Transformative Tools for Social Entrepreneurship in the Dutch Food Sector
Social enterprises–organizations that apply the principles and processes of business entrepreneurship to the pursuit of a social and/or environmental mission–have mushroomed across the Netherlands and are seen as important vehicles for creating a more sustainable economy and society. Social enterprises typically offset the failures of the private sector and the government, compensating for market imperfections and the eroding welfare state. While such “compensatory” social entrepreneurship may be crucial, some argue that it is not enough, and urge social enterprises to also engage in “transformative” activities that may effect systemic change, revolutionizing economic sectors by fighting the structural causes of social ills and environmental degradation.
This project focuses on the European food sector and aims to generate actionability among social entrepreneurs to develop transformative social entrepreneurship activities, addressing the questions: where do they start, what types of action can they envision for themselves, and how can they move across the spectrum from compensatory to transformative entrepreneurship? From a perspective of appreciative inquiry and drawing on existing European projects on food system transformation in which the VU participates, this project will map the progress made and generate reflexive awareness of the potential for transformative activities in social entrepreneurs’ ventures.
- Linda van de Burgwal, Assistant professor, Athena Institute, Faculty of Science
- Michiel Verver, Assistant professor, Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences
- Anne van der Geest, Athena Institute, Faculty of Science
- Maud van Merrienboer, Management & Organization, School of Business and Economics, and Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences