Abstract

There is an increasing consensus among academics that the common denominator of ‘social entrepreneurs’ is their adherence to a ‘dominant social mission’. The extent to which social entrepreneurs actually adhere to socially oriented goals and values is largely taken for granted and treated as a black box. Building on established theoretical constructs, this paper develops a number of measures that can potentially contribute to our understanding of how ‘social’ social entrepreneurs really are. More specifically, we empirically test four potential measures of “social proclivity” in a well defined sample of social ventures, performing confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) (N~270). CFA points to high reliability and validity for the measures of each of the four constructs and supports the existence of a higher order construct “social proclivity”. Further, results show that social entrepreneurs display strong social as well as economic motives, providing an empirical base for actually capturing the dual-bottom line that characterises these enterprises.

THE LEWIS INSTITUTE AWARD AT BABSON COLLEGE FOR THE BEST PAPER EXPLORING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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