Social Entrepreneurship and Influence on Regional Firm Demography

Abstract: The central interest of this thesis is the emergence of social  ventures. In this regard, it investigates two types of questions: what regional factors influence the emergence of social  ventures? and what  types of interaction may emerge between the emergence of social  ventures and the demography (entry,  exit  and migration) of commercial ventures in a region? The thesis also aims to adopt a macro-oriented approach to studying the research questions.To  answer  those  questions, this  thesis  applies  both  theoretical  and empirical  analysis.  For the theoretical analysis, instead of a single theory it applies three middle-range theories: theory of organisational ecology, market failure theory, and the demand and supply theory of  entrepreneurship. The empirical analysis is based on two large-scale databases from  Sweden  and  the U.S. The Swedish database includes nonprofit social ventures and commercial ventures for the 1990-2014 period from all of the 290 municipalities across Sweden, while the database from U.S. includes 88 counties in the State of Ohio between 2003-2007.The answers to the research questions are presented in the form of six papers. Paper 1 provides an overall picture of the different possible functions of social ventures within communities and  their contributions to regional development. With this overall view, Papers 2 and 3 answer the  first  research question, that is the factors influencing the emergence of social ventures. Thus, while  Paper 2 provides a review of previous research, Paper 3 empirically examines some of  the  regional factors that may influence the emergence of social ventures in a region. The  results of Paper 3 revealed that factors such as gender, education, entrepreneurial role models, wealth, unemployment rate, age, and urbanisation positively influence the emergence rate of the of social venture in a region.Papers 4, 5 and 6 are dedicated to answering the second type of research question, in other  words the interaction between the emergence of  social ventures and the demography (entry, exit and migration) of commercial ventures. As such, Paper 4 studies how the emergence of social ventures is influenced by the entry and exit of commercial ventures, Paper 5 investigates how the emergence of social ventures influences the entry of commercial ixventures, and Paper 6 examines how the emergence of social ventures influences the migration of commercial  ventures. In summary, the results of these three papers reveal that while the emergence of social ventures negatively influences the commercial ventures inside a region, it has a positive  influence on the commercial ventures outside the region. Paper 6 further investigates the influence of the emergence of commercial ventures on the migration of commercial ventures.  The results show that while the emergence of social ventures attracts commercial ventures from outside into a region, the emergence of commercial ventures repels them from moving into the region.