Constructed stakeholder personas: An educational tool for social entrepreneurs

Kathryn Ortbal, Nicholas Frazzette, Khanjan Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Social entrepreneurship is an increasingly popular model for addressing societal issues in resource-constrained settings. However, like traditional for-profit ventures, social enterprises are dependent on profit generation for success and sustainability. An increasing number of academic and professional institutions are interested in developing curricula to train aspiring social entrepreneurs to build successful ventures. To ensure profitability, aspiring social entrepreneurs must be able to identify their stakeholders and understand the motivations and needs that influence them. However, current methods for collecting and organizing critical data points are often prohibitively expensive in terms of time and money in the early stages of venture development. To empower aspiring social entrepreneurs, programs need tools that take their unique constraints and needs into consideration while delivering positive results. In this article, Constructed Stakeholder Personas (CSPs) are introduced as an adaptation of customer personas, a well-established business development tool, to serve as an alternative to the more cost-prohibitive tools available today. A methodology, which allows educators or experts to create CSPs for use by aspiring social entrepreneurs, is then presented. This dramatically cuts down on the time and cost needed for less experienced entrepreneurs to understand the geographic, demographic, and psychographic details that shape stakeholders' motivations and needs. Finally, a case study is presented that illustrates a potential use case for CSPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-248
Number of pages19
JournalProcedia Engineering
StatePublished - 2016
EventHumanitarian Technology: Science, Systems and Global Impact 2016, HumTech2016 - Boston, United States
Duration: Jun 7 2016Jun 9 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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