Societal Entrepreneurship

Societal Entrepreneurship

Positioning, Penetrating, Promoting

Edited by Karin Berglund, Bengt Johannisson and Birgitta Schwartz

Stating the importance of both the local and the broader societal context, the book reports close-up studies from a variety of social ventures. Generic themes include positioning societal entrepreneurship against other images of collective entrepreneurship, critically penetrating its assumptions and practices and proposing ways of promoting societal entrepreneurship more widely.

Chapter 3: Tracking the everyday practices of societal entrepreneuring

Bengt Johannisson

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship

Extract

Christer, the business angel, and I are sitting in his glazed-in veranda at the waterside on a sunny day in May (2010), talking about his first encounter with the social entrepreneur Fredrik Bergman: I am in my car, on my way home, he calls me–this kind of call I get twice a month, sometimes a week, someone who calls and discreetly asks about something, often it is a damned salesman. So I was actually quite brief and said that now you really have to summarize what you want, I haven’t got all the time in the world. As you know Fredrik is a bit of a roundabout so I said that maybe it is better if I tell you how I work and you can line up.–If I am going to invest there are three things that I have a look at: head, heart and wallet. The head says that I have to understand what you are going for and see the logic and the business opportunities. The heart says that I have to sympathize with not just the key concept but also with you and your key affiliates. Because that is what I focus upon, the persons. Third, I am no . . . philanthropist but I want to invest, I want to join in and take responsibility for the decision that I make and that is best done by putting in some own money. Then you become a bit more careful using them. Already there a problem appeared because Fredrik said that is impossible. So you are one of those . . . egoists who do not want a partner in your company? No, Fredrik said, it is a cooperative you know. Cooperative! Cooperative, what the hell is that? Is it a co-op store and similar stuff ! Fredrik said: Have you ever heard of Macken. For sure I have heard of Macken, I said, I love Macken. I have tried to support it, I have bought bikes there.

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