Social Entrepreneurship as a Potential Trailblazer for a Social and Humane Form of Society: A Qualitative Study of the Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem of Israel

Niklas Hencke, William Hovmand Johs & Niklas Yves Peter

Student thesis: Master thesis


Contemporary global capitalism is undoubtedly creating tensions and inequalities in fields like social justice and sustainability. While there are a lot of existing proposals to overcome the hegemonial system or alter it towards a more social future, those rarely receive enough attention when structural changes are debated. Our research focuses on these approaches while introducing Social Entrepreneurship (SE) as a possible key pillar for a socially humane tomorrow in the form of a field study. The study was predominantly conducted in the form of qualitative research in Israel, the country with the highest ratio of innovation per capita. We analyse feedback from various stakeholders in order to create a comprehensive map of the SE ecosystem of Israel and identify both takeaways and challenges of SE in this context. Along with our research findings we identify major challenges of SE in general, being its definition, the financing of social ventures and the measurement of their created impact. Derived from this we argue for the creation of hybrid models, for-profit ventures with a primarily social mission. Since, in a complex configuration of stakeholders and influence relations, SE cannot be a standalone approach to achieve a more balanced and social world, we point out which other factors need to be in place and indicate how a transition process can be structured. Finally, we take a look at criticisms of SE and discuss how more capitalism included in a discipline like SE can actually help to reduce capitalist influence on a broader scale. This study lays a foundation for a process of social empowerment through SE. It is not providing a detailed universal blueprint for the implementation of SE as a pillar of a more humane future, but it paves the way to the implementation of use cases and long-term studies of the field in order to get a complete understanding of interplay of different institutions and stakeholders, with the end goal to define tailored transition approaches.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages236
SupervisorsChristiane Mossin