Social enterprises exist to deliver a specific social or environmental mission. In Scotland they operate in a diverse range of sectors including housing, health and community development. It is both their diversity and contribution that provided the impetus for this study.
Entrepreneurship as an academic subject area is prevalent and spans many areas including business, universities, and society. However, the role of entrepreneurship in the social enterprise sector is not well understood. There is little discussion or discourse specifically of the “enterprise” element of social enterprises. This study sought to address this gap by mapping current entrepreneurial approaches, attitudes, activities, and support within the social enterprise sector. It set out to consider how the role of entrepreneurship in the social enterprise sector and how it can be supported to develop the entrepreneurial potential of social enterprises.
The study was undertaken from an interpretivist stance with semi-structured interviews with participants from across the social enterprise sector. The analysis wasthematic and brought to light different levels and perceptions of understanding of entrepreneurial action within social enterprises. It also evidenced a wide range of entrepreneurial activities and approaches currently being undertaken in the sector, often confined to specific organisations, but with potential to be shared and disseminated across the sector. Entrepreneurial approaches focused on providing pathways to increased economic sustainability and embedding entrepreneurship in the organisation.
The key contribution of the study is a qualitative review of the entrepreneurial orientation model, developing a framework with which organisations in the social enterprise sector can gain an understanding of their entrepreneurial stance. A set of recommendations focusses on ideas to develop the entrepreneurial potential of the sector, building on existing initiatives, and offering collaboration and support.
Anderson, M. A. A study of entrepreneurial action within the social enterprise sector of Scotland. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2855273