What Do We Know about Social Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of Empirical Research

Posted: 1 Jul 2009

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 28, 2009


Despite the growing attention for social entrepreneurship, as a scholarly field of research it is still at a stage of infancy. Academic research in the past two decades was primarily dedicated to establish a conceptual foundation which resulted in a considerable stream of conceptual papers. Empirical articles are gradually appearing since the turn of the century. Although they are still by far outnumbered by conceptual articles, they are of great significance for social entrepreneurship to evolve as a field of scientific inquiry. This paper reviews 14 emprical research studies on social entrepreneurship, classifies them along four dimensions and summarizes research findings for each of these dimensions. Preliminary to the analysis of the empirical researches, an overview of four schools of thought is presented that serves as a background to which to interpret the empirical inquiries.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship, definition, empirical research, school of thought

JEL Classification: H44, L14, L26, L31, L32

Suggested Citation

Hoogendoorn, Brigitte, What Do We Know about Social Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of Empirical Research (May 28, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1421822

Brigitte Hoogendoorn (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
0031 (0)10 4089525 (Phone)

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