Social Entrepreneurship in the Modern Economy: Warm Glow, Cold Feet



This study tests and extends current knowledge on the causes of social entrepreneurship: a type of entrepreneurship that concerns the process of discovering, evaluating, and pursuing opportunities aimed at the creation of social value. In contrast to what is common in this research domain, this study applies a research design based on unique, large-scale and internationally comparable survey data. Various research themes are addressed such as the occurrence and drivers of social entrepreneurship at the macro-level, factors that influence the survival of social ventures at the firm level, and the differences and commonalities between social and commercial entrepreneurs at the individual level.

At the macro-level it is concluded that social entrepreneurship clearly is a global phenomenon with a prevailing role for the level of income in a country as one of the drivers of its occurrence. At the micro-level results indicate a deviating entrepreneurial profile for social entrepreneurs that tends to be, in some respects, less favorable compared to commercial entrepreneurs in terms of effort put into the organisation, self-confidence, ambition, funding and progression to more mature stages of the entrepreneurial process.

The results of this thesis are of particular interest for public policy-makers, private foundations, and support organizations who want to promote social entrepreneurship and improve the sector infrastructure. This study advocates taking account for this deviating entrepreneurial profile.

Contact information:
Marisa van Iperen