Reaffirming Trust in Social Enterprise in the COVID-19 Era: Ways Forward

Michael Snowden, Roopinder Oberoi, Jamie Halsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


COVID-19 has overwhelmed and stretched existing healthcare infrastructure in both developed and developing economies and pushed governmental response mechanisms to the brink. Globally, governments elicited the call for corporate support, asking social entrepreneurs and social business ventures to organise efforts to build voluntary support for the large-scale response needed during the sudden lockdown disruptions. By April 2020, 26.5 million jobs were lost in the US alone (Lambert, 2020), global stocks plummeted at least 25% and gross domestic product (GDP) contracted significantly for all countries. With reduced domestic demand for non-food goods, reduced foreign demand for US goods exports, supply-chain disruptions, and plant closures, the manufacturing sector saw a huge decline (Reinicke, 2020). Governments all over the world announced massive stimulus packages. The US has approved $2 trillion financial support to combat the economic downturn so far (Emma & Scholtes, 2020) and EU finance ministers have recently approved €500 billion in stimulus measures (Riley, 2020). It is estimated that the global economy will grow at -3 percent in 2020. This article sheds light on the role of social enterprises in addressing the societal problems caused by COVID-19. The authors highlight the efforts of virtual and collaborative associations who seek to swiftly recognise issues and develop solutions, which create social value and alleviate the plights of suffering communities. The authors place emphasis upon the role of the social entrepreneur in developing a way forward in these challenging times and present a contemporary conceptualisation of the social entrepreneur in the form of an “avatar” and the impact that this may have on social enterprise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
JournalCorporate Governance and Sustainability Review
Issue number1
Early online date15 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021


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