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Working paper / CIRIEC
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Liège (Belgium) : CIRIEC, Université de Liège
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The United Arab Emirates are resolutely diversifying their economy away from oil dependency. A top-down commitment to include the Emirati workforce into an increasing knowledge-based economy is visible in the federal efforts undertaken to promote entrepreneurship. A federal entity dedicated to the development of SMEs acknowledged the synergistic role social enterprises could play in merging social inclusion and economic development. This entity wholly funds and incubates a nonprofit establishment, acting as market intermediary for Emirati artisans. This paper builds on the methodology and findings of a dissertation for a Master in Development Studies which aimed at providing an insight of this non-profit establishment's potential to become a social enterprise. Given the experimental nature of the research, a pragmatic approach was followed. An iterative process underpinned the concept of social enterprise from established literature, re-visited the concept through a social constructionist lens as an emerging topic in the GCC region, and benchmarked the non-profit establishment against two selected social enterprise frameworks, based on data analysis from documents and interviews. This paper focuses on the social constructionist perspective as a method to re-visit the imported construct that is social enterprise in the UAE context, and connect it with the constructs inherent to this specific environment. This paper aspires to add to the burgeoning literature in the field of social enterprise in the GCC context, while illustrating with the example of the UAE context, the relevance of social constructionism as a universal method to investigate the concept of social enterprise in their own context.
English (eng)
Johnsen, Sarah (2015). Revisiting the concept of social enterprise in a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) context : a social constructionist view. Liège (Belgium) : CIRIEC, Université de Liège.
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