Project Description

Social entrepreneurship (SE) is a nascent and promising field that has gained global attention. Its recognition is based on its contribution in alleviating and mitigating societal challenges and advance the quality of life of people worldwide.
SE and social entrepreneurs (SEurs) play a crucial role in economic and social development. The theory and practice show that SE and SEurs contribute to a) development of employment by creating jobs and including and reintegrating vulnerable groups of people into the labor market, b) filling of market gaps by being innovative and utilizing the available resources, c) development of innovations and creation of new products and services, d) distribution of social capital and promotion of values and practice of cooperation and trust, and e) promotion of equity by addressing the unmet needs of vulnerable groups.
Building a conducive eco-system for development of SE is a prerequisite for social enterprises (SEnts) to realize their role. Enabling system fosters social innovation, growth of SEnts, and maximizes their impact and contribution to transformational change paving the way for significantly improving the wellbeing of people (Chichevaliev, 2019).
For the current research, we will implement a holistic approach of the macro-environment for development and promotion of SE, following other studies that have already analyzed specific macro-environment factors through the lenses of the political, legal, institutional and financial factors (Austin et al., 2006; Poon, 2011; Hoogendoorn, 2011; Estrin et al, 2013; Harris et al, 2013; Fici, 2015, Chichevaliev, 2020).
With respect to existing research about the macro-environmental factors for development and promotion of SE, very few studies make use of this approach in the vague area of SE to research the macro-environmental factors as a whole. Moreover, the level of influence of these macro-level factors on the meso- and micro-level context has not been researched and quantified while taking into account the experience, views and perceptions of SEurs and key stakeholders (KS) and the modus operandi of the SEnts.
The relationship between the factors at all levels is undisputable given that SE is a multistage, multilevel phenomenon touching upon various fields and contexts. With a view to address this gap in the literature and to expand our knowledge about the SE field, we present the following research objectives:
The main purpose of this study is to identify and analyze the level of influence of the macro-level factors on the meso- and microlevel context by taking into account the previous considerations (Austin et al., 2006; Dees & Anderson, 2006; Nicholls & Cho, 2006; Light, 2006; Mair & Marti, 2009; Zahra et al., 2009; Dacin et al., 2010; Stephan et al., 2014Fici, 2015Chichevaliev, 2020) for development of the SE ecosystem and the creation of a conducive macro-environment for growth of the sector.

The specific objectives of the research are the following.

Specific objective 1. To explore the trends in SE literature with emphasis on the macro-environment, SEnts and SEurs;

Specific objective 2. To identify the conducive factors for development and promotion of SE, organizational factors for SEnts and individual factors for SEurs;

Specific objective 3. To analyze the level of influence of the macro-level factors on the meso- (organizational) and microlevel (individual) factors in the SE context;

Specific objective 4. To present the level of influence of the macro-level factors on the meso- and microlevel in the SE through an index of central themes and subthemes.

About the Researcher 

Stefan Chichevaliev_-_VUB (002)
Stefan Chichevaliev – Executive Director at the Social Entrepreneurship Observatory, LL.B, LL.M (Business Law), PhD in Business Administration, and a Postdoc at Vrije Universiteit Brussel researching Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development, with more than 10 years of experience in the private, public and the civil sector.
Demonstrated results in working in and with the think-tank industry, financial partners and governmental institutions, and a solid track record of research, analyses and publications in the social area. Consultant for many international organisations in creating and implementing innovative solutions significantly impacting people’s wellbeing.
Currently involved in social entrepreneurship with a view on researching and exploring sustainable solutions to social issues and boosting international academic partnerships. Skilled program and project management professional with a focus on social problems and a researcher in sustainable development with a specific focus on the economic and social domains and markets that work for society.
Committed to building bridges between science and practice to benefit the most vulnerable. Developer of partnerships in South-Eastern Europe and Advocate for social entrepreneurship and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.