Applying Social Enterprise to Refugee Settings

Storefront in LebanonHumanitarian assistance relies on a charity model of providing immediate relief in emergency situations. But once the emergency has passed, other approaches might better deliver services in a market-driven, customer-centric way. 

Our Program Leader for Social Entrepreneurship, Teresa Chahine, and her colleague recently wrote about their ideas for social innovation in Lebanon and other countries where refugees try to build a new life. 


We were curious about what is actually happening on the ground in Lebanon—whether social enterprise was possible in this crisis, or if there are already any examples of its success. We conducted focus groups with Syrian refugees in Beirut asking them about the services they currently receive, their level of satisfaction, and their willingness to pay for improvements. We also conducted interviews with service providers ranging from the employees of front-line local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to those at higher-level United Nations agencies and Lebanese government ministries.

Read the full article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

Related article: "Expanding Services for Syrian Refugees" (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News) click here.

September 27, 2017