In recent years ‘social enterprises’ have become important partners in the delivery of key public services such as healthcare. However, little is known about how healthcare social enterprises contribute to public service provision in the health sector. We analyzed 172 social enterprises from four continents involved in healthcare to assess the types of interventions, processes, and roles they play responding to rapidly evolving healthcare systems. We found that they are engaged broadly in three dimensions of health service provision: improving access to health services; improving the quality of health services; and building public health capacity. We contribute to social policy theory by enhancing understanding of the micro-level interventions of social enterprises in the healthcare sector and articulating new dimensions of NPG that include co-innovation, co-lobbying, and co-integration in the context of healthcare.
Bibliographical noteThe authors would like to thank the organisers and attendees of the International Social Innovation Research 2020 (ISIRC) Conference, which was held on 1-3 September 2020, at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, who awarded an early draft of this article the conference’s Best Paper Award. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HSEARS20210120002).
- social enterprise
- New Public Governance