Scaling up social businesses

Social businesses can play a pivotal role in developing countries by addressing needs such as healthcare, energy, education and sanitation, but there a limited number of such businesses which have achieved significant size and reach.

These businesses address a social need while generating profits typically reinvested into the business itself, but there is limited understanding of the ways through which social businesses achieve scale.

New research identifies how social businesses can achieve scale:  “Increasing the number of customers or members of a business as well as expanding its offer and maximising its revenues until it reaches millions of people.”

The cases of BRAC, Aravind and Amul are investigated: how did these businesses develop over time and what strategies did they use?

The research identifies four key strategies and two methods for social businesses to scale up, which could help them reach billions of people in developing countries who could benefit from the services of such businesses.


University of Cambridge Judge Business School – Blog 20 September 2016 

Bocken, N.M.P., Fil, A., Prabhu, J. Scaling up social businesses in developing markets, Journal of Cleaner Production, 139, 295–308