The socio-political, economic and cultural determinants of social entrepreneurship activity: An empirical examination

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Purpose

The objective of this paper is to incorporate factors of demand and supply-side theories of entrepreneurship development through a series of stage-based models which help analyze how macro-level and contextual variables motivate social entrepreneurship activity. This paper investigates macro-level influences involving socio-political, cultural and economic factors that help stimulate and impede the emergence of social entrepreneurship.  Despite insignificant research conducted on these determinants, the study reveals that several variables are required and considered crucial in traditional entrepreneurship studies do not appear to affect social entrepreneurship crucially.

Design/methodology/approach

To measure social entrepreneurship activity, authors had availed the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor or GEM. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to exam the three multi-level stages of socio-political, economic and cultural determinants of social entrepreneurship activity.  The series of three stages for all the variables were entered through the following order of first, socio-political variables, second, cultural variables and third, economic variables. This approach enables the authors to explore and extend previous research reviewed on how the economic context goes beyond the socio-political and cultural factors that affect social enterprise activity.

Social

Findings

The analysis of the three stages revealed that socio-political variables accounted for an estimate of 76 percent of the variance of social entrepreneurial activity. It was observed and identified that the single most significant determinant of social entrepreneurial activity is the degree and level of female participation in the labor force. Additional implications and findings for apprehending the role of macro-level factors of social entrepreneurship are discussed below.

Originality/value

Social entrepreneurship possesses the potential and capability to confront and address some of society’s most challenging and complicated issues arising from the market and government inadequacies or failures.  In environments that are severely resource constrained, social entrepreneurial firms exist. Due to such circumstances, social entrepreneurs may rely on a special set of strategies to mobilize and gather resources available to them like collaboration with others and by accessing social capital to source or generate valued solutions for their communities. A powerful influence in social entrepreneurship activity is the factor of the growth of women’s participation. An increase and elevation in training programs along with local networks to support women business ownership likely to be continued and consistent in time will positively impact communities all around the world.

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