Social entrepreneurship

Chalmers, Dominic and Fraser, Simon; Carter, Sara and Jones-Evans, Dylan, eds. (2012) Social entrepreneurship. In: Enterprise and small business. Pearson, London. ISBN 0273726102

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The promise of social entrepreneurship as a mechanism for responding to growing poverty, inequality, exclusion and environmental degradation is vast. Since 1997, when Leadbeater first published ‘The Rise of The Social Entrepreneur’, the approach has gained prominence as a viable method for tackling societal problems. One does not need to search far for evidence of this growing legitimacy: In academia, social entrepreneurship scholars have broken into mainstream management journals; in education, leading business schools are successfully delivering courses and modules on social and community enterprise; Muhammad Yunus, founder of the pioneering Grameen Bank has been awarded the Nobel Prize for developing the concept of microfinance; and most importantly, across the EU and North America, policymakers are promising to put social innovation at the heart of rebalanced economic systems following the global recession. This chapter will provide an overview of current areas of discourse and debate, beginning with an examination of definitional issues surrounding social entrepreneurship. This is a much-contested area of the literature that continues to attract heated discussion amongst scholars. Next, a more detailed look at the dual profit/mission tension that exists in social ventures will be examined alongside the various legal forms and structures that are adopted by social firms. Then, In order to provide greater context for contemporary social entrepreneurship, the antecedents of the phenomena will be explored. Finally, the chapter will conclude with a critical examination of the domain and a reflection on the future trajectory of social entrepreneurship.