JMCR Trickle Out Africa Project

The Trickle Out Africa Project

Dr David Littlewood, Lecturer in Reputation and Responsibility and Dr Diane Holt (Senior Lecturer, Essex Business School)

Trickle Out is a research project funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) examining social and environmental enterprises in Eastern and Southern Africa and their role in sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Initially based at Queen's University Belfast Management School, the project now draws upon researchers from Essex Business School the University of Essex and the Henley Business School, the University of Reading. The Project is led by Dr Diane Holt (Principal Investigator) who is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the Essex Business School, with Dr David Littlewood a Lecturer in Reputation and Responsibility at the Henley Business School collaborating. Dr Littlewood was previously employed as a full time Research Fellow working on the project.   

Project Details
The primary objectives of this study are to: (a) identify examples of social and environmental enterprises in the Southern Africa Development Community and Eastern Africa Community; and (b) to explore and evaluate the role that these enterprises may play as a mechanism to 'trickle out' social, environmental and economic benefits to community groups economically considered to be at the 'base/bottom of the pyramid' (BoP).

Through analysis of secondary data and online materials, and discussions and engagement with regional practitioner networks and actors, an online 'Directory of Eco-Social Enterprises, Agencies & Associations' has been developed, with over 4000 organisations now listed.  

Utilising a unique dataset of social and environmental enterprises across East and Southern Africa a quantitative survey has been carried out addressing themes like the business models of these organisations, their funding regimes, internal governance and decision making etc. 

In-depth case study research has been carried out with 20 social and environmental enterprises in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. Focussed on understanding how these organisations operate and mapping their 'trickle out' sustainable development and poverty alleviation impacts. 

We are working with a number of partner organisations, institutions and networks across Eastern and Southern Africa including the African Social Entrepreneurs Network (ASEN) and the East African Social Enterprise Network (EASEN) 

To find out more please visit our project website: http://trickleout.net/

Selected Project Outputs

Book Contributions

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (Forthcoming) Social and Environmental Enterprises in Africa: Context, Convergence and Characteristics. In The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation. Springer. Hamann, R., Nwosu, E., and Hall, M. (Ed.).

Holt, D. and Littlewood, D. (2014) The informal economy as a route to market in Sub-Saharan Africa – observations amongst Kenyan informal economy entrepreneurs, The Routledge Companion to Business in Africa. Nwankwo, S and Ibeh, K. (Ed.).

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (Accepted) Addressing rural social exclusion in the developing world - exploring the role of African social purpose ventures. Exploring Rural Enterprise: New Perspectives on research, policy and practice. Henry, C. & McElwee, G. (Ed.). 

Online Articles

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (2013) Social Purpose Ventures, BoP Communities and Rural Exclusion in the Developing World, http://www.isbe.org.uk/Social-Purpose-Ventures-BoP-Communities-and-Rural-Exclusion-in-the-Developing-World ISBE e-magazine Enterprising Matters

Working Papers

Working Paper 1: Defining Social and Environmental Entrepreneurial Activity at the Individual/ Business Model and Concept Level. Trickle Out Working Paper Series. Available: http://www.trickleout.net/index.php/resourcesandfaqs/workingpapersresources

Working Paper 2 Development through Enterprise– A Pilot Study of Social and Environmental Enterprises in Namibia. Trickle Out Working Paper Series. Available: http://www.trickleout.net/index.php/resourcesandfaqs/workingpapersresources

Working Paper 3 The Jua Kali and the Mali-Mali The Informal Formal Nexus amongst Kenyan Micro Enterprises. Trickle Out Working Paper Series. Available: http://www.trickleout.net/index.php/resourcesandfaqs/workingpapersresources

Trickle Out Africa Project case study series (ISSN 2052-0026)

Littlewood, D and Holt, D. (2012). Cookswell Enterprises "Save Money, Save Energy, Save our Forests and Eat Well". The Trickle Out Africa Project case study series: No.1. December, ISSN 2052-0026

Holt, D. and Littlewood, D. (2013). The Book Bus "Improving children's lives one book at a time" The Trickle Out Africa Project case study series: No.2. February, ISSN 2052-0026

Littlewood, D and Holt, D. (2012). The Mumwa Crafts Association Community Development through Craft Production". The Trickle Out Africa Project case study series: No.3. April, ISSN 2052-0026

Holt, D. and Littlewood, D. (2013). The Khayelitsha Cookie Company "Creating opportunity one bite at a time". The Trickle Out Africa Project case study series: No.4. May, ISSN 2052-0026

Recent Selected Conference Contributions

Holt, D. and Littlewood, D.(2011). Developing a taxonomy of social and environmental enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa – an initial analysis. Conference paper presented at Business and Social Innovation Conference, University of Cape Town South Africa 14-16 November.

Holt, D. and Littlewood, D. (2012). Imitation, Entrepreneurship and the Informal/Formal Economy Nexus – An African Perspective. 35th ISBE Conference, Dublin 7-8th November.

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (2012). Mapping the Trickle Out Benefits of Social and Environmental Enterprises - A Pilot Study of an East African Ecobusiness. 35th ISBE Conference, Dublin 7-8th November.

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (2013). The Jua Kali and the Mali-Mali: The Informal/Formal Nexus amongst Kenyan Micro Enterprises. The Academy of Management Africa Conference, 7-10th January

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (2013). Impact evaluation of a Kenyan Eco-Business: A Pilot Study. 73rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Orlando Florida, August 9-13.

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (2013). Addressing Rural Social Exclusion through African Social Purpose Ventures. 36th ISBE Conference, Cardiff 12-13th November.

Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (2013). Exploring the Intersection of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Social Entrepreneurship in South Africa through an Institutional Lens. 36th ISBE Conference, Cardiff 12-13th November.