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Social business

About Social Business and Economic Growth

The overall context of development cooperation has been changing over time. New actors have been intervening to meet the needs of vulnerable segments of the population and multi-stakeholder partnerships have been established. Public institutions, local authorities, for-profit companies and civil society organisations have been putting their expertise together to meet the challenge of development in many areas. They have been setting-up new frameworks of intervention and proposing new modalities of action, increasingly trying to integrate for-profit and not-for-profit initiatives and use innovative strategies which aim to sustain the ‘traditional’ development cooperation models.

Under diversified ‘social business’ models, collaborations between civil society organisations and for-profit companies have been launched and market-based models have been identified – in the frame of ‘traditional’ development cooperation interventions, to build on the economic, financial, social and institutional sustainability of actions aiming to have a clear (and measurable) social impact.

These models represent both an opportunity and a challenge for development, and they can represent powerful and innovative approaches to improve the living conditions of vulnerable segments of society, while contributing to their empowerment and to the cohesiveness of societies, both in rich and poor countries.

About punto.sud Engagement

punto.sud has been observing the changes in the context of development cooperation and learning from first-hand experience with those organisations, both funding agencies and implementing agencies, with whom it closely works, and has been reflecting on the role it may have in contributing to the accountability of the processes to maximise the benefits of all actors involved.

Three priority areas of intervention have been identified by punto.sud, to capitalise the experience gained in other areas of activity, and to contribute to the enhancement of the multi-stakeholder partnerships involved in social business models:

  • To support the identification of social business models, by identifying prospect of institutional, social, economic and financial sustainability at their design stage;
  • To accompany the implementation of social business models, by identifying proper management tools as well as internal control systems, for the models to maximise their social impact and to be sustainable;
  • To promote the measurement & the evaluation of economic & social results of the social business models.

Related Projects

punto.sud Fields of Intervention


If you have any question, please contact the desk officer for Social Business Program (Ms. Monica Favot) at


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