ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the relationship between foreign aid and social entrepreneurship, a growing subsector of civil society, in Jordan. In a context where civil society has been co-opted by the regime and its actions have thus become predictable, transparent, and controllable, Jordan’s civil society organizations face various challenges and limitations arising from the international funding model. Among these is a frequent change of topics that receive foreign support, thus jeopardizing project continuity and consistency. Additionally, the internationally driven agendas of Jordanian civil society organizations have made them lose touch with local communities and their needs. This chapter explores the business-like strategies adopted by Jordan’s social entrepreneurs, whose employment of independent or hybrid financial models have provided them with a valuable alternative to the dependence on international funding schemes. These models ensure social enterprises’ mission integrity, project continuity, and community responsiveness. This distinguishes their work significantly from that of other civil society organizations in the country and demonstrates their power to adapt to existing restrictive contexts.