This paper provides an overview of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise, making reference to pertinent literature. Internationally the distribution of social enterprises is uneven and there are noticeable differences that reflect national differences in welfare, labour market and ideology. Essentially however social enterprises seek business solutions to social problems and in order to do so, we argue, it is necessary for social enterprises to foster innovation. The papers included in this volume present different models and theories of how this might be achieved. All the authors place emphasis on the need to develop a sound theoretical platform and raise methodological problems common to management research. Additionally, the papers raise policy issues, such as how outcomes of social enterprise are valued and prioritised in different societies. The work discussed points to how social enterprise may offer innovative solutions to help solve problems of social integration, socially dysfunctional behaviour and socio-economic development. It indicates the need for further research, especially to test further the models comparatively. Finally this body of work builds on and extends our thinking about entrepreneurship, and the need to tie it into social, cultural, civic and political agenda.
- social enterprise