Societal Entrepreneurship – a Cross-Boundary Force for Regional and Local Development Cherished for Multiple Reasons

Malin Gawell, Anne Pierre, Yvonne von Friedrichs


This paper is based on results from the findings in the cross-disciplinary project on societal entrepreneurship in sparsely populated areas (SESPA). Studies within this project that take their point of departure in the societal or community-based entrepreneurship literature demonstrate how different contextual aspects as well as different perspectives enhance the understanding of why societal entrepreneurship is important for regional and local surroundings and development. The analysis of the studies within the SESPA project reveals societal entrepreneurship as a multifaceted and complex phenomenon interrelated with the local context as well as with national and even global developments. It is a cross-boundary force for local and regional development. The sub studies emphasize different aspects in which societal entrepreneurship in conclusion can be understood as local responses to local challenges, the multiplication of organizational missions, as well as collective solutions to diverse goals. The analysis emphasizes an intertextual vision of a ‘positive development’ in which societal entrepreneurship combines entrepreneurial drives with societal aims. Furthermore, the analysis reveals different, even multiple, reasons why societal entrepreneurship is cherished by different actors engaged in or related to the development – in this case of a sparsely populated region.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413