Effectiveness and Autonomy for Social Enterprise: Industry Perspectives on Business Models for the Artisan Sector, Dalaiah Kusner

Today’s fashion industry is ripe for disruption as it faces old problems and new demands at all parts of the value chain. Consumers increasingly demand that brands do more to protect livelihoods across the entire value chain, while producers’ need for meaningful work and wages that allow for a life where human rights are fully enjoyed is greater than ever. Meanwhile, social enterprises in the artisan sector for decades have actively addressed global poverty and prioritized makers’ well-being. Yet the legacies of colonialism and capitalism present barriers to social enterprises’ autonomy and effectiveness. Because the priorities of the global value chain do not fully align with those of social enterprises, the need arises for greater autonomy in order to exercise their goals. Current research on social enterprise explores theory, qualitative inputs, and high level metrics. However, available research falls short of examining the central question of how social enterprises’ approach to the market—in essence, their business model—could play a part in driving effectiveness or autonomy in the global value and supply chain. This study explores direct-to-consumer (DTC) and branded wholesale (WS) and the potential contributions to the autonomy and effectiveness of social enterprises in the artisan sector. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with industry leaders across artisan, international development, and private sectors.. Findings yielded practical suggestions and insights for social enterprises in the artisan sector hoping to advance their business strategy to increase their autonomy and effectiveness. The research confirms the need for present day solutions but also the need for systems change in the global value chain. Keywords: Social enterprise, business model, effectiveness, autonomy, artisan sector

Quick Links

Follow us

Scroll to Top