K. (Karoline) Heitmann

Karoline Heitmann
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Organisation
Affiliated since 2021

PhD Track PhD in Pathways towards resilient social enterprises

Social enterprises are a growing trend in business as a way to address societal issues. They combine a financially sustainable model with an ambition to create high societal impact and address many of today’s social and systemic problems (like poverty, health, inequality, climate problems). They face, however, a number of common  problems that limit their impact, in particular related to their governance form and financial set-up. What combinations of finance and governance have the best chance of creating and sustaining a resilient social enterprise. What pathways can be distinguished along the way: (a) at the start of a social enterprise, (b) during the ‘valley-of-death’ period and (c) in a scaling phase. Can different pathways be distinguished depending on the kind of issue the SE is aimed at and how can investors take these pathways into account and/or help SEs along the way improve their business model? This PhD is linked to the new chair in ‘Social enterprise and Institutions for Collective Action’ and is aimed at helping the sector in the Netherlands to advance on the basis of solid, but also innovative, scientific research. The PhD-project will be embedded in broader research projects around the chair and in collaboration with other research projects around ‘purpose driven’ and ‘value-based’ organizing and cross-sector partnerships.

Social enterprises, value-based organization
Time frame
2021 -


Visiting address

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam