Tanja Collavo, DPhil (PhD candidate), Said Business School, Oxford University New College, Holywell Street, OX1 3BN Oxford (UK); e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Social entrepreneurship has always been acontested concept, both within the academic discourse and in practce. A lot of scholarly effort has been put into analyzing the different defnitons of social entrepreneurship and the negatve consequences that the defnitonal debate has on the opportunity to advance social entrepreneurship as a research feld. Very litle is known about what the consequences of the multple meanings of social entrepreneurship are for people working in the sector. This paper advances knowledge on this topic by looking at the social entrepreneurship sector in England and by investgatng through qualitatve research methods what sector members think about social entrepreneurship and its unclear boundaries. The results show that there are three different conceptons of social entrepreneurship within the sector in England. However, while everyone agrees on the presence of a defnitonal debate, opinions on what this means for the sector are several. Some members think it is something positve; some others think it is causing different issues, and a third group considers it as irrelevant.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship, defnitons, social enterprises, social entrepreneurs, UK, England.