Theory and Empirical Research in Social Entrepreneurship
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Theory and Empirical Research in Social Entrepreneurship

Edited by Phillip H. Phan, Jill Kickul, Sophie Bacq and Mattias Nordqvist

Scholars and policy makers have long recognized entrepreneurship as a powerful engine of economic growth. There is clear evidence, however, that when it comes to social entrepreneurship, policy attention has not been matched by growth in scholarly research. This volume illustrates the type of empirical effort that must take place for the field to advance.
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Chapter 8: Value creation at the individual, venture and societal levels of analyses through social venture competitions

Moriah Meyskens and Nadia Auch


Interest in social entrepreneurship has grown in recent years as society seeks more innovative means to resolve social problems (Short et al., 2009; Hill et al., 2010). Social entrepreneurship is often defined as the practice of solving social issues through the development and growth of entrepreneurial social ventures. These social ventures create economic and social value and are fundamentally interested in addressing unmet social needs (Dees, 1998; Mair and Marti, 2006) and wicked problems (Dacin et al., 2010). Research on social ventures has increased in the last ten years. Early research in the area was primarily anecdotal and descriptive, using case studies to identify and define the phenomena (Dees, 1998; Mair and Marti, 2006; Weerawardena and Mort, 2006). Recent literature in the area has focused on such themes as opportunity recognition (Corner and Ho, 2010), social venture identity (Moss et al., 2011), social entrepreneurs' motivations (Renko, 2012), and the institutional conditions surrounding social entrepreneurship (Dorado and Ventresca, 2013; Mair et al., 2012; Mair and Marti, 2009). Others have assessed different strategies-such as rhetorical strategies or bricolage-that social ventures use to mobilize resources and address social change goals (Allison et al., 2013; Desa, 2012; Ruebottom, 2013). Nevertheless, few studies have focused on the pedagogical elements of social entrepreneurship (Kwong et al., 2012). This study fills this gap in the literature by exploring the nature and value of social venture competitions, a key experiential learning initiative in social entrepreneurship pedagogical programs.

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