Social Entrepreneurship Perspective of Social Innovation

Social Entrepreneurship Perspective of Social Innovation

Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4588-1.ch004
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Social entrepreneurship is often practised in the context of social enterprises which are recognized as vehicles of social innovation. The objectives of this chapter are to describe the trends in social entrepreneurship research as it relates to social innovation and to identify distinguishing characteristics of social innovations arising from social enterprises. To this end, social entrepreneurship research is observed to be consolidating its position as a prominent knowledge cluster within social innovation research, particularly after 2010. The citation network uncovered the presence of nine research domains within social entrepreneurship, organized along three lines of research focus. These are motives, mission, and outcomes of social value creation process; co-creation through networks and partnership; and the effects of institutional actors on the social entrepreneurial process. Social innovation from the social entrepreneurship perspective has been understood as contributing to capacity building among people and communities in resource-constrained environments.



Social entrepreneurship engages in social value creation (Dwivedi and Weerawardena 2018) by identifying innovative and self-sustainable solutions to social problems (Fernandes and Catalão-Lopes 2019). Social entrepreneurship discourse is often concerned with social value delivery approaches, social missions and enterprises, the development of solutions to long-standing problems, and the improvement of communities’ living conditions (Macke, Sarate, Domeneghini, and da Silva 2018). Research on social value creation through social entrepreneurship is growing exponentially (Dwivedi and Weerawardena 2018) and positioning itself well within social innovation literature. Indeed, social entrepreneurship and social innovation share many similarities. For example, both can be viewed as a process of identifying and implementing solutions to social issues and needs (Phillips et al. 2015). In general, scholars agree that they are closely linked (Ridley-Duff and Bull 2019) although this is not always be the case (Petrella and Richez-Battesti 2014). Social entrepreneurship is defined in numerous ways. “[Social Entrepreneurship] combines the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation and determination […]” (Dees 1998b, p. 1). Social entrepreneurship is a dynamic process of social value creation in the market and community pursued by an individual or a team bearing an entrepreneurial mindset and a desire for achievement to address a social challenge (Perrini, Vurro, and Costanzo 2010). Social entrepreneurship is a process of pursuing opportunities through entrepreneurial activities which does not necessarily involve the creation of a new venture (Bacq and Janssen 2011). Social innovation, by contrast, is the collective pursuit of a social goal, involving dynamic interplay between actors whose intentions are to create significant change in systems or institutions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social mission: The main purpose of being for an organization or a program in terms of doing social good

Social Extrapreneurship: Leveraging resources by building partnerships beyond the organizational context in the process of social value creation to address social challenges.

Social Enterprise: A dual mission-based entity established primarily to address a social challenge and complemented by a self-funding mechanism.

Social Entrepreneurship: A process of applying business methods, approaches and models to create social value in addressing social challenges.

Citation Threshold: A citation threshold is the minimum number of citations obtained by ranking papers in a research field in descending order by citation count and then selecting the top fraction or percentage of papers.

Social Entrepreneur: A person who develops and implements businesses or programs mainly to address social challenges through business fundamentals.

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