An effectual approach to teaching social entrepreneurship: Service-learning initiatives

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Sarasvathy and Venkataraman (2011) suggest that the entrepreneurial method with its foundation of effectual reasoning may be a useful paradigm to create social enterprises. Studies by Bonney et al. (2013), Verreynne et al. (2013), and Miles and Morrison (2018) employ the “entrepreneurship as method” paradigm to economic development and social entrepreneurship initiatives and found it a useful framework. Shepherd’s (2015) call for entrepreneurship scholars to consider more compassionate, prosocial entrepreneurial action sets the stage for this study and focuses looking at the differences in capabilities required for social entrepreneurship (see for example, Miles et al., 2014).
University level education in social entrepreneurship has enjoyed tremendous growth, with Worsham (2012: 442) noting that social entrepreneurship programs in universities are becoming more “common, and demand from students is continuing to rise.” However, the “learning comes from more authentic, engaging experiences around a problem with opportunities to listen, hear and get some push-back,” (Worshan, 2012: 448). This paper follows Worshan’s (2012) advice and work by Litzky et al. (2010) that for student learning to occur in a social enterprise service learning project there must be significant faculty-to-student, student-to-student, and most critically, student-to-beneficiary engagement.

This study considers if and how the entrepreneurial competencies for successful compassion-driven social entrepreneurship differ from non-compassion driven entrepreneurship through the adoption of a beneficiary perspective. It augments Morrish et al.’s (2010) notion that entrepreneurship is values-driven and must explicitly take into account the entrepreneur’s values as well as those of the customer in an attempt to address one of Sarasvathy and Venkataraman’s (2011: 121, 122) open questions: “Are social ventures different from for-profit ventures?”

We address this question from an entrepreneurial competency perspective by comparing the entrepreneurial competency literature with Miller et al.’s (2012) articulation of the competencies needed for social entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event26th International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference (IVBEC) 2019 - Dublin City University, All Hallows Campus, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 24 Oct 201926 Oct 2019
Conference number: 26th


Conference26th International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference (IVBEC) 2019
Abbreviated titleEthics and Capitalism


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