Abstract

Social entrepreneurship is primarily concerned with the development of innovative solutions to society’s most challenging problems. Within resource-constrained environments, social innovation may depend on the extent to which social entrepreneurs can combine and apply the resources at hand in creative and useful ways to solve problems – ‘bricolage’. Moreover, innovating for social impact relies on a set of institutional and structural supports – ‘innovation ecology’, which can facilitate or impede innovation. Our research empirically examines these variables as drivers of systemic social change through scaling and replication – ‘catalytic innovation’. Results of a survey conducted with 113 social entrepreneurs indicate that, while innovation ecology is associated with the degree of catalytic innovation, it is mediated by the role and degree of bricolage that social entrepreneurs bring to solving problems. These findings reinforce the role of entrepreneurs as the indispensable agents of social change.

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