Despite the growing attention to social entrepreneurship as a scholarly field of research, it is still in a stage of infancy. Research in the past two decades has been primarily dedicated to establishing a conceptual foundation, which has resulted in a considerable stream of conceptual papers. Empirical articles have gradually appeared since the turn of the century. Although they are still outnumbered by conceptual articles, empirical articles are of considerable significance for the evolution of social entrepreneurship as a field of scientific inquiry. The purpose of this paper is to gauge the current state of empirical research in the field by reviewing 31 empirical research studies on social entrepreneurship, classifying them along four dimensions and summarising research findings for each of these dimensions. To serve this purpose in a meaningful fashion requires discriminating between different perspectives on social entrepreneurship. Hence, four different schools of thought are presented, and the articles in our sample are classified accordingly.

Additional Metadata
Keywords definition, empirical research, school of thought, social entrepreneurship
JEL Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), New Firms; Startups (jel M13), Management of Technological Innovation and R&D (jel O32)
Publisher Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Persistent URL
Series ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Journal ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Hoogendoorn, B, Pennings, H.P.G, & Thurik, A.R. (2010). What do We Know about Social Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of Empirical Research (No. ERS-2009-044-ORG). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from