Societal Entrepreneurship
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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.
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Chapter 11: Conclusions

Karin Berglund, Bengt Johannisson and Birgitta Schwartz


In the Swedish context societal entrepreneuring appears in many forms, besides social enterprise, for example as the intermediating function in small-firm settings, as art and experience production and as education. Three themes–positioning, penetrating and promoting–have been used to organize our encounters with these different forms. This thematic structure should, however, only be considered as a starting point for further reflexivity, thus inviting a prolonged research journey. Three further possible themes or issues have then caught our attention. The first issue concerns for what reason and in what way societal entrepreneurship can supplement the basic social contract between the citizen and the state, which in Sweden has been produced culturally but has also become enforced by a strong public sector. The outcome would be people with enhanced selfconfidence who acknowledge their own capabilities and use them together with others to co-create the conditions that organize their everyday life and thus practise entrepreneuring. The second emerging issue recognizes the divide, not only between different sectors, but also between the private sphere and the public sphere and how this divide is bridged in societal entrepreneuring. On one hand, we have associated societal entrepreneuring with cross-sectorial (public) efforts to make up for deficiencies in the public and private sectors. On the other hand, we have argued that only by engaging themselves personally, as authentic beings, that is, as private persons, will people make societal entrepreneuring materialize. The third new issue elaborates on the second one by addressing the role and responsibility of us as researchers in social value creation, which we relate to societal entrepreneuring as part of our knowledge creation process.

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