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Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: A Conceptual Distinction

Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: A Conceptual Distinction
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Author(s): Jorge Cunha (University of Minho, Portugal), Paul Benneworth (University of Twente, The Netherlands) and Pedro Oliveira (University of Porto, Portugal)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 24
Source title: Handbook of Research on Global Competitive Advantage through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Luís M. Carmo Farinha (Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco & NECE – Research Unit, Portugal), João J. M. Ferreira (University of Beira Interior & NECE – Research Unit, Portugal), Helen Lawton Smith (Birkbeck, University of London & Oxfordshire Economic Observatory, Oxford University, UK) and Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen (State University of New York – Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8348-8.ch033

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Abstract

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.

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