Digital transformation of social entrepreneurship
: a qualitative analysis of impact measurement in digital mental health solutions for anxiety and depression

  • Charlotte Laukemper (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The global mental health crisis is a much discussed issue among researchers and practitioners, and Digital Mental Health (DMH) interventions are commonly discussed as one of the most promising solutions to the issue. An increasing number of social entrepreneurs recognize the opportunities of the sector and DMH startups are emerging globally. As inherently hybrid organizations, social ventures have to balance the requirement to not only monitor financial performance, but also the achievement of their social mission. DMH ventures additionally face the challenge of clinical accuracy weighed against strategic and competitive considerations, both in measuring and subsequently disclosing their impact. The thesis at hand therefore aims to understand and evaluate impact measurements and KPIs currently used by social enterprises in the field of Digital Mental Health. For this purpose, a sample of scientific studies is reviewed to identify outcome measures used in clinical trials andcategorize these into 4 comprehensive KPIs relevant for DMH ventures. In a second step, a selection of DMH ventures is analyzed in regard to the KPIs publicly disclosed by them. A comparison between the scientific and practical approach reveals that KPIs disclosed by DMH ventures are significantly less detailed than used in science, and vary strongly between ventures. Finally, potential reasons behind the discrepancies are discussed and recommendations issued for DMH ventures to improve impact measurement.
Date of Award20 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPeter V. Rajsingh (Supervisor) & André de Almeida Pinho (Co-Supervisor)


  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Hybrid organizations
  • Social impact
  • Digital mental health
  • Therapy
  • Digital transformation


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

Cite this