ABSTRACT

The field of social entrepreneurship and the study of social enterprises have grown rapidly over the last decade, with scholarly interest in the field emerging around the world. Indeed, explorations of social entrepreneurship have identified several different types of social enterprises (see, for example, Defourny & Nyssens, 2008, 2010; Doherty et al., 2009; Galera & Borzaga, 2009; Kerlin, 2006, 2010, 2013), while prior research by Mendell (2010) found that their emergence is often rooted in the various institutional contexts of the countries and/or regions in which they operate. This focus on geographic differences and institutional factors has also been complemented by growing scholarly interest in the various processes and social structures that underpin the emergence of these geographic and institutional differences—especially political, socioeconomic, and cultural factors (Doherty et al., 2009; Hazenberg et al., 2016a, 2016b; Mazzei 2017; Salamon et al., 2003). Most recently, a focus on social structures and the network ties that link different stakeholders in the social enterprise sector has led to the creation of an ecosystem typology based on biological evolutionary theory, which argues that there is a need for greater pluralism in social enterprise ecosystems (Hazenberg et al., 2016b).