Call for Papers | Frontiers Research Topic: “The Growth of Social Entrepreneurship in the Global Sport Industry”. Call ends December 1, 2022

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About this Research Topic

Social entrepreneurship in sport focuses on organizations and enterprises that conduct business for social causes. Social entrepreneurs seek to find a balance between financial gain and addressing social issues to improve society as a whole. Therefore, profits are not the only, or even primary, concern… they want to improve the world. This is very much an altruistic ways of thinking in that the social issues being addressed are often close to the heart of the social entrepreneur and the measurement of success in very much defined by the social entrepreneur.

As social and environmental causes become a more prevalent part of the consumer decision-making process, sport businesses that engage in a social entrepreneurship model tend to be more attractive because especially millennial and iGeneration consumers look for organizations that offer products and services that meet their needs and also have as part of their mission the goal of helping to solve social issues.

Social businesses and enterprises seek to maximize social benefit while still maintaining a level of profitability through sales and revenue generation. This differs from a not-for-profit business that generates income through donations and contributions. This also differs from for-profit business, where the financial benefit far outweighs the social benefit. The most closely related type of business to a social enterprise is a for-profit business that actively engages in corporate social responsibility (CSR), which focuses on the responsibility sport organizations have to society beyond that of investors and stakeholders to include philanthropy, volunteerism, and any other efforts that foster relationships that enhance society.

As social entrepreneurship continues to evolve in the sport industry, there is a need for conducting and disseminating research to further this emerging area, as well as educate those unfamiliar with the importance of this concept. The goal of this call is to publish research that identifies the characteristics and models of social entrepreneurship and how those concepts apply to the sport industry.

Specific subtopics may include:

    1. Comparing and contrasting social sport enterprises to traditional sport ownership structures (public, private, public-private partnerships, or trusts) in terms of:
      • Venture creation
      • Community engagement
      • Overarching management principles
    1. Defining various social sport entrepreneurship structures including:
      • Social Models
      • Social Bricolage
      • Community-Led Social Value Creation
    1. Identifying the various issues inherent to managing and sourcing resources for engaging in social sport entrepreneurship
      • Philanthropy
      • Social Impact
      • Social Financing and Crowdfunding
    1. Applying various theories and models of logic and change to explain how social sport entrepreneurship addresses issues related to:
      • Social Justice/Injustice
      • Underserved Populations including (1) Women; (2) Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation (LGBTQIA); (3) Aging; (4) Youth; and (5) Disability community
    1. Defining and promoting social value through sport marketing efforts
    2. Scaling social impact through sport marketing efforts
      • Social Innovations
      • Athletes as Social Entrepreneurs
    1. The opportunities and challenges related to social innovation to grow social sport enterprises and scale impact.
    2. What does the future hold for social entrepreneurship in the sport industry?


social entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, social impact, social enterprise, sport industry

Topic Editors

      • Dr. Eric C Schwarz, Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
      • Dr. Aila Ahonen, Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, JAMK University of Applied Sciences
        Jyväskylä, Finland
      • Dr. Irena Valantine, Professor, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
      • Dr. Daniel Bjärsholm, Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden

Submission Deadlines

      • 1 December 2022 Abstract
      • 1 March 2023 Manuscript

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