Convening opportunity: Social entrepreneurship in two community development initiatives
This study explored the process of social entrepreneurship in the nonprofit setting. Theoretical constructs of institutional structures and social capital were integrated into an emerging theory of social entrepreneurship in two community development Initiatives.
A grounded theory approach was used in this qualitative multiple case study. A comparison was made of two Initiatives striving for systemic change. Each Initiative focused on two different subsets of community (rural and urban) and shared values of public engagement. A knowledge structure emerged from the study that related the external pressures of the institutional environment and internal circumstances that influenced process for each of these Initiatives.
Convening opportunity was an in vivo term applied in this study to explain the process of social entrepreneurship. The actions sets that describe convening opportunity are recognizing opportunity, strategizing opportunity, and structuring opportunity. Social capital was found to be a significant facilitator in two strategies that were instrumental in this process. These strategies are "making the case" and forging partnerships. It is recommended that these newly discovered constructs, grounded in the data, be tested empirically to move toward a grand theory of social entrepreneurship.