Opportunity Formation in Social Entrepreneurship
Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 265-285, 2011
Posted: 21 Feb 2012
Date Written: 2011
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of opportunity and its role in social entrepreneurship processes.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a single-case study of a sustainable community in Denmark. The data include interviews, documents and television programmes.
Findings – The case study finds that the opportunity takes a number of different forms in the process. These different forms are the result of a continuous mobilization of actors. On the basis of these findings a model of social entrepreneurship processes is proposed, where the process is driven by mobilization and transformation.
Research limitations/implications – The findings of the case provide support for a creation view of opportunities and the view that opportunity discovery does not necessarily precede resource mobilization. The proposed model contributes to the development of the creation view of opportunities as an alternative to the discovery view and to understanding of the role of opportunities in the social entrepreneurship process.
Practical implications – The findings suggest that the social entrepreneur is one who actively creates external circumstances rather than responds to opportunities already present therein. This implies a focus on different skills and ways of thinking.
Originality/value – The paper presents a model of social entrepreneurship processes grounded in a deep understanding of an empirical setting. The findings and model question the value of the discovery view of opportunities in the field of social entrepreneurship, while contributing to the development of the creation view of opportunities.
Keywords: business development, Denmark, entrepreneurialism, entrepreneurs, opportunity, process, social entrepreneurship, sustainability
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