Developing stereotypes to facilitate dialogue between social entrepreneurs and local government

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Social enterprises and government share the ultimate goal of solving societal problems, which provides a lot of potential for collaboration between the two parties. While the local government level is the most relevant for social enterprises, little research has been done on the relationship between social entrepreneurs and local government officials. However, in the Netherlands, social enterprises experience these relations as far from optimal, evidenced by the fact that they named ‘regulations and government policy’ as the most important obstacle for increasing their impact in a 2015 sector survey. Therefore, a pilot project was started with social entrepreneurs in an Amsterdam neighbourhood, forming a learning network aiming to improve relations with local government. In the network, an innovative tool was developed in the form of a set of five illustrated stereotypes of social entrepreneurs with certain views towards local government. These stereotypes serve both as a reflection tool for social entrepreneurs and as a communication tool to open dialogue between social entrepreneurs and local government. We conclude that in an applied research project, it is crucial to place focus on the final phases in which results are reformulated into practical tools to match target groups, and resulting tools are distributed through targeted events and publications.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2018


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