Research on Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs are those who pursuit and exploit opportunities, related to social issues. They use an innovative approach with the necessary resources and skills, to bring about change to social issues currently left undealt with.  Given their ability to combine different fields of logic (both as a for profit company and as a charity), they are able to tackle issues that other organizations are unable to. The main areas of interest for the VUB Research team lies within the fields of business models, ecosystems and technology transfers.

Current and past research contributions

Developing an entrepreneurship training program & ecosystem

International Development project: VLIR-UOS


The regional system of the Universidad Católica Boliviana (UCB) in La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Tarija, with the support of Belgian universities (VLIR-UOS), and with the participation of several stakeholders particularly Technical Institutes and some NGOs, is developing an entrepreneurship training program targeted to the vulnerable young and woman in those regions accompanied by the development of a support ecosystem. For more information, check here.

Special issue: Sustainability and Entrepreneurship

Accountancy & Bedrijfskunde, 35 (3)


This journal's edition focus on social entrepreneurship cases from Belgium. Several economic master students researched the business models, social impact, challenges and key success factors.

International Association of Business and Society

Academic Conference


Philippe Eiselein and Nikolay Dentchev presented their research on social entrepreneurship and social responsibilities of Brussels municipalities.

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Suggestions to read

"scaling social enterprises – a theoretically grounded framework"

Weber et al. (2012)

The authors develop a comprehensive framework to improve understanding of the complex causalities
and interdependencies of the factors affecting the scalability of social impact.

"The Big Idea: How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution"

Isenberg (2010)

In the latest Ease of Doing Business ranking from the World Bank, one country made a spectacular leap—from 143rd on the list to 67th. It was Rwanda, whose population and institutions had been decimated by genocide in the 1990s. On the World Bank list, Rwanda catapulted out of the neighborhood of Haiti, Liberia, and the West Bank and Gaza, and sailed past Italy, the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Poland. On one subindex in the study, the ease of opening a new business, Rwanda ranked 11th worldwide.

"A typology of social entrepreneurs: Motives, search processes and ethical challenges"

Zahra et al. (2009)

In this article, Zahra and colleagues define social entrepreneurship; discuss its contributions to creating social wealth; offer a typology of entrepreneurs' search processes that lead to the discovery of opportunities for creating social ventures; and articulate the major ethical concerns social entrepreneurs might encounter.

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Jael Rodriguez

On a voluntary basis, Jael decided to join the team as she wanted to work on projects coming from her home country, Bolivia.

Martha Johnson

Student Job - Master in Management student


Martha was part of the Chair's team as a student job from October 'till December 2017.

She supported the promotion and carried out activities of the chair, whilst as well supporting projects coming from Latin America. With a positive attitude, she fully engaged herself with the Chair.

Claudia Alba

Internship - Master in Management student

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Founding Partners