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Defourny and Nyssens (2008) point out that the term “social entrepreneur” and “social enterprise” has a conceptual diversity. While American foundations and organizations, like Ashoka from the mid-1990s focus on the people behind a social enterprise (social entrepreneurs), European researchers focus more on the organizations (social enterprise).
One of the most citied definitions of the social entrepreneur comes from Dees (1998) who states that:
“Social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents in the social sector, by: