Development of social entrepreneurship initiatives: theoretical framework

Jurgita Sekliuckiene, Eimantas Kisielius


Social entrepreneurship in the past decade, garnered particular attention from policy makers, academics, practitioners, and the general public. It is  important tools to tackle social challenges and to respond to them when the market and the public sector do not (OECD, 2010). Social enterprises and social entrepreneurs create innovative initiatives and solutions to unsolved social problems, putting social value creation at the heart of their mission in order to create benefit to different individuals‘, communities’ and other groups. Social entrepreneurs are described as “new engines for reform” (Dees, 2007; Gergen, 2012). Analysis of theoretical and empirical studies allows to state that there is variety of attitudes on social entrepreneurship topic. Chowdhury and  Santos (2010), Perrini, Vurro and Costanzo (2010) pay attention for further research of social enterprises scaling-up stage, Perrini, Vurra and Costanza (2010) for explanation of factors influencing development of entrepreneurship initiatives. Others researchers state the importance of social value creation and argue about lack of research in social entrepreneurship process and social initiatives development (Sundaramurthy, Musteen, Randel, 2013; Weerawardena and Mort, 2012; Mair and Martí, 2006; Santos, 2012). Austin, Stevenson and Wei‐Skillern (2006) confirm that evaluation of social entrepreneurship as activity, its inputs and gained impact is complex, complicated, and not metered process. As there is no unified attitude to development of social entrepreneurship initiatives, there is a need for further research at this point (Perrini, Vurro, Costanzo, 2010).

Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework of social entrepreneurship initiatives development.

Methodology. The paper is built on the analysis and synthesis of scientific literature which enable to describe the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship. Literature analysis was conducted and based on results a theoretical framework was proposed for further research.

Results are grounded on the decomposition of social entrepreneurship process and development the social entrepreneurship initiatives conceptual framework. The theoretical research has revealed that circumstances and social-entrepreneurial context are the most important factors for all stages of social entrepreneurship initiatives process.

The theoretical contribution. This paper extends previous studies by providing theoretical framework which might be used for further research in fostering social entrepreneurship initiatives in the organizations.

Practical implications. The analysis provided in this paper can help managers to create the effective social entrepreneurship initiatives process and encourage them to start new initiatives. The theoretical implications could be useful for national governments, local authorities, policy makers as the proposed framework could contribute for creating more appropriate conditions for development of social entrepreneurship initiatives.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship initiatives, social entrepreneurship process,

Paper type: Theoretical paper.


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