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WE CAN Cookies


This case focuses on WE CAN Cookies, a social enterprise in South Korea that was founded in 2001 with support of the Korean Roman Catholic Church. WE CAN Cookies specializes in the making of high quality organic cookies. As a nonprofit organization that uses a labor force of mostly mentally disabled workers, the company faces many challenges that normal companies do not experience. The company had to initially overcome the social prejudice that the handicapped cannot make good cookies. Despite the religious background and social of the company, it started making inroads as a cookie-making business only its managers, including the nuns who run began adopting modern management philosophies and practices. The WE CAN Cookies case illustrates three main marketing-related concepts: One, WE CAN Cookies is a good example of how social enterprises face a broader spectrum of challenges when compared to conventional profit-seeking enterprises. Two, WE CAN Cookies demonstrates that social enterprises need flexibility in formulating their business strategies. Even though WE CAN Cookies is subject to many constraints, as a social enterprise it can also take advantage of new opportunities for obtaining support from government and from the private sector. Three, WE CAN Coolies shows that these types of operations need to create greater balance in their social and business competencies to ensure the long term viability. Social enterprises are certified by governments with the stated goal of improving the lives and the wellbeing of special interest group. As important as achieving these objectives are. Social enterprises also must additionally be able to build their operational capabilities not only in manufacturing but also in functions such as marketing.

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