Advancing a contextualized, community-centric understanding of social entrepreneurial ecosystems

Anne de Bruin, Michael J. Roy, Suzanne Grant, Kate V. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
200 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate what distinguishes social entrepreneurial ecosystems (SEEs) from entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) through appreciation of the importance of context—the multiplex of intertwined social, spatial, temporal, historical, cultural, and political influences. Community is incorporated as a key variable and hitherto overlooked dimension of the structure and influence of SEEs. We draw on extant literature and examples of a variety of SEEs to support our propositions and demonstrate why considerations of both context and community are critical to advance understanding of SEEs. We contribute to the study of SEEs by presenting a new conceptual framework and theorizing SEE as an evolving composite of interdependent actors who interact and collaborate across multiple levels to collectively generate positive externalities and drive sustainable solutions to social problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1102
Number of pages34
JournalBusiness & Society
Issue number5
Early online date6 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • community
  • context
  • ecosystems
  • social entrepreneurship
  • value creation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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