Social Entrepreneurs by Chance: How environmentalists provide a favorable context for social entrepreneurial action.

Raymond Petrus Antonius Loohuis, Arend J. Groen, Ariane M. von Raesfeld Meijer, B. Hutschemaekers

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How, why, and under what conditions can social movements contribute to the development of social entrepreneurial process developed by embedded actors? Social entrepreneurship scholars are increasingly adopting social movement theories to explain how individual entrepreneurs develop their social ventures. Despite the synergies achieved when combining social movement with social entrepreneurship literature, social entrepreneurial outcomes are still mostly explained by the efforts of atomistic actors. In this paper we offer an embedded perspective on social entrepreneurship and social movement, which enables us to examine their complementary features in a sustainable development project in a Dutch region. While contentious activity did not produce the desired effect in our case, we found that the various stages of social entrepreneurship processes (opportunity identification, evaluation, formalization, and exploitation) through which embedded actors develop their ventures were especially enhanced by joint knowledge creation between movements and embedded actors, the construction of producer identities, and direct business support. This study contributes to the social movement literature by showing how movements can bring about change by providing embedded actors with producers’ identities and hands-on support. The literature on social entrepreneurship is also complemented, as we show how motives and behaviors to engage in social entrepreneurship are shaped by social movements, in combination with changes in the degree of embeddedness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2012
Event28st EGOS Colloquium 2012: Design!? - Aalto University & Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 2 Jul 20127 Jul 2012
Conference number: 28


Conference28st EGOS Colloquium 2012


  • IR-83699
  • METIS-286089


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