Life's Principles as a Framework for Designing Successful Social Enterprises

Samir Patel, Khanjan Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Biomimicry - design inspired by nature - is an emerging discipline that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to address human problems. The laws of nature are embodied in Life's Principles, a framework developed by the Biomimicry Institute to inspire, inform, and benchmark the design of sustainable technology and business systems. The recent emergence of social enterprise has demonstrated the relevance of a broader view of business and entrepreneurship, and its power to address developmental inequities in the world. Social enterprises have challenged fundamental theories and concepts of design and business, while reconnecting us with nature's basic design principles and the multi-dimensionality of the human experience. This paper suggests that successful social enterprises employ Life's Principles to tackle structural, management, product design, and supply chain issues in their conceptualization, development, and scale-up stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-230
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Entrepreneurship
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Life's Principles as a Framework for Designing Successful Social Enterprises'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this