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Social problems as sources of opportunity: antecedents of social entrepreneurship opportunities


Objective: Based on extensive literature review, this paper aims to establish if, why and how, in given environmental and market contexts, social entrepreneurship (SE) opportunities are discovered and exploited. It positions social problems as sources of entrepreneurial opportunity. The article presents an integrated process-based view of SE opportunity antecedents and concludes with a dynamic model of SE opportunity.

Research Design & Methods: To fulfil its goal, the paper establishes opportunity as unit of research and explores the dynamics of opportunity recognition. To identify the components of SE opportunity through a process-based view, the study follows the steps of critical literature review method. The literature review follows with logical reasoning and inference, which results in the formulation of a model proposition of social entrepreneurship opportunity.

Findings: The paper presents a holistic perspective on opportunity antecedents in SE context and introduces social problems, information, social awareness and entrepreneurial mindset  as fundamental components of social entrepreneurship opportunity equation.

Implications & Recommendations: It is necessary to remember for policy makers, investors and partners involved within the social sector, that social problems can be the source of entrepreneurial opportunity. Training, assisting and engaging socially aware entrepreneurs is a promising line of development for all communities.

Contribution & Value Added: The major contribution of this study lies in extending the existing body of social entrepreneurship research by providing a new perspective, placing social problem as opportunity in the centre of the discussion.


Social entrepreneurship, opportunity, antecedents, social problems

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Author Biography

Agnieszka Żur

Assistant Professor at the Cracow University of Economics, Faculty of Economics and International Relations, Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

PhD in corporate entrepreneurship

Current research on social enerprises



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