Social Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship
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Social Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Edited by Maritza I. Espina, Phillip H. Phan and Gideon D. Markman

The rapid and formative rise in research on social innovation and entrepreneurship means that theoretical frameworks are still being created, while traditional notions of economic efficiency and social welfare are tested. The field is progressing fastest in the measurement and measuring of social entrepreneurial effectiveness. Social innovators, who draw from philanthropy, as well as capital markets, for financial resources, have adopted the lean start up as a paradigm for their organization logics.
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Chapter 4: The political economy of climate change and sustainable entrepreneurship

Phillip Bruner, Richard Harrison and Dan Van der Horst


Sustainable entrepreneurs responding to climate change are presented with opportunities to earn profits in a market where political economic factors play a defining role. According to theories of sustainable entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs design businesses that can capitalize on sustainable market opportunities because of market failures or market disequilibrium. However, commercial and non-commercial actors intervene in the market for sustainable goods and services, using their political influence to shape the competitive landscape. When viewed through the lens of critical theory, where market intervention is expected and power dynamics emphasized, the practice of sustainable entrepreneurship takes on political economic dimensions. In addition to its explanatory power, viewing sustainable entrepreneurship through the lens of critical theory may afford certain advantages to entrepreneurs who may account for political economic factors when developing strategies to capture market share. At the same time, the practice of sustainable entrepreneurship may be seen as an effective method for addressing climate change by driving a global shift to a more sustainable, low carbon political economy.

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