Social innovation, social entrepreneurship and the practice of contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy

Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey, Jillian Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (SciVal)
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The economic crisis has accentuated the social and economic dislocation experienced by disadvantaged communities at a time of unprecedented political and public interest in philanthropy. This has concentrated attention on the contribution that philanthropists might make in addressing socio-economic challenges, and on the role that social innovation might play in regenerating communities. This article adds to the literature on social innovation and social entrepreneurship that aims to integrate theory and empirical practice. By examining social innovation through the lens of a case study of the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, the article sheds light on how the sites and spaces of socially innovative philanthropic projects may have a bearing on their success; attention is drawn to the importance of community engagement on the part of social innovators, and the power of self-organization in re-embedding communities. It suggests that storytelling by committed philanthropists may serve as a powerful proselytizing tool for recruiting new donors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-763
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number7
Early online date29 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • community engagement
  • local embeddedness
  • self-organization
  • social innovation
  • storytelling


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