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1) Future researches should evaluate additional examples from Sweden, England, Netherlands, but also other European countries will help to build a wider understanding of Community-based social enterprises (CBCEs) practice in general and accountability in particular.
2) the limited body of empirical research on CBSEs in Europe leaves scientists, policymakers and citizens with open questions regarding impact but also how to ‘measure’ the ‘public/societal value’ produced by CBSEs. Research should both unravel the concept of public value in the context of hybrid civil society, and explore how this concept can be effectively incorporated in forms of adaptive accountability beyond narrow, rule-oriented approaches.
3) furure research might uncover how ‘adaptive accountability’ unfolds across different stages of CBSE development.
1) More comparative or contrastive case collections, theoretical sampling methods, and case collection steered by theoretical saturation is needed instead of the current dominant presentation of single cases or of random and very small numbers of cases.
2) Qualitative approaches in future social entrepreneurship research should improve theoretical quality and exploratory power by investing more effort in methodology than current approaches have done.
3) Developing quantitative measurement instruments in social entrepreneurship is one of the most current research challenges. It is time to develop a scale to test for social entrepreneurship itself.
4) More quantitative research that goes beyond descriptive approaches, a clear theoretical construct is needed, based on items that can be object to objective empirical measurements on defined scales.
5) A breakthrough would then allow the incorporation of contextual variables or even the contextualization of empirical social entrepreneurship research in a second step. Context might play an important role, particularly in social entrepreneurship and the activities of social entrepreneurs, which often seem to be inspired by certain contexts.
Before attempting to scale, the entrepreneur needs to ensure that their organization’s operating model is effective and efficient in addressing the mission at hand. Without it, more scaling brings on more deficits with respect to finances as well as the organization’s capabilities.
1) Researchers might work with existing SEs to help them reinvigorate their democratic potential, and to articulate what they are for. 2) Researchers might also work with existing SEs to help them visualise their ideal world and articulate how they might work towards it, thus helping address the question: what is SE for?
1) There is still know little about the relationship between patterns of social enterprise development and sustainability and location characteristics, including notions of community identity and capacity. This is true on both a micro scale (in-depth study of small numbers of community cases) and larger scale in which seeking to map rural social enterprise development across regions, would be useful.
2) Business models in relation to location or rural outcomes and impacts. We do not know if rural social enterprises are integrated into diverse local economies and social systems, or operate in a parallel ‘more social, less commercial’ system.
3) Impact of social enterprise as a model on the development and sustainability of mainstream rural business and entrepreneurship. Could the culture of social enterprise crowd out the idea of mainstream commercialism, making it seem that low or no profit is really the only viable rural option? What happens to those that train or gain skills in rural social enterprises – do they move to other work; and if so, what,where and how?
4) There is considerable scope to work more quantitatively and spatially to understand what types of rural social enterprises survive and thrive, their industry sectors and the extent to which their leaders network and learn from each other.