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The Existing Landscape of Social Entrepreneurship in Peru

Published on April 1, 2020

This study examines the existing landscape of social entrepreneurship in Peru. We describe the on-the-ground situation of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country, the resources available, the policies recommended for Peru's development, and the roles of the actors involved in this process. In this context, it is essential for Peru to develop specific public policies to promote and strengthen the ecosystem of SEs and sustainable MSMEs.

Building a clear and consistent strategy, developed by the government, to further disseminate information about the benefits of having sustainable MSMEs and SEs, such as considering the potential positive contributions they can have for the country.
Applying the social entrepreneurship approach as a transversal public policy in all programs linked to generating greater productivity and value in the country.
Including the SE outlook in government programs that encourage productivity in a sustainable manner.

A ‘social enterprise’ is defined as a formal and private organization whose mission is to intentionally contribute to the solution of a key social and/or environmental challenge that affects vulnerable populations through market strategies. Today, social enterprises (SE) are organizations that, due to their impact, play a strategic role in the welfare of society. Nevertheless, SEs face a variety of challenges which are primarily attributed to the lack of a general conceptual understanding of SEs and the lack of supporting organizations to help with their growth, among other barriers. SEs can be considered as a specialized sub-section of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as both share similar business challenges. However, the former faces more obstacles in their development while the latter does not have an intentional primary focus on solving social or environmental issues.

Furthermore, SEs also have commercial competitive advantages in a market that is increasingly looking for sustainable goods and products. Even though this trend is not strong in Peru, it is steadily growing and has the potential to provide valuable opportunities for MSMEs that choose to be more sustainable. Hence, it is imperative that MSMEs – which represent 99.6% of the private sector in Peru – develop and commit to sustainability practices which ultimately contributes to the sustainable development of the country. However, public resources available to promote sustainable MSMEs is limited in Peru, and this is especially true for SEs where these public resources are non-existent.

"The goal is not specifically to promote more SEs, but to provide the tools required to achieve and measure social and environmental impacts."