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Social entrepreneurship finance: the gaps in an innovative discipline

Nadiya Parekh (Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, USA)
Laurence Attuel-Mendès (CEREN, EA 7477, Burgundy School of Business, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 16 September 2021

Issue publication date: 20 January 2022




Social entrepreneurship is gaining increased attention from academia and practitioners worldwide. Owing to its financing challenges, academic pedagogies are seeking methods to strengthen the social financing dimension of this emerging discipline. This paper bridges the gap in social entrepreneurship education by portraying diverse perspectives on this topic from multiple actors in two cross-cultural contexts.


A qualitative case analysis was conducted to explore financing aspects of social entrepreneurship in France and the United States. The authors interviewed academicians and practitioners to learn about their current experiments and thoughts on integrating finance into the curriculum for social entrepreneurship.


The authors found multiple facets of the social entrepreneurship finance construct, focused not only on specific financial skills but also on a general approach to venture designs. Multidisciplinary knowledge is sought not just on the topic of finance but also in other disciplines that can broaden its scope of financing to a larger investor domain. While in France, this came out as a need for integrating the financial communication skills to personify the social value creation process; in the US, it was pointed out as the need for having a contractual knowledge to differentiate investment opportunities and comprehend their risks levels.


By bringing perspectives from multiple actors who have had experience in social entrepreneurship financing in regions with the fastest development, this paper is seminal in bridging the financing skill gaps that exist in social entrepreneurship discipline. The main theoretical contribution of this article concerns the skills, financial and otherwise that are useful in social finance.



This paper forms part of a special section “Innovation and Governance for Sustainable Growth (ACIEK)”, guest edited by Alba Yela Aránega and Rafael Castaño Sánchez.

The first draft of this paper was presented at the 14th ACIEK Academy Conference. Innovation, Management and Governance for Sustainable Growth. June, at France, 14-16, 2021. The authors thank the conference moderator and anonymous reviewers for their feedback on the work. The authors also thank all the research respondents who remain anonymous in the paper but have provided data for the work.


Parekh, N. and Attuel-Mendès, L. (2022), "Social entrepreneurship finance: the gaps in an innovative discipline", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 83-108.



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