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Social Entrepreneurship

The potential to increase the socioeconomic impact of social enterprises.

Archived dossier

Social entrepreneurship is increasingly popular as a way of both doing business and achieving social and economic impact. It is bringing together non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and members of the business community that look beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR), as both experiment with ways to bring social entrepreneurship into their organizations. There is also a surge of social enterprise start-ups by people who see the opportunities of generating a self-earned income by achieving social impact. But many questions still remain on how to engage in social business.

The Broker Dossier on Social Entrepreneurship offers insights into the theory, practice and future directions of social entrepreneurship. In this dossier, we aim to help link theory and practice more systematically, improve understanding of how social entrepreneurship can generate a social and economic impact, and promote dialogue on the lessons to be learned from experiences.

The dossier therefore critically examines the ambitions of social entrepreneurship to achieve an inclusive economy and the challenges it faces in pursuing them. We also put forward some suggestions for policymakers in NGOs, businesses and government on drafting a knowledge agenda on how social entrepreneurship can be embedded in economic development policies.

The objective of this dossier is to present an overview of the concept and definitions of social entrepreneurship, compared to many other terms like CSR, shared value creation, and doing business sustainably. It clears the blurred landscape that social entrepreneurship has become by explaining the diversity of social enterprises on the basis of criteria, conditions and categories. A second focus is on the practical level of social entrepreneurship, investigating what business models have been and can be used. Thirdly, the dossier aims to analyse the potential of social entrepreneurs to change the economic and societal system.

We hope you enjoy reading the dossier and invite you to use the comment tool under each article to share your thoughts on social entrepreneurship.

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