The International Handbook on Social Innovation Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
- Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Chapter 3: Social innovation, social economy and social enterprise: what can the European debate tell us?
Organizations corresponding to what we now call ‘social enterprises’ have existed since well before the mid-1990s when the term began to be increasingly used in both Western Europe and the United States. Indeed, the third sector, be it called the non-profit sector, the voluntary sector or the social economy, has long witnessed entrepreneurial dynamics which resulted in innovative solutions for providing services or goods to persons or communities whose needs were neither met by private companies nor by public providers. However, for reasons which vary from region to region, the concept of social enterprise is now gaining a fast growing interest along with two closely related terms, namely ‘social entrepreneur’ and ‘social entrepreneurship’. Social innovation, or at least innovation to provide answers to social needs, seems to be at the heart of the fast developing literature around those ‘SE concepts’.
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