Entrepreneurship has been identified as a culturally and socially constructed phenomenon that varies in its meaning both internationally and within geographic regions. Over recent years there has been increasing academic focus on how social enterprise ecosystems differ across different countries. This focus has been both global (examinations of differences between North American, Asian and European social enterprise); and regional (exploring differences between countries within Europe). There has however, been less focus on the differences in social enterprise ecosystems within countries, where subtle regional differences in the cultural, political and social environment can lead to significant variation in social enterprise ecosystems. The recent history of the United Kingdom, with devolution for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, has led to all four countries (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England) developing diverse political and regulatory environments, despite sharing relatively homogenous social and cultural backgrounds. This recent political change provides an opportunity to explore how such changes can lead to a divergence in social enterprise ecosystems over time and this paper seeks to explore this through the lens of evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory posits that within an ecosystem all organisms are a product of the evolution of that ecosystem, and that this evolution is based upon genetics, epigenetics and phenotypes. The research reported in this paper draws upon qualitative data gathered as part of a European Commission FP7 project. Semi-structured interviews that were designed to explore the differences in the social enterprise ecosystems of both countries were held with key stakeholders (social entrepreneurs; policymakers; social enterprise support organisations; trade unions; investors; lawyers; and academics). The interviews explored stakeholder perceptions of the historical, socio-political, cultural and regulatory environments, at both local authority/city (either not both) and national levels, in Scotland and England. The results are discussed in relation to evolutionary theory and how socio-political and regulatory differences can lead to the rapid divergence of social enterprise ecosystems.
|Publication status||Published - 17 Mar 2016|
|Event||The Ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation International Conference - National Economics University, Hanoi, Vietnam|
Duration: 17 Mar 2016 → …
|Conference||The Ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation International Conference|
|Period||17/03/16 → …|