On June 19th, Forum for Social Innovation Sweden (FSIS) at Malmö University released a research report on SROI – a method to measure impact of social change of social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
The purpose of this research overview is to identify relevant research perspectives on the SROI methodology, which has evolved into one of the most well-known instruments for measuring the social impact, of social enterprises, organisations and social innovation projects. The purpose is also to contribute to the academic discussion on this methodology specifically, and on metrics for social impact in general.
- The buzz about social innovation and social entrepreneur-ship can be encountered on many levels. There are initiatives at the European Union level, at the national level in many countries and also regional and local programmes. Still, many actors feel that more could be done to promote this field, and also voice concern that investors and policy makers are not understanding the true potential of social innovation and social entreprenurship to create social change, says Fredrik Björk, research coordinator at Forum for Social Innovation at Malmö University.
The report is part of FSIS work within the specific focus on social investments and impact measurements.
- The Social Return on Investment (SROI), developed by the New Economics Foundation and others is adjudged as the most promising numeraire that includes social and environmental benefits beyond the traditional measures of economic worth, says Björk.
The report discusses pros and cons of the SROI method, which among others is critized for being too complicated for small organisations with limited resources as well as falling short when wanting to compare different evaluated projects and organizations.
Author Jayne Jönsson has written the report in collaboration with Forum for Social Innovation Sweden. Jönsson has an MSc in Business Administration major in International Marketing and Brand Management, Lund University, and MA major in Leadership and Organisation studies, Malmö University. Jönsson is also a social entrepreneur, working with design and production (Maddiekay) of hand-made bags and accessories in collaboration with SMEs in the Philippines. She is also currently involved in developing a social enterprise (Capture) in Skåne, Sweden, aimed at promoting local production and design with special focus on integration through creation of work opportunities.