Social Entrepreneurship in Crisis Situations

By Roni Kaufman, Amos Avgar and Julia Mirsky.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Adoption of global economy principles might lead to social disaster situations as happened in Former Soviet Union (FSU) in the late 1980-ies. In light of the scale of this crisis following the collapse of the social and medical safety net during the fall of communism, and the absence of a local welfare model - the role of the outside entrepreneur as a change agent became critical. There was an urgent need to develop support systems for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and the disabled. The paper deals with social entrepreneurship in a crisis situation and studies the actions that led to the establishment of an innovative network of social service community centers in FSU. In line with contemporary approaches, we adopt a multidimensional perspective and describe and discuss three levels of factors and the interplay between them: a) the social-cultural environment within which the innovation developed, b) characteristics of the organization that provided the framework, drive, and opportunity for the entrepreneur and its field group representatives c) processes and activities that shaped the development of the end product.

Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship, Disaster Situations, Community Development, Former Soviet Union

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.227-232. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 545.743KB).

Prof. Roni Kaufman

Senior Lecturer, Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel

Roni Kaufman is a Senior Lecturer with the Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Dr. Amos Avgar

Executive Director, International Development program, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Israel

Worked for twelve years as the JDC Director of Welfare Programs in the Former Soviet Union FSU). and was the architect of the Hesed Movement, a network of 178 Hesed welfare centers that was developed across the FSU serving at their peak over 250,000 people. In 2003, Amos was appointed to the position of Chief Program officer at New York Headquarters and currently is the Executive Director of JDC's International Development Program, residing in Jerusalem.

Julia Mirsky

Senior Lecturer, Ben Gurion University, Bear Sheva, Israel

Julia Mirsky, Ph.D. is a Psychologist and a Senior Lecturer with the Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

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