Social Enterprise and Community Participation in a Global Perspective

Jamie Halsall, Ian Cook, Roopinder Oberoi

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Social enterprise has become the buzzword of the moment. In recent years, global institutions across the world have championed social enterprise as a key concept that can have a real impact on societies in a local, national and global context. Countries, such as China, India and the United Kingdom have embraced the ideas around social enterprise. The incorporation of social enterprise at state level has become apparent due to the impact the global financial crisis of 2008. This crisis has forced countries to think outside of the box regarding tackling social injustices in societies. Countries are addressing social, economic and environmental problems more than ever before. Social enterprise is seen by many as a mechanism contributing to tackling these problems. For example, at a round table event at number 10 Downing Street back in June 2018, the UK Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP highlighted the importance of social enterprise as a device that has impact in the public service economy (Gov.UK, 2018). Moreover, social enterprise has played an intrinsic role in the UK government context with the Social Value Act, which was introduced in January 2013. It is this perception that social enterprise, or social entrepreneurs, have the greater ability to be pioneering in tackling societal issues, placing ‘social value creation’ at the centre of their ethos to generate benefits in a local, national and global context (Dobele, 2016).

The aim of this paper is to provide the reader with a contemporary understanding of the importance of social enterprise, and the ways in which it can have positive implications in society. The authors of this paper, who have a social science background, firstly examine the continual upsurge of social enterprise as a theoretical concept. Then, the paper moves on to discuss the interpretations of social enterprise in China and India in a public policy context. The final part of this paper provides general conclusions and offers some ideas for future research agendas.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Specialist publicationSocial Science Today (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2019


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