Social Entrepreneurship

Abstract: Abstract:
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the process of green community entrepreneurship in the social economy by studying creative responses among environmental non-profit organizations to an external fiscal shock.
Design/methodology/approach – A total of 12 managers of environmental non-profit organizations were interviewed to identify and classify their responses to a single external fiscal shock. These organizations are connected by a social capital network, their national association, Green Communities Canada. The social economy and ecological economics literatures are reviewed to construct a definition of green community entrepreneurship. Interview respondents identified factors which facilitate this process.
Findings – The need for green community entrepreneurship was driven by two interrelated issues (a loss of external government funding, and an associated market collapse for residential energy audits), and facilitated by three main factors (external social capital network flows, internal human capital stocks, and strategic partnerships).
Research limitations/implications – Future research should examine other social economy organizations to determine if the dynamics discovered here are unique to green community organizations delivering climate change programs or apply more generally. Policy implications include the potential for joint project creation and investment utilizing green community entrepreneurship to integrate social and ecological economy objectives.
Originality/value – A new conceptual fram. Source:
Travis Gliedt, Paul Parker, (2007). "Green community entrepreneurship: creative destruction in the social economy", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 34 Iss: 8, pp.538 - 553.

  Appanah, Dev. Startup and Change the World is a guidebook for social entrepreneurs.

Alter Kim (2007). Social Enterprise Typology. (PDF)

 Defentition for Social Entrepreneurship (Wikipedia)

Defening  What is Social Entrepreneurship  according University of Oxford

Doing Business Doing Good: Social Entrepreneurship 

What is a Social Enterprise? by Jonathan Bland

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

 Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship (INSEAD)

Social Enterprise (Harvard Business School)

Social Enterprise (U.K.)

Social Theory (Wikipedia) 

Sociological Theory (Journal)

Social Theory and Practice (Journal)

Thomson, J. & Doherty, B. (2006). The diverse world of social enterprise. A collection of social enterprise stories. International Journal of Social Economics, 33(5/6), 361-375

The Institute for Social  Entrepreneurs (

Digi Bridge (and an other Social Entrerprises)

Some books and articles

Boschee, J. & McClurg, J. (2003). Toward a better understanding of social entrepreneurship: Some important distinctions. (PDF, available on the Internet )

Dees, J.G. (1998). The Meaning of "Social Entrepreneurship". (PDF)

Harding, R. (2006). Social Entrepreneurship Monitor. London Business School. (PDF, available on the Internet: 

Intro to Sociology (FreeBooks)

Bill Drayton Everyone a Changemaker: Social Entrepreneurship's Ultimate Goal

 D. Michael Lindsay: Social Theory (course)

 Muukkonen, M. (2008) / Civil society: SOCIETY RESEARCH

  1. Social and Commercial Entrepreneurship: Same, Different, or Both? (pages 1–22)James Austin, Howard Stevenson and Jane Wei-Skillern
    Article first published online: 5 JAN 2006 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00107.x
  2. Shifting Imperatives: An Integrative View of Resource Scarcity and Agency Reasons for Franchising (pages 23–40)Gary J. Castrogiovanni, James G. Combs and Robert T. Justis
    Article first published online: 5 JAN 2006 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00108.x

  3. Social Capital, Cognition, and Entrepreneurial Opportunities: A Theoretical Framework (pages 41–56)Donna Marie De Carolis and Patrick Saparito
    Article first published online: 5 JAN 2006 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00109.x
  4. Strategic Process Effects on the Entrepreneurial Orientation–Sales Growth Rate Relationship (pages 57–81)Jeffrey G. Covin, Kimberly M. Green and Dennis P. Slevin
    Article first published online: 5 JAN 2006 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00110.x

    Roger L. Martin & Sally Osberg (2007). Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition
    Stanford Social Innovation Review. Spring 2007. Copyright © 2007 by Leland Stanford Jr. University All Rights Reserved (PDF-available on the Internet:


Social enterprises come in all shapes and sizes and operate in a range of sectors. Below you can find a few case studies to illustrate the diverse nature of the social enterprise sector in the UK.

  • Big Issue - a news and current affairs magazine written by professional journalists and sold on the streets by homeless vendors.
  • Divine Chocolate - a Fairtrade company co-owned by the cocoa farmers cooperative Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, who not only receive a fair price for their cocoa but also a large share in the company's profit.
  • Digibridge -a pioneering IT resource and training company, connecting communities and people with no internet experience or computer access.
  • Greenworks - refashions and redirects office furniture that would otherwise end up in landfill, providing organisations including schools, charities and small businesses with discounted wares. 
  • Hill Holt Wood - educates and trains at-risk youth who have been excluded from school, giving them the lasting benefits of education, practical skills, the ability to work in a team, increased confidence and time spent outdoors.
  • London Early Years Foundation - runs community childcare centres for children in London where, despite its apparent wealth, extremely high numbers of children are classified as being in need. LEYF supports lower income families by providing subsidised services and helping mums and dads to improve their parenting skills.
  • PJ's Community Services - a community hub, working not just in care services but also youth, education, business and the arts.
  • Requipit - pairs the desire to minimise landfill with the need for domestic appliances for homeless people who are rebuilding their lives.  Services and refurbishes washing machines, fridges and cookers and directs them to schemes that help the homeless furnish flats and houses as they emerge from troubled times.
  • STRIDE - an award-winning social enterprise based in Leicester providing work experience and training in a real business environment. Accepts donated furniture and purchase damaged and returned furniture from catalogue companies for socially disadvantaged trainees to collect, renovate and deliver to low-income families.
  • Thinking Flowers - ethical floral design company supplying creative flower displays and installations to businesses, events and private clients, including the Tate Modern, BAFTA, Westminster Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall, the Emirates Stadium and British Library.


Clothes upcycling workshops, anti-gun crime merchandise, street dance classes on housing estates and a tap water bottle refill network – these are just some of the glowing ideas that young people in the UK today are turning into successful social enterprises.  Here are the stories of nine outstanding social entrepreneurs, the majority of who are still in their early twenties.

  • Paul Aiken - co-founder of Global Generation which works with young people, including those from youth offending programmes and homeless shelters on environmental and food growing projects.
  • Kamara Bennett - founder of Sew Your Own, a clothes upcycling project involving young people and local fashion students.
  • Edwin Bronsi-Mensah - founder of Give Me Tap, which sells branded aluminium water bottles, which can be refilled for free at a growing network of cafes and restaurants.  The majority of the profits go to water projects in developing countries.
  • Kelvin Cheung - founder of FoodCycle, an organisation which supports young people to collect surplus food from restaurants and shops in their area. They then cook the food in empty kitchen space and serve it to those in need.
  • Lily Lapenna - founder of Mybnk, provides workshops and toolkits to help young people understand money and finance.
  • Rui Jorge Ocatavio - founder, of NUTMEG, an organisation running events, debates and festivals to give young people a voice, celebrate their skills and reduce gang culture.
  • Leanne Pero - founder of The Movement Factory, a dance company providing street dance classes for young people on housing estates, as well as dance workshops for schools, youth centres and private companies.

(Edit: 5.9.2012)