Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing
Assessing the drivers, processes, and outcomes of social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and impact investing in the fight against wicked societal problems such as inequality, disaster, climate change, to ageing and health crises, requires a deep connection between theory, practice and policy. CSPSE’s work on the interventions employed by social enterprises and innovators, impact investors, community leaders, as well as government and businesses harness multiple types of data, measurements and perspectives to understand micro, meso and macro level patterns of social change. Our aim is to better understand the role of citizens, communities, government and businesses and how their activities improve lives, ecology, and institutions.

The Performance of Social Enterprises

With funding from UGC GRF grant, this project aims to identify individual and organizational level factors that drive the financial and social performance of social enterprises. Using in-depth qualitative interviews and a survey on social enterprises in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom, we seek to identify the role of founder’s passion, compassion, identify, organizational bricolage, creativity, and trust in influencing social enterprises’ performance.

Exploring the Drivers of Social Innovation Performance

Funded by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund (SIEFUND) from 2016 to 2020, this project explored the factors and mechanisms that explain why some social innovation projects perform better than others in terms of social impact and usefulness. Using quantitative content analysis and in-depth interviews, we studied more than 200 social innovation projects from across the world and locally to identify factors that explain social innovation performance.

Impact Investing for Public Value Creation

With seed funding from PolyU Departmental General Research Fund (DGRF), this pilot project aims to examine how impact investors make decisions and trade-offs in selecting investment opportunities to invest in social enterprises. Using vignette interviews and discrete choice experiment involving impact investors, we examine how impact investing decisions are made, salient factors that drive impact investing decisions, and their impact on the creation of public value.