European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Paula Kyrö
Chapter 4: New Initiatives to Revitalise Society: Public Entrepreneurship in the South of Sweden
4. New initiatives to revitalize society: public entrepreneurship in the south of Sweden Tobias Dalhammar INTRODUCTION This chapter deals with an important subﬁeld in entrepreneurship research labelled public entrepreneurship. Related to the growing theoretical school of social entrepreneurship, public entrepreneurship conceptualizes an activity that mainly belongs to society and is not restricted to the economic sphere. The term ‘public’ emphasizes public space, that is, the space that concerns all citizens and that is neither private nor oﬃcial. In their research, Hjorth and Bjerke (2006) use the original Latin meaning of the word ‘publicus’, which means something that concerns all citizens and that nobody can disclaim responsibility for. Examples of public issues are unemployment, residency, environment and education. Entrepreneurship is conceptualized as enterprise in a wider sense. That is, to create something that others can use or beneﬁt from (Bjerke and Dalhammar, 2006). In recent years, there has been a growing interest in initiatives with a social mission. By initiative, the meanings in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2006) are intended: 1. the ability to initiate or begin something, including the power or opportunity to act before others do; 2. a fresh strategy intended to resolve or improve something. Generally, public entrepreneurship initiatives aim to create social value and to contribute to social change. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2004) oﬀers some clarity to the deﬁnition of social values: ‘the principles or moral standards of a person or social group . . .; the generally accepted or personally held judgment...
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