Understanding the Role of Social Enterprises in Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals through the Human Capability Approach: The Case of Lithuania

Resumo - EN

This paper sheds some empirical light on the development of social entrepreneurship in Lithuania, a post-Soviet society, and the role of social enterprises (SEs) in attaining the sustainable development goals (SDGs). We distinguish two types of SEs in this context, SEs de jure, which are regulated by the Law of Social Enterprises also known as work integration social enterprises, and SEs de facto, which strive for social mission by designing a business model, creating positive impact on society and reinvesting their profits. Our paper focuses on the role of SEs de facto in implementing the SDGs. Conceptually, we use the human capability approach by A. Sen and M. Nussbaum to argue the role of SEs in attaining the SDGs. By focusing on three Lithuanian SEs as exceptional and exemplary cases we reveal the variety of ways used to create or strengthen multiple capabilities of different stakeholders and attain the same SDGs. The paper also discusses political implications to strengthen the impact of SEs on SDGs in Lithuania.