Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Ginette Lafrenière

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Professor Eliana Suarez

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member


Facing a backdrop of decreased government funds and an increasing need for services, social service non-profit organizations are struggling to survive and provide services to their communities. One proposed solution to this financial struggle is to generate revenue through social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Two non-profit organizations in Ontario have engaged in social enterprise and they form the basis for this case study. Adopting a hybrid social enterprise model, Organization X and Housing Corporation A receive revenue from three main sources: government funding, private donations, and profits created through social enterprise activities.

These organizations have managed to broaden their service offering through their social enterprise initiatives and thus provide resources and services for their clients which might not otherwise have been available. Social enterprise has provided these organizations with financial stability, ensuring sustainability for their organizational operations. In this study, the impact of social enterprise on the sustainability of the hybrid social enterprise model is explored through the perceptions and experiences of the leaders in these organizations. The relationship between government and non-profit organizations engaged in social enterprise is also explored, with a particular emphasis on the support and challenges provided by the state. Furthermore, the interplay and tensions between the three sources is explored and analysed.

This study contributes to satisfying the need for research into social enterprise case studies within a Canadian context, attempting to address the research gap as outlined by Cave (2016). During my research, I explore philosophical tensions and moral dilemmas pertaining to the social services sector, the use of social enterprise and the effectiveness of the hybrid social enterprise organizational model.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons