1st Edition

Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Ecosystems for Inclusion in Europe

    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides comprehensive and advanced analysis of the characteristics of social entrepreneurship in Europe. It offers innovative, up-todate research on the ecosystems of social entrepreneurship, the behavior of social entrepreneurs, their ability to produce social innovation, social capital and social inclusion, and the role of stakeholders in fostering socially oriented businesses. Moreover, it addresses the diversity of the European social enterprise sector from an evolutionary perspective, with particular reference to the rise of social entrepreneurship and the role of new-generation social entrepreneurs throughout Europe. Multidisciplinary contributions authored by experts from business and accounting, economics, and sociology serve the purpose of delivering a holistic study of social entrepreneurship, also providing the necessary data for delivering policy implications on the features of the most effective enabling social and institutional ecosystems.

    The broad approach, based on different theoretical frameworks and methodologies across numerous disciplines, enables the authors to tackle all of the complex research issues connected to social entrepreneurship in the region. The book builds on the results of the European Union 7FP (European Union’s Research and Innovation funding program for 2007–013)-funded “EFESEIIS – Enabling the flourishing and evolution of social entrepreneurship for innovative and inclusive societies” research project.

    The central theme of the book is an evolutionary perspective on the dynamics and the rise of the social enterprise in Europe. This evolutionary perspective can be used in an economic as well as a social longitudinal analysis of changing contexts and entrepreneurial practices. The evolutionary perspective will be used as a tool to account for the specificity of developmental pathways in different contexts and countries.


    1. An introduction to social entrepreneurship in Europe

    2. Research background, theoretical frameworks and methodologies

    3. The rise of the social entrepreneurship in Europe

    4. The diversity of the European social enterprise sector: an evolutionary perspective

    5. Main features of social entrepreneurship in Europe

    6. Behaviour of decision makers in social enterprises

    7. Social capital in social economy

    8. The role of stakeholder networks in shaping the development of social enterprise ecosystems

    9. Passion or pressure: understanding innovative behavior of social enterprises

    10. Social innovation in niches

    11. The in-between space of new generation social enterprises

    12. Enabling ecosystems for social enterprises: a capability approach perspective

    13. Conclusive remarks and policy implications


    Mario Biggeri is Associate Professor in Development Economics at the Department of Economics and Management of University of Florence, and Scientific Director of ARCO (Action Research for CO-development) research center, Italy.

    Enrico Testi did his PhD in Economics at the University of Florence on Enabling Eco-systems for Social Enterprises. Since 2009, he has been the executive director of ARCO (Action Research for CO-development) research centre, Italy. Since 2011, he has been director of the Yunus Social Business Centre at the University of Florence.

    Marco Bellucci is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Accounting at the University of Florence, Italy. His research interests include corporate social responsibility, sustainability reporting, third-sector organizations, and social enterprises.

    Roel During is coordinator of the Social Innovation for Value Creation Programme of Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. Although educated as a biologist, much of his work is dedicated to social and governance studies.

    H. Thomas R. Persson is Associate Professor at the Department of Work Science and the Director of the Research Platform of Business Collaboration of Kristianstad University, Sweden. His research interests include governance, social responsibility, and social enterprises.