Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Community & Leadership Development

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Community and Leadership Development

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald J Hustedde


Social Enterprises are business entities that incorporate social value creation into their business operations. This study aims to investigate, explore and share key insights gained through the lived experience of owners or managers of these organizations. The reputational method of sample selection was used to identify informed individuals who participated in interviews to share phenomenological knowledge by telling the stories of their organizations, describing how they manage the balance between profitability and sustainability, sharing observations about the influence of social mission at their firms and other insights. Participants identified stronger relationships between coworkers, increased professional creativity, and greater employee engagement as themes directly related to the inclusion of social mission. Participants also identified the importance and value of the relationship between themselves and those they are working to serve. This exploratory study highlighted the significance and need for more targeted future research to investigate the themes present.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)