The field of social entrepreneurship has grown exponentially in recent years and has become a social, economic and cultural phenomenon. In light of the current economic crisis, the inability of some governments to meet the social needs of their constituencies, a widening gap between rich and poor in many developed countries, and-for many-a less than appealing, scandal-ridden corporate world, the stories of individuals and groups of individuals who want "to change the world" (Bornstein 2004) are inspiring. The examples of dedicated and visionary entrepreneurs who design solutions for unmet social needs, and whose primary intention is to help others, are a source of hope in markets where traditional forms of capitalism are struggling to rebuild their reputation and legitimacy. However, social entrepreneurship research is still in an embryonic state and a unified definition is missing (Short et al. 2009, p. 161). This article provides an overview of new avenues of research that contribute to a better and more refined understanding of social entrepreneurship and seeks to advance the discourse on theory building in this research area.

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Pless, Nicola

Social entrepreneurship in theory and practice: An introduction

12/2012
The field of social entrepreneurship has grown exponentially in recent years and has become a social, economic and cultural phenomenon. In light of the current economic crisis, the inability of some governments to meet the social needs of their constituencies, a widening gap between rich and poor in many developed countries, and-for many-a less than appealing, scandal-ridden corporate world, the stories of individuals and groups of individuals who want "to change the world" (Bornstein 2004) are inspiring. The examples of dedicated and visionary entrepreneurs who design solutions for unmet social needs, and whose primary intention is to help others, are a source of hope in markets where traditional forms of capitalism are struggling to rebuild their reputation and legitimacy. However, social entrepreneurship research is still in an embryonic state and a unified definition is missing (Short et al. 2009, p. 161). This article provides an overview of new avenues of research that contribute to a better and more refined understanding of social entrepreneurship and seeks to advance the discourse on theory building in this research area.
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Social entrepreneurship in theory and practice: An introduction
Pless, Nicola
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 111, n 3, 12/2012, p. 317 - 320

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