Scholars and policy makers have long recognized entrepreneurship as a powerful engine of economic growth. There is clear evidence, however, that when it comes to social entrepreneurship, policy attention has not been matched by growth in scholarly research. This volume illustrates the type of empirical effort that must take place for the field to advance.
The authors review the latest research in the field and then address the many challenges – heterogeneous institutions, geographies and cultures, fast evolving practices, the lack of reliable large datasets, and fragmented theory building – that have hampered the development of this research. In many ways, the fundamental questions relating to the rationale and definitions of social entrepreneurship are still very much a work in progress. The main characteristics emerging from the theoretical and empirical discussions in this volume exemplify such complexity. This volume will inspire future researchers to pursue cross-disciplinary theory building, with the aim of building on what we already know and resolving what remains controversial. It will also help researchers think creatively about how their work can inform practice and policy making through the initial design of the research model.
This book offers an empirical approach to social entrepreneurship, that researchers, students and policy makers will find invaluable.