Social business and social innovation: the Brazilian experience


  • Graziella Maria Comini Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paul
  • Rosa Maria Fischer Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paul
  • Edison Quirino D’Amario Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paul



Social entrepreneurship, Social innovation, Social business, Socio-environmental value


Purpose – The aim of this article is to contribute to the field of social businesses, particularly considering the dimension of social innovation.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopted a qualitative approach, whose purpose is to gather in-depth insights into a problem to understand its contextual elements and interrelations. The authors used an exploratory descriptive design and a multiple case study, which allows the identification of similarities and differences in the research subjects. They developed a scale that enables the classification of the operation logic of the social businesses analyzed.

Findings – It became evident that social businesses present a few differences in their modus operandi: those based on a social logic are more concerned with the generation of socio-environmental value, however with small-scale innovation; in contrast, social business guided by a market logic do not intend to generate socioenvironmental value in different dimensions and are more concerned with the wider range of their innovations.

Research limitations/implications – This research analyzed social businesses from a founder and manager perspective and did not comprise all stakeholders. The purpose of this study was not to measure the effective impact generated by innovation, but to understand its potential to generate socioenvironmental value.

Practical implications – The generation of socio-environmental value and the strategies to expand practices of social innovation are associated with the operation logic of social business.

Originality/value – The created scale allowed the classification of social businesses in terms of operation logic (greater emphasis on market or social aspects) and proposes a few dimensions to evaluate a socioenvironmental innovation.



Não há dados estatísticos.


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Como Citar

Comini, G. M., Fischer, R. M. ., & D’Amario, E. Q. (2022). Social business and social innovation: the Brazilian experience. INMR - Innovation & Management Review, 19(2), 140-155.