An important avenue toward responsible and sustainable business is social entrepreneurship, although its appearance has been more marked in practice than in academic research. Indeed, there is but a nascent body of academic literature published on the subject, with a smattering of studies across disciplines. In this paper we draw on that literature, as well as popular discussions and contemporary case studies, to explore the development of the concept of social entrepreneurship and its motivations, its promises and its implications. As a working definition of ‘social entrepreneurship,’ we observe that it most generally entails a marriage between the idea of innovative business start-up or oganisational transformation and socially inspired values. At the same time, we stress the diversity of economic, political and social phenomena associated in one way or another with the term ‘social entrepreneurship’ while also emphasising the broad appeal of the term. Thus, social entrepreneurship is a contested term and concept around which there is significant socio-political energy and vigorous debate today.
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- The Meanings of Social Entrepreneurship Today
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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