Special Issue "Social Businesses and Social Entrepreneurship in the Face of Sustainable Development Challenges"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Carlos Lopez-Gutierrez
Website
Guest Editor
Business Administration Department (Yunus Centre Cantabria), University of Cantabria, Santander, 39005, Spain
Interests: sustainable finance; social entrepreneurship; microfinance; corporate social responsibility; corporate finance
Dr. Ana Fernandez-Laviada
Website
Guest Editor
Business Administration Department (Yunus Centre Cantabria), University of Cantabria, Santander, 39005, Spain
Interests: social business; social entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship education; digital entrepreneurship; impact economy; internal control; internal audit
Prof. Dr. Andrea Pérez
Website
Guest Editor
Business Administration Department (Yunus Centre Cantabria), University of Cantabria, Santander, 39005, Spain
Interests: corporate social responsibility; CSR communication; consumer behavior; social entrepreneurship; social marketing; banking; fashion; tourism
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social business and social entrepreneurship are increasingly important for economic development policies because they create social and economic values. Their contribution to the development of countries is based on their ability to create employment, especially for the disadvantaged segments of society, or their contribution to innovation and the creation of new goods and services, often for unmet social needs. In addition, they play a fundamental role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations in their Agenda 2030. Achieving the SDGs requires collaboration across sectors, organizations, and individuals. In this context, social businesses balance sustainability and impact, so they are sustainable by design, and most of them particularly focus on solving the problems created by the current economic system.

From Yunus Centre Cantabria (Spain), we are delighted to announce this Special Issue, with the purpose of promoting research on the current challenges and opportunities for social business and social entrepreneurship in the face of the Agenda 2030. Papers submitted to this Special Issue should cover topics including the characterization of social entrepreneurs, measurement of social business impact, their contribution to SDGs achievements, etc. General topics related to social businesses and social entrepreneurship are welcomed as well. We are equally open to conceptual papers and empirical studies around this topic.

Dr. Carlos Lopez-Gutierrez
Dr. Ana Fernandez-Laviada
Prof. Dr. Andrea Pérez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • social business
  • social entrepreneurship
  • sustainable development goals
  • SDGs
  • social impact
  • impact economy

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Social Entrepreneurship in Professional Sports: Antecedents and Outcomes from the Consumer Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031045 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 280
Abstract
This study empirically explored antecedents and outcomes related to social entrepreneurship in the context of professional sports from the customer’s perspective. Two parent companies—FuBon and ChinaTrust, both financial holding firms—and two franchises—FuBon Guardians and ChinaTrust Elephants—in the Chinese Professional Baseball League were the [...] Read more.
This study empirically explored antecedents and outcomes related to social entrepreneurship in the context of professional sports from the customer’s perspective. Two parent companies—FuBon and ChinaTrust, both financial holding firms—and two franchises—FuBon Guardians and ChinaTrust Elephants—in the Chinese Professional Baseball League were the research elements in this study to ensure generalizability of the findings of this study. The participants of this study were 268 spectators of a FuBon Guardians game and 201 spectators of a ChinaTrust Elephants game. Structural equation modeling was used for data analysis. Results indicated that innovation and corporate social responsibility positively correlated with social entrepreneurship. Moreover, social entrepreneurship was positively associated with affective commitment to the parent company and sports franchise. Finally, affective commitment to the parent company not only exerted a positive effect on the intention to purchase the products of the parent company but also promoted the intention to purchase licensed merchandise and attend games. Similarly, affective commitment to the sports franchise not only exerted a positive effect on the intention to purchase licensed merchandise and attend games but also promoted the intention to purchase the products of the parent company. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed in this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of the Ecosystem on the Motivation of Social Entrepreneurs
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020922 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 293
Abstract
Social entrepreneurs have particular characteristics that differentiate them from commercial entrepreneurs, but research on this differential behavior is still a field in which many questions need to be explored. Specifically, a factor of special relevance is the ecosystem where social entrepreneurial activity takes [...] Read more.
Social entrepreneurs have particular characteristics that differentiate them from commercial entrepreneurs, but research on this differential behavior is still a field in which many questions need to be explored. Specifically, a factor of special relevance is the ecosystem where social entrepreneurial activity takes place. The aim of this study is to analyze how the ecosystem affects the motivation of social entrepreneurs compared to commercial entrepreneurs. This general objective is divided into two specific objectives. First, we analyze how the ecosystem influences the probability of being a social entrepreneur, considering both factors of the entrepreneurial environment and economic and financial factors. Second, we analyze whether the effect of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is determined by the level of development of the country where the activity takes place. The results show that the entrepreneurial ecosystem (the entrepreneurial, financial, and institutional environment) determines the motivation of social entrepreneurs in a different way compared to commercial entrepreneurs. In addition, we find that this influence is different according to the level of development of countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Innovation of Startups, the Key to Unlocking Post-Crisis Sustainable Growth in Romanian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020671 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
This paper aims at identifying the entrepreneurial opportunities for establishing innovative startups during and post COVID-19 crisis. To reach this goal, we conducted an exploratory study based on semi-structured interviews with 168 students who intend to involve themselves in entrepreneurship in their future [...] Read more.
This paper aims at identifying the entrepreneurial opportunities for establishing innovative startups during and post COVID-19 crisis. To reach this goal, we conducted an exploratory study based on semi-structured interviews with 168 students who intend to involve themselves in entrepreneurship in their future career. The research started from the debates in literature regarding the huge negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on economic development, which can jeopardize the achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The research findings confirm the results of other studies regarding the vulnerability of startups during crises, the reason why they have to refocus on innovative businesses, especially based on information and communication technology (ICT). Such businesses are considered incentives of sustainable development. Other ideas highlighted the importance of social entrepreneurship for the management of startups. It means that startups should develop strong relationships with employees but also with other stakeholders, like companies in the same industry, the public sector, academia, and citizens. In addition, changing the business culture aiming at developing green business could be an inexpensive solution for developing a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. These empirical results have implications for both business and the academic environment, which should cooperate in order to overcome the crisis. Such an approach could be used in the long run in order to manage other crises and to develop sustainable business. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Technology Transfer for Social Entrepreneurship: Designing Problem-Oriented Innovation Ecosystems
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010020 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Innovation systems are increasingly oriented towards the solution of societal and environmental problems. Social entrepreneurship can be regarded as a market-based actor, inherently aimed at finding solutions for these problems. The development of technologically advanced social entrepreneurship represents an outcome of problem-oriented innovation [...] Read more.
Innovation systems are increasingly oriented towards the solution of societal and environmental problems. Social entrepreneurship can be regarded as a market-based actor, inherently aimed at finding solutions for these problems. The development of technologically advanced social entrepreneurship represents an outcome of problem-oriented innovation systems, requiring a closer link between social and technological innovation. Nonetheless, the literature has not yet explored a key element of these innovation systems: the technology transfer processes, which may enable social entrepreneurial organizations to act as innovation actors leveraging on technology. This paper investigates the relationship between the technology transfer processes targeting social entrepreneurship and different models of problem-oriented innovation ecosystems. The paper relies on a multiple-case-study design, including two problem-oriented innovation ecosystems in the Italian context, namely, MIND and Torino Social Impact, which are technology transfer projects designed to target social entrepreneurship. Drawing from content analysis of interviews, documents and direct observations, the results stress that the different objectives and contents of technology transfer, coupled with different perceptions of the idiosyncratic features of social entrepreneurship compared to commercial entrepreneurship, fit different ecosystem models in terms of the participating actors, governance and primary orientation to social or economic value generation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Key Drivers of Born-Sustainable Businesses: Evidence from the Italian Fashion Industry
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410237 - 08 Dec 2020
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Environmental pollution has become one of the most pressing preoccupations for governments, policymakers, and consumers. For this reason, many companies make constant efforts to comply with international laws and standards on ethics, social responsibility, and environmental protection. Fashion companies are among the main [...] Read more.
Environmental pollution has become one of the most pressing preoccupations for governments, policymakers, and consumers. For this reason, many companies make constant efforts to comply with international laws and standards on ethics, social responsibility, and environmental protection. Fashion companies are among the main producers of pollution because their manufacturing processes result in highly negative outcomes for the environment. In recent years, numerous fashion industries have been transforming their production policies to be sustainable, while others are already born as sustainable businesses. Based on Resource-Based View (RBV) theory and Natural Resource-Based View theory (NRBV), this paper aims at understanding how internal and external factors stimulate born-sustainable businesses operating in the fashion sector, adopting a multiple case study methodology. Our analysis shows that culture, entrepreneurial orientation of the founders, and the proximity of the suppliers among the internal factors, combined with the increase of green consumers as an external factor, foster the creation of green businesses. At the same time, neither current legislation nor the dynamism and competitiveness of markets have influenced the choice of the companies’ founders to start a business based on green production logic. These results reveal the centrality of the founders’ sensitivity toward green strategies to create a sustainable business. The findings have practical implications because they could support regulatory institutions to introduce some incentives that more clearly encourages companies that choose to adopt sustainable business models from the founding, by acting to the internal and external key factors that drive born-sustainable businesses. This study also provides an extension of the existing literature on sustainable born companies, offering researchers useful information on internal and internal factors that promote the adoption of green policies in the fashion industry. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The B Corp Movement: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2508; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052508 - 26 Feb 2021
Abstract
This work develops a systematic literature review on the B Corp movement. Fifty articles were identified in the Web of Science and Scopus databases until 2020. Results show that it is an incipient field with great potential. There are two topics repeatedly addressed [...] Read more.
This work develops a systematic literature review on the B Corp movement. Fifty articles were identified in the Web of Science and Scopus databases until 2020. Results show that it is an incipient field with great potential. There are two topics repeatedly addressed in the analyzed publications: the motivations of companies to be certified, and the economic and social effects that occur after certification. Sustainability is currently the reference journal in the field, since it has published a total of five articles. Finally, several lines of future work are proposed, such as the contribution of B Corp companies to the SDGs; the development of case studies on the certification process itself; and the development of methods for measuring social impact. Full article
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