigate the tension between business and social missions, although it has not disappeared altogether. This could lead to further examination of institutions in the developing world that may provide insight into how social enterprises can organize themselves to better achieve both their business and social missions.

community forestry, business mission, social mission, social enterprises, developing country, forest