Identifying cross-country key drivers of social entrepreneurial activity

Identifying cross-country key drivers of social entrepreneurial activity

ECSP-6EMES-07 | Cris Bravo Monge 2017


Governments and philanthropy efforts alone are not sufficient to eradicate poverty. The world needs new frameworks that enable sustainable development by integrating and balancing the economic, social and environmental dimensions. Social entrepreneurship is the attempt to solve social problems through entrepreneurial activities. The concept of social entrepreneurship is of great interest to governments, nongovernmental organizations, and businesses because it has the capacity of facilitating societal change and building social cohesion by fostering innovative ways to address social inequality, unemployment, and climate change. However, precisely because social entrepreneurship lays at the intersection of the business and nonprofit worlds, it is a complex phenomenon, and there are many unknowns regarding how the convergence of these dimensions can be understood and managed at cross-national levels.

To investigate this complex phenomenon, this study used a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design to investigate the correlates of social entrepreneurship among a sample of countries for which sufficient data exists. Specifically, this study first identifies the significant socioeconomic factors that contribute to the social entrepreneurial activity in 55 countries; then, through in-depth individual interviews and focus groups with social entrepreneurs, the study explains how the findings of the quantitative phase manifest in the social entrepreneurial activity in two purposefully selected Latin American countries: Colombia and Mexico.

In addition to making practical and theoretical contributions to the field of social entrepreneurship by identifying and validating the socioeconomic drivers that affect the social entrepreneurial activity in various countries, the proposed study may help governments and international organizations manage social entrepreneurship more efficiently and more effectively, improving the rate of return on the resources invested in this activity.


  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Socioeconomic drivers
  • Colombia
  • Mexico

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