Involving or not the beneficiaries role players on social initiative games: Case studies analysis

Pedro Sancho, Rute Gomes, Cláudia Pernencar

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Social inequalities are intensifying the initiatives in which the providence State is requested to find solutions and tools to improve the social impact. In this perspective, the Management and Entrepreneurship fields assume a huge relevance in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship areas. Considering that, Manzini (2015) suggests that the most efficient model for fighting social inequalities within a vulnerable community is to involve them in the process when solving social problems through a project development. Focus on Manzini’s proposal and having in mind the beneficiaries’ involvement in this kind of initiative a question emerged: What is the role of the beneficiary's involvement as a critical success factor in development of Social Innovation projects? To answer, it was carried out a narrative literature review that guided the action of a case study analysis matrix following these parameters: i) business model; ii) public funding dependency; iii) Involvement levels of beneficiaries and iv) business sustainability/ longevity. Seven social entrepreneurship projects were analysed. The results and discussion section led to concluding that a correlation between longevity and beneficiaries’ involvement exists. Also, the design of initiatives’ business models that consider their involvement, influence positively the longevity and the sustainability of a social initiative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-122
Number of pages28
JournalDISCERN, International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship’
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2021


  • Beneficiaries’ involvement
  • Design for social change
  • social inequalities
  • Sustainable development


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