SHEstainability: How relationship networks influence the idea generation in opportunity recognition process by female social entrepreneurs

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Despite the rapid growth of literature on social entrepreneurship and its increasing importance for social change and sustainability, little is known about how social entrepreneurship originates in different settings. In this study, we applied a gender-based perspective to analyse the origin and development of social entrepreneurship. Focusing on female social entrepreneurs in Namibia, we investigated how relationship networks sensitised women towards opportunities for social and sustainable innovations and who particularly influenced them during this process of idea generation and realisation. Using a mixed-method approach consisting of semi-structured interviews and egocentric network analysis, we identified an opportunity recognition process that differs from that of conventional ventures. Our results show that social innovation is not, e.g., due to gate-keepers but rather a result of everyday community interaction settings. This finding challenges current theories of (social) entrepreneurship, suggesting a need to further investigate the roles of gender and the socio-economic context.

ZeitschriftInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing
Seiten (von - bis)202-235
Anzahl der Seiten34
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2018