1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Paradoxes of Social Entrepreneurship (Draft)



Social entrepreneurship ideally combines three principles in one place: social responsibility, non-profitability-based economic solvency and long-term sustainability, especially during times of crisis. These three principles offer three relevant paradoxes, at least at the conceptual level: accountability, excludability and resiliency. They arise in the context of the modus operandi of social entrepreneurship, and it is important to clearly understand them to advance the agenda of social and solidarity economy in general, and social entrepreneurship in particular. The paper analyses these paradoxes, and offers some suggestions to address them. It argues that social entrepreneurship is an important concept that should be understood objectively and scrutinized critically as a subsystem of new capitalism.

Golam Sarwar works with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).