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 5: Breaking traditions: how entrepreneurs create communities to address climate change

Katharina Kaesehage and Michael Leyshon


Scholars increasingly argue that Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and their entrepreneurs should play a central role in reducing the rate and magnitude of climate change. However, evidence suggests that whilst some entrepreneurs do recognize their crucial role in addressing climate change, most find taking action difficult. How some entrepreneurs nevertheless concern themselves with climate change has been the subject of a few recent studies. Some have tentatively argued that these entrepreneurs can do so because of bottom-up, community-led approaches and peer-to-peer relationships. However, little is known about these efforts. Such network interactions of entrepreneurs have not been empirically researched in the light of climate change and little is known about the reason for, and impact of, such informal relationships and efforts for entrepreneurs’ mitigation of climate change. Over a period of four years we examined how entrepreneurs use networks to mitigate climate change through a variety of qualitative research methods. We reveal that the entrepreneurs use Citizen Interactions through which they try to understand climate change, exploring their personal experiences and observations, and second, such relationships create a Shared Belief System that serves to sidestep the current external governance structures that do not support entrepreneurs’ endeavours to mitigate climate change. We suggest that change-related policies need to use community efforts to support and ease engagement with climate change efforts.

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