Social Entrepreneurship And Democracy

Social entrepreneurship is an important facet of any democratic society. Through active engagement, citizens can have a substantial impact on social institutions and ensure that they address the vital problems in society. In a pre-democratic context or an emerging democracy, social entrepreneurship can affect the development of the country itself by changing the existing social institutions or constructing new ones that correspond to the needs of all citizens.

Social entrepreneurship is a complex notion that incorporates different aspects of citizens taking an activist role in their community and society as a whole. It can be defined as a process through which people “build or transform institutions to advance solutions to social problems” (Bornstein & Davis, 2010, p. 1). Meanwhile, democracy can be viewed as a process of adaptation of the social institutions of the country to the needs of the citizens, with their input being taken into consideration by the local and federal governments (Bornstein & Davis, 2010). According to the United Nations (2021), democracy is based on the notion that the will of the people is the foundation of the authority of any government and should be respected. Thus, social entrepreneurship and the democratic system are closely correlated, and it can be argued that the former is a crucial requirement of the latter.

Within a pre-democratic context or an emerging democracy, social entrepreneurship can lead to the development of a democratic society. In these settings, the social activism of entrepreneurs is focused on ensuring the basic needs of the people, such as health care, sanitation, and education, are met (Bornstein & Davis, 2010). Thus, social entrepreneurship contributes to the creation of social institutions tasked with the satisfaction of the basic needs and rights of the citizens of the country. As these institutions seize to be effective, the people dissatisfied with their performance can contribute to them being changed or campaign for the establishment of new organizations by engaging in social entrepreneurship. Overall, social entrepreneurship ensures that the needs of society and individuals within it are met and their quality of life is improved.

It should be noted that the establishment of efficient social institutions is the first step of social entrepreneurship, contributing to the creation of a democratic society. According to Bornstein and Davis (2010), social entrepreneurship impacts the mindset of people at the individual level through new and effective social institutions being reinstated. Social entrepreneurship is a transformative process that helps reconfigure democratic governance through the active participation of citizens in the life of society and the formation of its structure (Hansen et al., 2021). Thus, social entrepreneurs inspire other people to take a more active stance in society and demand change that will improve their lives and the lives of other people. Therefore, it can be argued that social entrepreneurship contributes to more people expressing their will and the government and established social institutions acting upon that will.

In summary, social entrepreneurship can considerably affect the development of a country in pre-democratic or emerging democracy contexts. This type of social activism contributes to new social institutions being built in the country, focusing on organizations that serve the needs and protect the rights of the citizens. Furthermore, social entrepreneurship encourages people to take an active social and political stance and actively engage in campaigns to ensure their will as citizens are expressed and heard by the government.


Bornstein, D., & Davis, S. (2010). Social entrepreneurship: What everyone needs to know. Oxford University Press.

Hansen, A. V., Fuglsang, L., Gallouj, F., & Scupola, A. (2021). Social entrepreneurs as change makers: Expanding public service networks for social innovation. Public Management Review, 1–20.

United Nations. (2021). Democracy. Web.