An Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

An Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

Voices, Preconditions, Contexts

Edited by Rafeal Ziegler

This timely book sets social entrepreneurship in a historical context, from its philanthropic beginnings in the Victorian era to the present day, against the backdrop of contemporary global capitalism.

Chapter 12: Hope for Sustainable Development: How Social Entrepreneurs Make it Happen

Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, development studies, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, social policy in emerging countries


Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair INTRODUCTION 12.1 The massive scale on which social problems are conceived precludes innovative action because bounded rationality is exceeded and dysfunctional levels of arousal are induced. (Weick, 1984: 40) Well into the first decade of the new millennium, we still cannot escape being confronted with social, environmental, political and economic problems on a scale that seems overwhelming in the sense of Karl Weick’s statement. The emotional drama caused by pictures of war, terrorism, natural catastrophes that caught their victims unprepared, the hungry and the diseased – pictures that refuse to disappear from our daily newspapers and television screens – may indeed promote resignation, a feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness. At the same time, important decisions need to be made about how to address socio-economic challenges at a global level. This includes issues such as global warming, elimination of poverty, and allocation of funds to education, economic development and technological innovation. The aim is to balance economic growth and social development for all with the ability of the natural environment to sustain human life on this planet. To achieve this, international organisations are striving to define frameworks that enable local actions to result in a form of global sustainable development. Corporations are expected to identify and develop future growth markets and to allocate resources to the creation of new business models able to serve the needs of billions of low-income customers. Citizens are asked to support national policies that increase the spending of tax money for development...

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