Understanding Social Entrepreneurship: The Relentless Pursuit of Mission in an Ever Changing World, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Social Entrepreneurship

The Relentless Pursuit of Mission in an Ever Changing World, 2nd Edition

By Jill Kickul, Thomas S. Lyons


350 pages | 28 Color Illus. | 5 B/W Illus.

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Understanding Social Entrepreneurship is the leading textbook that provides students with a comprehensive overview of the field. It brings the mindset, principles, strategies, tools and techniques of entrepreneurship into the social sector to present innovative solutions to today’s vexing social issues.

Kickul and Lyons cover all the key topics relevant to social entrepreneurship, including a detailed examination of each of the steps in the entrepreneurial process. This edition includes several new features:

  • New international cases and examples – providing students with a broader understanding of social entrepreneurship globally
  • Updated ‘voices from the field’ boxes – this popular feature shows how social entrepreneurship functions in the real world
  • Four new chapters – covering the emerging topics of lean start-up, support ecosystems, social intrapreneurship, and social entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability

Bringing together a rigorous theoretical foundation and a strong practical focus, it is the go-to resource for students of social entrepreneurship. A companion website includes an instructor’s manual, PowerPoint slides, test bank, and other tools to provide additional support for students and instructors.


"Understanding Social Entrepreneurship is one of the most comprehensive examinations of social entrepreneurship ever written. Kickul and Lyons completely capture both the essence and current surges in the field, covering every aspect from definition, opportunity, and scaling to funding, measurement, and ecosystems. For any scholar developing a course in social entrepreneurship, this is THE book!" –Donald F. Kuratko, Indiana University – Bloomington, USA

"The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) launched a teaching certificate in Social Entrepreneurship in 2012. Participants in the certificate program are faculty who are interested in creating and teaching courses in social entrepreneurship. Understanding Social Entrepreneurship is the recommended text for this certificate program and our participants value the up to date content and teaching tools provided. I personally use this text in courses I teach in Social Entrepreneurship and highly recommend it." —Tony Mendes, Former President, USASBE, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Defining and Distinguishing Social Entrepreneurship 3. Recognizing Social Opportunities 4. Lean Startup for Social Enterprises 5. Developing a Strategic Plan for a Social Venture 6. Organizational Structure 7. Funding Social Ventures 8. Measuring Social Impact 9. Scaling the Social Venture 10. Social Intrapreneurship 11. Social Entrepreneurship and Environmental Sustainability 12. The Social Entrepreneurship Support Ecosystem 13. The Future of Social Entrepreneurship

About the Authors

Jill Kickul is Director of the Stern School of Business Program in Social Entrepreneurship at the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, NYU, USA. As a Clinical Professor of Business and Society, she teaches courses in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and social impact strategies. She has published more than one hundred journal articles and books on the subject of entrepreneurship.

Thomas S. Lyons is the Lawrence N. Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship, Professor of Management, and Field Mentor at Baruch College CUNY, USA. He has expertise in the following subjects: entrepreneurship, economic development, strategic planning, and public–private partnerships. He is co-author or editor of eleven books and has published over sixty articles and papers in scholarly outlets on entrepreneurial and economic strategy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / New Business Enterprises


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