Social and sustainable
: case study based on a portuguese non-profit organization

  • Kalina Ivaylova Lukanova (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Social entrepreneurs encounter a myriad of challenges in maintaining long-term financial sustainability, and these challenges are exacerbated for social entrepreneurs operating in times of economic distress. The following case study on the Lisbon-based nonprofit Buena Vista analyses the sustainability crisis social entrepreneurs are faced with. The objective of this case study is to give students a better understanding of how the social entrepreneurial process differs from the traditional commercial entrepreneurial one. It also highlights how social-purpose organizations operate, grow and what difficulties they might encounter. In the course of the paper, three main drivers for the lack of financial sustainability in Buena Vista are presented, namely an unclear mission statement, a short-term horizon of the sponsorship and a lack of formalization with respect to the internal processes. The case study aims to review these three drivers and their resolution for the successful implementation of a sustainable long term strategy. Ultimately, the study poses the question of the organizational form and strategy Buena Vista should adopt to ensure its long term survival. One way to go for Buena Vista is to continue to operate as a non-profit whilst its second option is to start to operate entirely as a commercial entity.
Date of Award13 Nov 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorTommaso Ramus (Supervisor) & Paula Cillo (Co-Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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