Exploring the Interdependencies of the Social Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in the Philippines: A Systems Thinking Approach

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Sustainability Management


Quantitative Methods & Information Technology

First Advisor

Ma. Assunta C. Cuyegkeng, PhDCharlotte Kendra Z. Gotangco, PhD


Studies on the entrepreneurial ecosystem have been developed in literature, such that various models have been proposed identifying a list of actors and attributes. While these contributed to theoretical development of entrepreneurial ecosystems, these models have not been able to address the emerging issue of interdependencies, which help create and reproduce the overall ecosystem. In this exploratory research, interdependencies of Philippine social enterprises are described using a systems thinking approach. Feedback-guided analysis using the cultural adaptation template is applied towards developing conceptual models to help in understanding interrelationships and the identification of leverage points for the achievement of social mission. The feedback-guided analysis using the cultural adaptation template is adapted to describe the interdependencies of Philippine social enterprises. The models provide a novel way to examine the linkages in the social entrepreneurial ecosystem. It suggests that social enterprises maximize their ecosystem through enterprise-beneficiary relationships and network dynamics and that social impact can be achieved through collective contribution to the community and individual impact on community members. The tension between the profitability of the business operations and the social impact, as well as interventions through marketing efforts, are also explored. The Limits to Growth and Growth and Underinvestment archetypes deepen the analysis of constraints leading to important insights for better decision-making. Keywords: social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystem, systems thinking, feedback-guided analysis, cultural adaptation template, limits to growth, growth and underinvestment

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