Social Entrepreneurship in Communities: Examining the Collaborative Processes of Health Conversion Foundations Social Entrepreneurship Processes

Kathryn L. Heinze, Jane Banaszak-Holl, Kathy Babiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The United States ranks low on many measures of population health. In addressing this societal problem, nonprofit health conversion foundations are emerging as important, local social entrepreneurs. We investigated the processes by which these organizations create and implement locally situated innovative approaches to promote health and wellness. Using an inductive, qualitative approach, we identified central themes by which conversion foundations, as social entrepreneurs, developed collaborative solutions to health. We found that they defined the social problem, generated social capital in the community, and educated potential partners. These mechanisms helped build a groundwork for collaboration among community actors. Conversion foundations then convened partners with complementary competencies to develop creative solutions. This research contributes to the literature on social entrepreneurship and nonprofits by expanding understanding of how foundations can foster community collaborations to develop innovative solutions to social problems. Further, this study sheds light on the activities and processes of nonprofit health conversion foundations as actors with the potential to improve population health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-330
Number of pages18
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Community health
  • Health conversion foundations
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Wellness

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