This chapter provides an introduction to the rest of the book. It does so by pointing out that it is necessary to act entrepreneurially in today’s world which contains so much genuine uncertainty. It also divides society into different sectors and entrepreneurs into different groups, highlighting the increasing existence and importance of social entrepreneurs. The chapter characterizes today’s society as postmodern and of a knowledge-type, where interpretive thinking has become important. The author’s opinion is presented, that entrepreneurs can only be defined as such in the beginning of new ventures, and that they are not particularly interested in growth and strategic issues. The chapter summarises the book’s focus on there being two alternative kinds of marketing in the beginning of three kinds of business and/or social ventures, before these ventures have reached any kind of clear and accepted form.
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An Affirmative Critique
Chris Steyaert and Pascal Dey
In the opening chapter, we explain the importance of engaging critically with social entrepreneurship. We underline the need to make an incisive assessment of social entrepreneurship through the way we (still) publish, critique and imagine books in this field. To all those who want to embark on the path of social entrepreneurship, or are simply curious to hear more about the buzz surrounding social entrepreneurship, we say be aware: we need critique, and we need it now! The affirmative critiques we offer to social entrepreneurship are not based on a priori judgements of social entrepreneurship performed from afar, but are intimately related to specific, phenomenological events and observations. Furthermore, we recapitulate how this book draws upon and intervenes in the critical reception of social entrepreneurship. The chapter ends with an overview of the various chapters and the various critical perspectives and themes they draw on and address.
A New Look at Women’s Entrepreneurship Research
Atsede T. Hailemariam and Brigitte Kroon
Atsede T. Hailemariam and Brigitte Kroon explore the meaning of success for female Ethiopian entrepreneurs. Taking a contextually embedded approach using qualitative data and considering structural, familial and cultural constraints, the authors challenge the notion of the underperformance of women entrepreneurs by highlighting how various female entrepreneurs define success. They explain that women entrepreneurs evaluate success in business both in financial and non-financial terms. While some women entrepreneurs define success as achieving self-fulfilment and in terms of their contribution to society and family, others emphasize communal and religious values in their definition of success. It tends to be the young, educated females and those who have experience and operate more than one business or engage in male-dominated sectors who define their success in terms of profit and growth. The implication for policy-makers relates to the need to pay more attention to the heterogeneity of women entrepreneurs and to non-financial measures of performance as they design policy and support programs to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is conducive to entrepreneurship.
Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn and Silke Tegtmeier
This chapter aims – both through the chapters included in this volume and by revisiting some of the earlier volumes – to take stock and elaborate on the possible future directions for European entrepreneurship research. The chapter suggests the features of European entrepreneurship research contextual embeddedness, methodological diversity and distinctive clusters that, in combination, have resulted in versatile contributions that characterize the European entrepreneurship research field.