chapter  Chapter 10
15 Pages

The social entrepreneur as global citizen

A critical appraisal of a theory of social change
WithJohn Abraham

This chapter problematizes the notion of the social entrepreneur as an agent of change. Instead, I begin by arguing that much like the Global Citizen, standard depictions of social entrepreneurs and their activities conceal attributes of privilege that ultimately provide them with the opportunities to position themselves as agents of change. I further argue that social entrepreneurs are often deeply embedded within the very systems they claim to transform. Using the conceptual language of the Regulation School, I demonstrate how Social entrepreneurship constitutes an ironic aspect of the current global social and economic system, that ultimately helps to maintain rather than disrupt the existing system. I conclude with a case study demonstrating that activities of social entrepreneurs, intended to catalyse transformation, will inevitably be limited in their transformational potential. Furthermore, such activities inhabit an institutional ‘grey area’ where transformational goals can be coopted by the existing social and economic system to portray change while actually maintaining the status quo.