The Importance of Social Entrepreneurship in National Systems of Innovation — An Introduction

Gita Surie, Adelphi University

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, August 2017

Abstract: This special issue links “National Systems of Innovation” with “Social Entrepreneurship” to showcase how social entrepreneurship enables the diffusion of new technologies to make a social impact and engender “creative destruction” through the value generating activities of economic actors ranging from individuals, micro-enterprises to large organizations. The special issue calls attention to the importance of social entrepreneurship in the national system of innovation and the need for analysis at multiple levels ranging from micro to macro. It also calls for research on new actors and models for the diffusion of new technologies in sectors where markets do not exist and where the lack of immediate returns inhibits investment by for-profit organizations. While highlighting the growing prominence of social entrepreneurship at the micro level, the special issue also notes the paucity of measures to account for the impact of social entrepreneurship organizations and the need for more research in this area.

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Michelle Eckert is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Mack Institute, where she works to engage students, researchers, and corporate partners in opportunities for collaboration. Michelle received her B.A. in Art from Valparaiso University in 2007. Her background includes two AmeriCorps terms of service working to teach mathematics, computer literacy, and job readiness skills to out-of-school youth in Philadelphia, focusing particularly on promoting access to post-secondary education.