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Assessing Mission and Resources for Social Change: An Organizational Identity Perspective on Social Venture Capitalists' Decision Criteria


Toyah L. Miller, tel.: (812) 856-0400, and to Curtis L. Wesley II at


Social venture capitalists (SVCs) have emerged to provide a new source of funding for social entrepreneurs. Building on organizational identity theory, we examine how the dual identity of social ventures grounded within the social and entrepreneurship sectors prompts SVCs to value the resources and goals of both sectors. We use policy capturing to study the decision rules of 44 SVCs, finding that criteria of both sectors influenced SVC assessments, and entrepreneurial sector criteria were relied on most strongly in these assessments. Furthermore, not all SVCs evaluate social ventures similarly; their social investment focus influences their emphasis on social and entrepreneurial sector criteria.