Social Entrepreneurship in Croatia: do regional disparities influence young people’s perception of social entrepreneurship as a potential career path ?

January 2011
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NYU Stern Conference of Social Entrepreneurship, New York University – Stern School of businesses, 2011

This paper compares young people’s perception of social entrepreneurship in Croatia and its importance in the process of personal and community development. By researching young people (students) from different regions (the City of Zagreb, as the most developed region, and in the City of Osijek, as the capital of one of the least developed region in Croatia) and with different educational orientation (business, electronic engineering and art) the paper explores whether students recognize the need for a new and different approach, such as social entrepreneurship, to solve various social problems.

The paper argues also that the application of entrepreneurial principles in all activities of society (economic, social, political and educational) is contributing to better utilization of available resources and creation of an environment in which young people can find a purpose to create a better future for themselves and the society as a whole. Using business principles and techniques, social entrepreneurship creates positive social change and represents an important module for the development of regional communities (McConachie and Simpson, 2003). Social entrepreneurship as innovative approach responds to major social problems, develops new conceptual frameworks and creatively combines and accepts the social and business approaches in order to create social value. Such entrepreneurial approach to social problems should be encouraged in all sectors, at all levels and in all educational areas.