Providing detailed understanding to academicians and practioners on how the Governemnt perceives, pursues, and partners with social enterprises (SE) to scale impactful models that delivder better services at the base of the pyramid 


PARTNER: World Bank


AREA OF EXPERTISE: Research, social enterprise

YEAR: 2014-15


More often than not, government officials have limited bandwidth that are required for the effective implementation of schemes. Thus, technical and knowledge support when provided in a structured manner can be valuable. On the other hand, the SE that have the potential to provide such support face constraints such as lack of funding, policy, regulatory barriers and limited internal capacity. Hence, this presents opportunities for creating systems of synergy and mutual benefit between the Government and SE to ensure convergence of projects to and get the best out of different government programmes.


Although examples of integration between the public service delivery systems and activities of social enterprises exist, they are not very common. Therefore, is a need for detailed studies to analyse lessons of experience from these examples.


For preparing the paper, the team began the research by reviewing its internal experience of having worked with state and local governments. After a thorough review process of over fifty cases, the Swaniti team highlighted seven case studies that met the required criteria and provided the reader a perspective about how government’s approach social enterprises. Based on the case studies selected, a list of stakeholders, with a particular focus on senior bureaucrats and social enterprise leaders, was prepared to seek further input on the paper.


The interviewees were selected by their closeness to the cases and their experience in the government and the questionnaire was based on specific data points identified, past experiences and initial interviews. Further, as the paper closely studies the states of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh; the research team also connected with key government officials in UP and AP. The research was then documented in the form of detailed analytical insight paper and a brief power point presentation which summarised the model with relevant case studies.



With the aim of providing a comprehensive understanding to academicians and practitioners regarding the perspective, needs and framework of the government in partnering with social enterprises; the paper proves to be an essential resource defining the various elements considered by the government prior to a partnership. Further, by providing examples that adequately detail the contours of such partnerships, the study suggests the manner in which sustainable impacts can be created.