Prevalence and determinants of social entrepreneurship at the macro-level

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechReportAcademic


This study deals with the prevalence and drivers of social entrepreneurship across countries. Unique large-scale and internationally comparable data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2009 covering 49 countries at different stages of development are used as our main data source. Hypotheses are generated from a multitude of theoretical perspectives including the failure thesis, interdependence theory, welfare state theory and supply-side theory. As regards the antecedents of the occurrence of social entrepreneurship, our findings suggest above all that social entrepreneurship is a phenomenon driven by wealth. In addition, we find a positive association between government expenditure on welfare and the prevalence of social entrepreneurship which assumes a relation of interdependence and partnership between government and social organizations. This finding supports the interdependence theory. With respect to cultural values, we postulate that a society’s level of individualism can be considered to be a driver of social entrepreneurship. This suggests that in societies where ties between individuals are loose, social entrepreneurship is more widespread.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationZoetermeer
Number of pages19
EditionResearch report H201022
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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