Human Resources

Both AA and MM employ local people and provide them with training, developing career opportunities and personal growth. This diminishes the colonialist perception that development is led by white people perpetuating the unequal balance in their society. In addition, the company empowers employees to make decisions giving them a sense of accomplishment. It also increases the credibility and trust of the firm within the community. This enhanced credibility increases social capital. Whilst local ownership and local decision making are distinguishing features of AA and MM, the social entrepreneur (Gavin Bate) has played a crucial role in the delivery of social value bringing his skills, knowledge, contacts and credentials to set and deliver the vision, create networks and design the business model. Key characteristics of social entrepreneurs such as commitment, motivation, a sense of justice and drive are clear values and resources brought to the table.

Social Capital

Social capital comprises those resources that allow access to networks for the realization of a goal (Flap, 1995); permitting the reduction of transaction costs from stakeholders and gaining access to human and financial capital and partnerships (Laville & Nyssens, 2001). The importance of social capital is rooted in its benefits such as access and influence within power circles to maximize the achievement of the social goals, and cohesion among networks to build influence (Adler & Kwon, 2002). For AA and MM the ability to identify important networks and create strong relationships with them is seen as the most important source of social capital. The close relations created with the community have increased its credibility amongst donors, and the trust and commitment from its employees.

AA and MM go out of their way to proactively establish partnerships with local community, local and national authorities in the countries in which they operate. This means they gain support to start their community development projects such as schools, reconstructions of monasteries, orphanages, sports centres and others. It has also developed partnerships with local accommodation suppliers who benefit from tourism attracted by the tours. In exchange they provide competitive rates and attentive service to the clients of the organization. Other partnerships have been created with ethically oriented distribution channels such as responsible tourism websites to distribute the product. Lastly both AA and MM are linking with universities through internships to provide first-hand experience in the organization and creating awareness and possible volunteer employment beneficial to both parties. MM emphasizes the creation of value networks, in particular at early stages of the venture to access resources, reduce costs, gain support and acceptance in the community. This mirrors findings in the literature on value networks in SE.

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