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Journal number 3 ∘ Lia Kiladze
An Analysis of the Differences and Similarities between Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility



 The presented paper makes the analysis of differences and similarities between social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility. It describes the practice of business sector involvement in solving social issues on the example of two different forms of entrepreneurial activity (traditional and social entrepreneurship). The paper reviews in detail the features that characterize social enterprises and responsible businesses, and analyzes the importance of business involvement in solving social issues. The comparison method was used for the study, which focused on the research of social enterprises and corporate social projects. Specifically, social enterprises and social projects implemented by business firms with similar goals in the same geographical zone were selected and compared to each other. The study of the targeted social enterprises reveals that it is entirely possible for a company to achieve commercial and social goals with equal success.  As a result, they can contribute to the resolution of social issues such as environmental protection, the employment of vulnerable and underprivileged groups in the open labor market, the development of innovative technologies, and others. Simultaneously, the study confirms that, given their nature, motivation, and goals, responsible business and social entrepreneurship have the full potential to exist and develop independently in the market.

Social stability is a key indicator of success for any country, regardless of its social and economic development. Social issues play an important role in the formation of the business environment, on which opportunities for business growth and development highly depend. In the modern world, the role of business in solving social issues is significantly growing, a clear example of which is the UN's "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". These goals are of universal importance and represent the highest level of international efforts to ensure that we and future generations live on a more sustainable, safe, and secure planet. The business sector is one of the main stakeholders in the process of implementing sustainable development goals, which should contribute to the recovery of the economic environment.

Companies in Georgia have varying opinions on the topic of business involvement in social issues. 34 out of 92 surveyed companies view corporate social responsibility as a capital investment, which can play an important role in attracting foreign investment, and 19 of them think that examples of company participation in social issues are influenced by emotional factors and are driven by spontaneous decisions. According to the same companies, social issues are outside the scope of activities of the business sector and are not a subject of their interest.

It is evident that examples of business involvement in social projects are mostly observed in large corporations. At the same time, there is a growing trend of social entrepreneurship in Georgia. Since 2009, when the first social enterprises appeared, 66 businesses haven been identified as social enterprises. Social companies are crucial allies for the government and society, and contribute significantly to tackling pressing problems such as poverty alleviation, access to livelihoods, preservation of cultural heritage, environmental protection, health care, education, and others. That is why, social entrepreneurship, as a socio-economic and organizational phenomenon, has attracted the attention of scientists, representatives of business and government in recent years.

Although social entrepreneurship differs from traditional entrepreneurship in terms of content, without in-depth knowledge, it is difficult to draw a line between a social enterprise and the enterprise that implements corporate social responsibility initiatives, which is further complicated by the unregulated legal framework of social entrepreneurship. 

Taking into account the aforementioned factors, the goal of the conducted study was, on the one hand, to gather information about the activities of social enterprises operating in Georgia, and on the other hand, to analyze the initiatives implemented by business companies under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility. Based on the information gathered, the similarities and differences between the two types of business involvement in social issues were outlined. The study also aimed to evaluate the prospects for the development of social entrepreneurship in Georgia.

In the process of the study, desk and qualitative methods were used. Primarily, previous studies and literature were examined. Two focus group meetings were held as part of the qualitative research, one with representatives of traditional businesses that implement social projects and the other with social enterprises operating in Georgia. In order to illustrate the similarities and contrasts between the modes of their activities and the outcomes attained, social initiatives carried out by regular businesses and social enterprises were grouped based on similar content and scope.

Due to the fact that social entrepreneurship in general and its development potential have not been thoroughly and widely researched at the academic level we will continue the research of the topic. In the following papers, the role of social entrepreneurship in solving the country's economic and social problems will be analyzed in more detail and the effectiveness of the model will be evaluated, particularly with regard to employing a diverse workforce.

Keywords: Social entrepreneurship, a social enterprise, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Social Responsibility, Responsible Business

JEL Codes: L26, L32, M14