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Green Care: social entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector

Pia Heike Johansen (Danish Centre for Rural Research, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to provide a sector-based analysis of the drivers for social entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector.


The paper uses qualitative data from two studies in the Danish region of Northern Jutland. The data include responses from 38 farmers who offered or had considered offering social services. The analytical framework is taken from a review of the limited literature on Green Care and Social Farming and social entrepreneurship theory.


Strong and consistent tools for the categorisation of farmers’ social entrepreneurship have been developed. However, these tools have merely been used descriptively rather than to create proactive agriculture policies to facilitate social entrepreneurship. In Region Northern Jutland social entrepreneurship in farming is driven by a combination of tradition, close relationships and coincidence. It is ad hoc, with each initiative starting from scratch because no knowledge or experience has been gathered or distributed.

Research limitations/implications

The agricultural sector-based approach to social entrepreneurship will not be discussed against other approaches to social entrepreneurship. This would be a suggestion for another more conceptual kind of article in the future.


A study of social entrepreneurship among farmers has not yet been coupled with a sector-based analytical framework. This paper contributes to the literature of social entrepreneurship by supplementing with an agricultural sector-based approach.



The authors wish to thank the referees and editor for advice and suggestions for improvements. These were really helpful for qualifying the article.


Heike Johansen, P. (2014), "Green Care: social entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 268-287.



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