The challenge of international development requires a medley of ideas. At the Multilateral Investment Fund, we work in an array of topics that are at the forefront of efforts to spur the economic development of the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each week, this blog "Trends" brings you our latest research and thinking. 

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Must social enterprises grow to have a large-scale impact on society?

By Nobuyuki Otsuka

By Nobuyuki Otsuka and Claudio Cortellese

There is a proliferation worldwide of “social businesses” that generate goods and services that benefit society as well as financial profits. Likewise, we’re seeing more social business accelerators—specialized intermediaries that provide social entrepreneurs with business tools and approaches to accelerate the growth of an idea that is assumed to create a positive impact. Development professionals who work on building up the private sector are curious about what accelerating a social business means. But perhaps a more fundamental question should be: is it necessary to accelerate a social business in the first place?