How Social Entrepreneurship Promotes Sustainable Development: With Some Examples from Developed and Developing Countries

Part of the Studies on Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and Industrial Dynamics book series (ESID)


This chapter aims to show how social entrepreneurship contributes to solving persistent and complex problems in various parts of the world, in developed and developing countries, and, this way, how it contributes to sustainable development. By the theory review, research has focused on the activity of social enterprises. Considering the impact that social entrepreneurship has in the communities, there appears to be a clear surplus between results and resources used, both material and human, with a substantial incidence of volunteering. From the results of our study, including the examples of social enterprises presented, it is possible to imagine how empowering communities can contribute to a more sustainable future. Social entrepreneurship is still recent regarding its academic study, and several authors such as Roberts and Woods (Europe 7:45–51, 2000) or Parente et al. (Empreendedorismo social: Contributos teóricos para a sua definição, 2011) refer the scarcity and some confusion still existing in the literature. This work can help improve this picture. This chapter can contribute, in a relevant way, for the knowledge of how social entrepreneurship has an impact on the dynamics of the territories where it operates. And it goes beyond the more traditional approach, considering not only the situation in developing regions but also addressing social entrepreneurship in developed countries.


Social entrepreneurship Sustainable development Social capital Developing countries Poverty reduction Developed countries Sustainability 



The authors deeply acknowledge the valuable contribution of the anonymous reviewers to achieve the final version of this manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Studies on Migrations and Intercultural Relations (CEMRI)Portuguese Open UniversityLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Social Sciences and Management DepartmentPortuguese Open UniversityLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Research Center for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO)University of AlgarveFaroPortugal

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