Context of Social Entrepreneurship and Background: Definitions, Related Terms, and Characteristics

Context of Social Entrepreneurship and Background: Definitions, Related Terms, and Characteristics

N. Öykü İyigün (Istanbul Commerce University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5687-9.ch001
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Social entrepreneurship has been the subject of considerable interest in the literature. It has become a global phenomenon by addressing the basic needs of humans, which are neglected, and enriching communities and societies. This chapter introduces the context of social entrepreneurship and its background; it continues by exploring the related terms and characteristics of social entrepreneurship. Over the years, social entrepreneurship has emerged as a distinctive context by integrating the resourcefulness of traditional entrepreneurship with the compelling drive to address social problems. Social entrepreneurship needs to be properly defined and it requires a theoretical framework that links it to the theory of entrepreneurship. The purpose of this chapter is to review and extend the current literature by providing insight about social entrepreneurship in the spectrum of entrepreneurship through value creation. As a result, this chapter suggests implications for social entrepreneurs and boundaries for social entrepreneurship.
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Social entrepreneurship starts with an entrepreneur who has a novel idea, an innovative product or service, a creative approach to solving a perceived problem, a new business model, and a previously untried approach to product or service delivery (Makhlouf, 2011).



According to the World Population Prospects Report, the world population stands at 7.3 billion (UN 2017). With the growth in population, the demand to address for social needs is also increasing – particularly the problems such as inadequate education and healthcare systems, environmental threats, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, hunger and high crime rates. Approximately 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty (which forces them to live in environments without access to decent shelter, clean water or sanitation), 101 million children under the age of five are underweight, and more than a million people die from AIDS-related causes each year (Kickul & Lyons, 2016; Singh, 2016).

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