Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: A Conceptual Distinction

Jorge Cunha, Paul Stephen Benneworth, Pedro Oliveira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


In the last two decades, a renewed interest on the concepts of social innovation and social entrepreneurship has emerged. In fact, a large body of theoretical developments that occurred in the fields of innovation, territorial development, social economics, and public governance (among others) have emphasised the need to adopt new approaches to new (or emerging) problems, such as: climate change; chronic diseases; increasing inequalities in income distribution; high rates of unemployment (particularly among young people); the impact of ageing population; and mass urbanisation and social exclusion phenomenon. This chapter aims at contributing to this literature by making an attempt to distinguish both concepts: social innovation and social entrepreneurship. For that purpose, the definition of each of these concepts, their main features as well as their major differences are presented. Finally, the role that HEIs might play in promoting social innovation and social entrepreneurship initiatives is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEntrepreneurship: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781522519249
ISBN (Print)9781522519232
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

PublisherIGI Global


  • METIS-310931
  • IR-96326


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