Student Social Enterprise Engagement: Capturing Process, Benefits and Measuring Social Value

Arun Sukumar, Zimu Xu, Richard Tomlins

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    There has been a growing interest in student entrepreneurial ventures, especially the support and mentoring offered in a university set-up. Whilst traditional commercial student start-ups have been well documented, little has been mentioned on how students develop social enterprises; specifically, the processes and support systems adopted in higher education institutions. Student entrepreneurs nowadays have a choice, socially conscious students are motivated to start social enterprises when they graduate. They are interested not only in creating social value but also at creating sustained community interest. This chapter explores the student engagement process in setting up social enterprises and the social value created by the entrepreneurs. It also looks at measuring the social value created by the entrepreneurs and the challenges they face in maintaining social and economic value. Using four case studies, this chapter charts the journey of some student entrepreneurs in their quest to start social enterprise and highlights the support mechanisms that were helpful in realizing potential ideas to viable social enterprises. Three themes emerged from the primary data collected: motivations, barriers faced, and issues with continuing value creation. The results highlighted that personal circumstances and a strong desire to help local community were the fundamental motivations for venture creation. When it came to barriers, student entrepreneurs faced dual issues of maintaining academic rigor along with their desire to start a venture. Other barriers included access to finance, business marketing and overcoming start-up difficulties.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEntrepreneurship Education. Contributions to Management Science.
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 27 Jun 2020


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