Academic journal article Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal

Social Entrepreneur Development: An Integration of Critical Pedagogy, the Theory of Planned Behavior and the ACS Model

Academic journal article Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal

Social Entrepreneur Development: An Integration of Critical Pedagogy, the Theory of Planned Behavior and the ACS Model

Article excerpt


Universities and other institutions may want to train and develop tomorrow's agents of change in order to bring about positive social change in disadvantaged communities. Social entrepreneur development, which is the process of equipping individuals with the knowledge, skills, and resources to enable them to positively impact society through social entrepreneurial ventures, may be the best way to bring about this social transformation. Social entrepreneurship is emerging as an inventive approach for dealing with complex social needs (Johnson, 2002). With its emphasis on problem-solving and social innovation, socially entrepreneurial activities blur the traditional boundaries between the public, private and non-profit sector, and emphasize hybrid models of for-profit and non-profit activities (Johnson, 2002). Thompson, Alvy, and Lees (2000) described social entrepreneurship as the process of applying entrepreneurial principles to creative vision, leadership, and the will to succeed in inducing social change. Social entrepreneurs are different from business entrepreneurs in many ways. The key difference is that social entrepreneurs set out with an explicit social mission in mind. Their main objective is to make the world a better place. The job of the social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is not working and to solve the problem by fixing the system, spreading solutions and persuading entire societies to take new leaps (Drayton, 2005).

Some minority college students have succeeded in making a difference in their communities, and their vision coupled with social entrepreneurial training could be instrumental in reducing many social ills, including poverty, crime, and discrimination. African American and Hispanic undergraduate students should be developed as social entrepreneurs so that they can be equipped to create ventures that bring about meaningful change in disadvantaged communities.


The role of college students as agents of change has been identified through various movements and occurrences of activism that involved student-initiated collective action against authoritative social and political structures (Mars, 2009). Lipset and Schaflander (1971) identified such movements and activism as far back as the student involvement in the nineteenth century revolutionary movements in France, Germany, and Italy. More recently, student activism has been widely recognized through the demonstrations of the civil rights movement, protests against America's involvement in the Vietnam conflict, and collective support for the divestment of South African Apartheid (Mars, 2009). Students have also been shown to engage in grassroots leadership that was intended on creating organizational change within colleges and universities (Mars, 2009). For example, over the past two decades a new form of student activism has emerged on campuses around the country (Rhoads, Buenavista, & Maldonado, 2004).

Campus organizations representing students of color have increasingly united for the purpose of enhancing academic support for students from underrepresented or marginalized ethnic or racial backgrounds (Rhoads, Buenavista, & Maldonado, 2004). Student organizations representing African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American students have pooled their resources and political clout in order to enhance retention efforts (Rhoads, Buenavista, & Maldonado, 2004). The programs and activities developed by such efforts are largely student initiated. For example, at one campus, student organizations representing African American, Philipino, Chicano, Native American, and Vietnamese students have formed an umbrella organization that coordinates an extensive array of recruitment and retention activities (Rhoads, Buenavista, & Maldonado, 2004).

The study of social entrepreneurship has been mostly limited to the large scale efforts of elite and influential actors to create social transformation (O'Connor, 2006); there is definitely a need to examine marginalized groups' social entrepreneurial intentions. …

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