Social or Cultural Entrepreneurship: An Argument for a New Distinction

SSIR logo website
SSIR logo website (Photo credit: photologue_np)

While looking for info on the difference between Social and Cultural Entrepreneurship, I found this very interesting article by Courtney E. Martin & Lisa Witter from the Standford Social Innovation Review.

The authors state that through paradigms that:

[…] “Identifying and understanding the distinction between cultural entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship is important for a number of reasons. First, cultural change usually runs deeper and can be longer lasting; more foundations and donors should invest in this theory of change, not to the exclusion of more market- or product-based approaches but in conjunction with them. Second, bona fide paradigm shifts in culture often take time; shifting behavior doesn’t happen overnight, but occurs through the accumulation of exposure to new ideas from many sources. This requires funders and supporters to be open to new definitions of measuring impact and to new expectations about mid- and long-term results—the cultural version of Acumen Fund’s idea of “patient capital.” Third, more people should look to make social change through community-driven or crowd-sourced engagement.”

To read the whole article click here.

Some more insight into the debate here from Fenton’s* blog.

* “fenton is a social change communications agency that uses the power of stories, media and technology to make the world a better place.”


2 thoughts on “Social or Cultural Entrepreneurship: An Argument for a New Distinction

  1. Reblogged this on Phd in Strategic Management and commented:
    Distinguishing social and cultural entrepreneurship:

    “cultural entrepreneurship is different than social entrepreneurship, because it is focused primarily on reimagining social roles and motivating new behaviors—often working with and in popular culture to reach the widest possible audience. Social entrepreneurs solve problems by disrupting existing systems, as microfinance has, or through breakthrough product design, like the solar powered lights from d.light design or Barefoot Power. Cultural entrepreneurs, on the other hand, solve problems by disrupting belief systems—using television shows like Glee to initiate viewers into the disability or GLBTQ rights frameworks or the Twitter campaign #mensaythingstome, designed to expose anonymous misogyny online.”

    This is precisely why Bollywood serves such a good example as well as an empirical setting to investigate this nascent construct. Thank you Maria for this piece.

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