The internationalization of social enterprises : Mapping patterns in the internationalizationprocess of social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurship, defined as entrepreneurial activities with a clear mission to create social value, is gaining increased influence and importance in the economy. Through combining a for-profit mindset with social objectives, social enterprises provide groundbreaking solutions to societal needs.
The global presence and impact of social enterprises raise the importance of internationalization of this specific kind of enterprise. This is an area of inquiry that has gained limited attention in academia and empirical studies have been few. The purpose of the study is to investigate motives for internationalization of social enterprises and how these enterprises establish in foreign markets. The study consists of an empirical investigation based on a survey sample of 65 respondents and one background interview.
The result shows that the main motive for internationalization of social enterprises is to alleviate social problems. Social enterprises have a distinct international character, show patterns of early and rapid internationalization and can be characterized as international new ventures with a distinct social mission. Networks affect motives as well as choice of entry mode of social enterprises. The most common mode of entry of social enterprises is to establish alliances or partnerships with foreign actors and the main target market is less developed economies.
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