Who foots the bill for quality autism education? - An exploratory study on the role of social entrepreneurs in financing early intervention programs for children with autism in Ghana

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This dissertation explores the role of social entrepreneurs in financing the educational needs of children with autism in Ghana with three goals in mind: to expose the need for financing autism education, to identify the role of social entrepreneurs in financing quality education of children with autism, and to assess the feasibility of existing financing models employed in other countries to the Ghanaian context. Review of existing literature reveals the focus on the role of the state or government in financing special education, ignoring the fact that most governments cannot adequately meet these special education needs. Also, parents of children with special needs struggle financially to educate them, leaving a funding gap in the provision of quality special education. The theoretical framework of social entrepreneurship is utilized to explore ways in which this funding gap can be filled. Interviews were conducted and the findings from the data collected indicated that financing autism education remains a challenge for parents and special institutions. The findings affirm the need to focus on social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility in meeting the financing needs of children with autism. Suggestions for further research centre on exploring ways in which corporate organizations can create social change through intentional and meaningful corporate social responsibility undertakings.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2016
Ghana, autism, special education, social entrepreneurship, education financing