Research background, theoretical frameworks and methodologies for social entrepreneurship

During, R.; Persson, T.; Biggeri, M.; Testi, E.; Bellucci, M.


European welfare systems play an important role in improving the living conditions of its citizens, most notably in the areas of childcare, health prevention services, employment services, and benefits for the elderly. In other words, social policies are put in place to meet the growing needs of citizens. In 2013 Europe launched the Social Investment Package as a response to major social challenges—including unemployment, poverty, and social exclusion—brought about by the 2008 economic crisis and an ageing population (Brancati et al., 2017). According to the OECD, economic and industrial innovation often leads to an increase in inequality, as benefits predominantly accrue to innovators and their customers (OECD, 2016). Made worse by an ageing populace and a decline in the total working population, these types of societal challenges may be well beyond the scope of existing social policy aims (Misuraca et al., 2017). As a result, social entrepreneurs and representatives from the private sector are expected to play a pivotal role in encouraging innovative social policies (European Commission, 2015).