The social entrepreneurship discourse in Germany has become more prominent at a time when the deeply rooted corporatist traditions of social provision have come under pressure for marketization. This article examines the potential role of “social entrepreneurs” in the institutionally established German welfare state. The article analyzes the opportunities and constraints that new players face. Drawing on survey data and case studies in the areas of elderly care and advancement of children with immigrant background, the analysis retraces the structure and diffusion of social entrepreneurial projects. It concludes that the simple transfer of the social entrepreneurship model is unlikely. The analysis suggests that successful social ventures in Germany adapt the notion of social entrepreneurship to prevalent institutional realities. In the context of more encompassing social services, dense decentralized networks, and different cultures of philanthropism, new players have a complementary role that stimulates rather than dominates the process of social innovation.
VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 4, 2016
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