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We introduce the concept of digital social entrepreneurship (DSE) as the entrepreneurial work of social ventures centred on digital technologies. Despite the potential of DSE to contribute to solving global societal challenges, limited knowledge is available on how it balances the social and commercial goals that characterise social entrepreneurship. Drawing on the theory of hybrid organising, the paper presents case study evidence from a platform for digital microfinance in India, finding two coexisting goal-balancing strategies for DSE: first, it deploys a set of digital capabilities aimed at reaching financial sustainability in the long term. Second, it combines these with field immersion capabilities, which are instrumental to maintaining the embeddedness of organisations in their local communities. Revealing digitally-enabled solutions to the problem of goal-balancing, the paper generates new theory on the role of the digital in social entrepreneurship, and draws practical implications for this to contribute to tackling poverty and vulnerability on a world scale.
Dr Silvia Masiero
Silvia Masiero is a Lecturer in International Development at the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University. Her research focuses on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the field of socio-economic development. Her most recent work revolves around the use of ICTs in anti-poverty policy and the implications of digital platforms for financial inclusion. Her research has appeared in scholarly outlets such as World Development, Oxford Development Studies and Information Technology for Development.
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Last edited: 22/01/2018 14:54:00