Edited by Gordon E. Shockley, Peter M. Frank and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 12: What Are Social Ventures? Toward a Theoretical Framework and Empirical Examination of Successful Social Ventures
Ronit Yitshaki, Miri Lerner and Moshe Sharir INTRODUCTION Most of the literature pertaining to social entrepreneurship draws on the business entrepreneurship literature. The main diﬀerence between entrepreneurs operating in the business sector versus those in the not-for-proﬁt sector is that social contribution, in the sense of mission and service, becomes the main goal of social entrepreneurs and not proﬁtability or ﬁnancial gains. Social entrepreneurship is based on opportunity recognition of social needs and is associated with innovativeness, proactiveness and risk taking (Sullivan Mort et al., 2003). Yet, given their vulnerability, there has been relatively little research into the aspects that inﬂuence the long-term survivability of social ventures, especially during their early years. The current chapter tries to identify the factors that may explain long-term survivability of social ventures. These factors are examined at two levels: external and internal explanations for survival. To explain long-term survivability, the chapter suggests a theoretical framework drawing on a combination of ﬁve theoretical perspectives: resource-dependent, institutional, social capital, resource-based and human capital. We examine the factors contributing to survivability based on a large qualitative ﬁeld-study of 33 social ventures that operated in various social arenas in Israel in 2000. A follow-up study conducted in 2005 revealed that 25 of these ventures had succeeded in surviving. 217 218 Only a semantic diﬀerence? LITERATURE REVIEW Social Entrepreneurship Social entrepreneurs are ‘People who realize where there is an opportunity to satisfy some unmet need that the state welfare system will not or cannot...
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