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Social innovation, social entrepreneurship and the practice of contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy

Maclean, Mairi and Harvey, Charles and Gordon, Jillian (2013) Social innovation, social entrepreneurship and the practice of contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy. International Small Business Journal, 31 (7). pp. 747-763. ISSN 0266-2426

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The economic crisis has accentuated the social and economic dislocation experienced by disadvantaged communities at a time of unprecedented political and public interest in philanthropy. This has concentrated attention on the contribution that philanthropists might make in addressing socio-economic challenges, and on the role that social innovation might play in regenerating communities. This article adds to the literature on social innovation and social entrepreneurship that aims to integrate theory and empirical practice. By examining social innovation through the lens of a case study of the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, the article sheds light on how the sites and spaces of socially innovative philanthropic projects may have a bearing on their success; attention is drawn to the importance of community engagement on the part of social innovators, and the power of self-organization in re-embedding communities. It suggests that storytelling by committed philanthropists may serve as a powerful proselytizing tool for recruiting new donors.