"The most supportive environment in the world"? Tracing the development of an institutional 'ecosystem' for social enterprise

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Abstract

While numerous accounts of policy frameworks associated with country-level support for social enterprise activity exist, explanations for when, why and how policy interventions in support of social enterprise have been adopted have been, to date, much more thin on the ground. This paper aims to contribute to addressing this perceived gap by presenting the case of Scotland, recently hailed by First Minister Alex Salmond as “the most supportive environment in the world for social enterprise.” Historical Institutionalism is used to explain how such a ‘supportive environment’ might have come about and, looking at, in turn, when, why and how the conditions for social enterprise in Scotland have developed, we attempt to contribute to the ongoing international debate concerning the importance of the policy environment to fostering the conditions for social enterprise activity not only to emerge, but to thrive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777–800
Number of pages4
JournalVoluntas
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Keywords

  • social enterprise
  • Scotland
  • social entrepreneurship
  • political devolution
  • historical institutionalism

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