Title: Financing social entrepreneurship in the Arab world: the case of Lebanon

Authors: Teresa Chahine; Zeina Farhat

Addresses: Harvard School of Public Health, Landmark Center 4th Floor West, 401 Park Drive, Boston MA 02215, USA ' Impact Hub, 34b York Way, London N1 9AB, England, UK

Abstract: Among the Arab countries, Lebanon has among the most established civic sectors, providing social goods and services in underserved communities. While donations and grants decline, social entrepreneurship is gaining momentum. We propose the use of loans to build social enterprises, and present the results of interviews and discussions with established and aspiring social entrepreneurs. Our observations indicate that there is a market for loans in the social sector, depending on key factors including the organisation's financial maturity and the ability to overcome the cultural fear of loans. It is likely that similar patterns will be observed in other Arab countries, but further studies are needed.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship; loans; Arab countries; Lebanon; financial innovation; emerging markets; entrepreneurs; donations; grants; underserved communities; social sector; financial maturity; culture; ethnicity; entrepreneurial finance; cultural fear.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEI.2014.064832

International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2014 Vol.3 No.2, pp.150 - 161

Received: 11 Feb 2014
Accepted: 11 Jul 2014

Published online: 15 Sep 2014 *

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