Handbook of Research on Social Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Social Entrepreneurship

Edited by Alain Fayolle and Harry Matlay

This timely Handbook provides an empirically rigorous overview of the latest research advances on social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs and enterprises. It incorporates seventeen original chapters on definitions, concepts, contexts and strategy, including a critical overview and an agenda for future research in social entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 3: Essay of Clarifications and Definitions of the Related Concepts of Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneur and Social Entrepreneurship

François Brouard and Sophie Larivet


François Brouard and Sophie Larivet INTRODUCTION Entrepreneurship is a relevant and important field of research (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). Social entrepreneurship is a particular form of entrepreneurship (Henton et al., 1997). With the ever present or growing social problems and social needs over the last hundred years, it is easy to find a number of examples of social enterprise in different parts of the world (Christie and Honig, 2006; Fulton and Dees, 2006; Mair and Martí, 2004). However, many concepts, such as social enterprise, social entrepreneur or social entreneurship are used to describe a field of research that has only recently come into official or common use (Borzaga and Defourny, 2001; Christie and Honig, 2006). A review of the rapidly expanding literature on those topics suggests that definitions of each of these terms are still being developed and are by no means agreed upon (Certo and Miller, 2008). Martin and Osberg (2007: 30) conclude that ‘social entrepreneurship has become so inclusive that it now has an immense tent into which all manner of socially beneficial activities fit’. Fontan et al. (2007) and Defourny and Nyssens (2008a) underline the difference in the development of the terminology and its clarity. In the United States, it has its own identity and is influenced by large private foundations. In the United Kingdom, the state is at the forefront of its development and identity. In Europe, it is more about social economy and cooperatives. Thus those terms are emerging, ill-defined (Barendsen and Gardner, 2004;...

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