Framing a Theory of Social Entrepreneurship

In: Business and Management

Submitted By alexmetger
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Reading: Framing a theory of social entrepreneurship: Building on two schools of practice and thought - J. Gregory Dess and Beth Balle Anderson The paper argues that social entrepreneurship will be most effective and generate the greatest interest of academics when it combines elements of the two main existing schools of thought: the social enterprise and the social innovation school of thought. At the intersection of them, to which the authors refer to as “enterprising social innovations”, social entrepreneurship is defined as an “innovative, social and economic value creating activity” that offers the opportunity for large-scale social impact that is sustainable and not constrained by a legal form. Thus, the social sector should use the business world for inspiration and apply innovative market-oriented models to raise capital and address social issues. Such an approach would revolutionize the process of creating social value – blending social/philanthropic and economic components to shift resources into areas of higher impact for society. In my opinion, the claim that social entrepreneurship should focus on that intersection is the logical step forward in enhancing a new field of academic inquiry. Taken alone, each of the school maintains important aspects of tackling social issues: using market-oriented strategies to create social value is the best method to avoid the dependence on private donor capital which comes from the often illiquid social sector, offering the possibility to quickly increase scale and therefore social impact. But as the social innovation school emphasizes, innovation is a major characteristic of successful entrepreneurs – simply adopting will not lead to the same social impact as transforming market-models into innovative and new approaches of social value creation. On the other side, only looking at innovation within the social sector will…...

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