Defining social entrepreneurship: a Schumpeterian non-solution
by David M. Kee
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB), Vol. 31, No. 3, 2017

Abstract: Defining social entrepreneurship has found to be a daunting task for many scholars over the last 20 years. Yet this is important, both due to scholarship requirements, and because the social entrepreneur faces the ongoing challenge of validating his or her vision and purpose both to business and to society. This relatively new entrepreneur must be able to define, assess and deliver value in contrast to the traditional economic performance expected of business entrepreneurs. This value is most often termed social value, or social wealth. Sustainable entrepreneurship, environmental and eco-preneurship are even newer concepts, which also struggle to find a proper definition. Why such difficulty? We believe it boils down to clearly defining entrepreneurship and social value. The aim of this paper is to provide clarity in these two primary areas of confusion. To do this, we will bring the insights from the most quoted author on the issue, the late Gregory Dees, and the undisputed foremost scholar in the field of entrepreneurship, Joseph Schumpeter. With Schumpeter's help, we end up offering a non-solution, one that questions the tradition within social entrepreneurship, which is the only one Schumpeter has to offer.

Online publication date: Sat, 01-Jul-2017

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