A Crossroads for Social Entrepreneurship: Profits versus Ethics

Sandrine Fuentes, Hugo Valenzuela-Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper reveals one of the most critical challenges faced by Spanish social entrepreneurship: either prioritizing ethical, social and environmental objectives or profit-seeking. Social entrepreneurship (those initiatives that pursue social and environmental objectives as well as economic ones) has become a very celebrated sector welcomed by political leaders, international corporations , large financial actors and the public opinion alike. The motto that another economy is possible is gaining momentum while an enormous number and variety of both public and private promotional programs are fostering and energizing such promising sector in practically any spot of the world. However, unlike more conventional enterprises, social entrepreneurship face some crucial challenges due to its own hybrid nature and the goal of making philanthropy (i.e., ensuring the social and environmental values) compatible with profit. A mixed-methods oriented research conducted in Catalonia (Spain) reveals some of these contradictions and challenges. As concluding remarks, we provide some clues to reconsider the scope of social entrepre-neurship under a different political economy framework.
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)848-860
Number of pages13
JournalOpen Journal of Business and Management
Issue number02
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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