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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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What Do We Know About Social Entrepreneurship? An Analysis of Empirical Research

IRE Vol 8: Issue 2, 2010 - Social Entrepreneurship Special Issue 2

Author(s): Brigitte Hoogendoorn, Enrico Pennings and Roy Thurik (Erasmus School of Economics, The Netherlands)

Abstract:
Despite the growing attention to social entrepreneurship as a scholarly field of research, it is still in a stage of infancy. Research in the past two decades has been primarily dedicated to establishing a conceptual foundation, which has resulted in a considerable stream of conceptual papers. Empirical articles have gradually appeared since the turn of the century. Although they are still outnumbered by conceptual articles, empirical articles are of considerable significance for the evolution of social entrepreneurship as a field of scientific inquiry. The purpose of this paper is to gauge the current state of empirical research by reviewing 31 empirical research studies on social entrepreneurship, classifying them along four dimensions and summarising research findings for each of these dimensions. To serve this purpose in a meaningful fashion requires discriminating between different perspectives on social entrepreneurship. Hence, a conceptual overview with four different schools of thought is presented, and the articles in our sample are analysed accordingly.

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