How Can Social Enterprises Become A “Bridge” Between Marginalized People And Society?

In recent years, social enterprises are attracting greater interest and expectations as a useful tool for tackling social exclusion in social, economic, institutional and political spheres, because they struggle to develop solidarity-based economy, promote democratization and bring more public benefits. The central question of this study is how social enterprises can eliminate the root of social exclusion and contribute to building an “inclusive society” where all people can live together with ease. In order to explore this question, I investigated Japanese social enterprises which combat social exclusion of the disabled, through a questionnaire survey and case studies. The main reason why I am focusing on such Japanese social enterprises is that some of them can prompt the disabled to be able to earn enough for their livelihood and get along with various people in the society; on the other hand, others cannot. In conclusion, I show that performing the task of a “facilitator” for building a better world beyond the provision of a conventional welfare service is a necessity for social enterprises to give birth to inclusive society.

Is Professionalization Threat or Help for NPOs Tackling Social Exclusion?

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how professionalization of non-profit organizations (NPOs) affects participatory service provision and decision-making, one of the most important characteristics of NPOs, and to suggest how NPOs reconcile a democratic approach and a professional approach for social inclusion of marginalized people. To grasp the influence of professionalization on NPOs more appropriately, this paper focuses on not only the existence of professionals but also the degree of expert knowledge and experience which professionals have and look into their effects on participatory service provision and decision-making of NPOs by researching Japanese NPOs which provide care service for challenged children, one of the most vulnerable and excluded groups of people in the world. As a result of a questionnaire survey and interviews, it is found that NPOs which hire professionals who have deep expert knowledge and experience involve more parents of challenged children in their decision-making and implementation processes as compared to NPOs which do not hire such professionals. On the basis of the results of the interviews, this paper suggests that offering a role model and showing clear products of participatory service provision and decision-making to parents is crucial for professionalized NPOs to contribute to building inclusive society.
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