Can social entrepreneurship contribute to a sustainable, just and inclusive society and how? To this end, new conditions need to be met; new solutions need to be developed.

Een jongen met een beperking werkt in een bakkerij.

Societal challenges abound, but solutions are limited. Many challenges related to the climate, care and health are tackled by unsatisfactory solutions of governments and other institutions. Entrepreneurs often take the initiative to provide solutions for these issues and, consequentially, create substantial societal impact.

However, social entrepreneurship does not only bring about positive results. Fundamental questions arise as to whether their involvement indeed leads to welfare enhancing effects without harming, for example, fundamental rights -non-discrimination, equal treatment, proportionality – and other basic principles of the EU Treaties.

An in-depth understanding of social entrepreneurship is needed in order to effectively contribute to a sustainable, just and inclusive society: what does social entrepreneurship entail? How can we create an environment that stimulates social entrepreneurship and help entrepreneurs face the multiple challenges in making their ventures work? What is the nexus with public procurement? The focus is on the social entrepreneurship rather than on the social entrepreneur or the social enterprise, because social entrepreneurship as a process can be promoted and implemented also by other organisations in the near future.

Flourishing social entrepreneurial sector

The IOS Hub Entrepreneurship for Social Challenges aims to build and develop a new form of collaboration jointly with other key actors involved ecosystems (the set-up of a platform formed by science-policy-market-society) that develops and disseminates new knowledge, new ideas, new regulation and new practices, needed to realize changes for a just, sustainable and inclusive society and for a flourishing social entrepreneurial sector.

Prof. dr. Erik Stam on social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands