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Home arrow Travel arrow Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism: Philosophy and Practice



Social entrepreneurship is an innovative approach to social value creation; addressing the world’s most pressing concerns such as poverty, unemployment, social integration, education, health and environment. The tourism industry has effectively contributed to the economic growth of destinations for the last few decades in spite of multiple global challenges. As such, it remains one of the largest employers and drivers of economic growth across the developed and developing world. The tourism industry however has an unimpressive track record of positive environmental and social impacts. This is despite the research that has recognized how this sector can address social and environmental concerns such as poverty eradication, gender equality, environmental sustainability and global partnership for development.

This chapter examines social value creation from an entrepreneurial perspective and proposes the use of the business model construct as a lens to analyze how tourism social enterprises can become catalysts of social change. Such models can help SE’s effectively address societal issues such as poverty reduction, unemployment, social integration, skills development, gender inequality, environmental sustainability and indirect benefits in health and education in their chosen destination.

The field of tourism SE is still in its embryonic development and, as a result, there is a paucity of research and case studies to build the body of knowledge in this field. It is hoped that researchers and practitioners will adopt the business model framework as discussed in this chapter to prototype and develop new forms of social value creation in tourism. This approach will also facilitate the documentation of existing activities of tourism social enterprises with a replicable and widely used theoretical framework. The case study on Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains Trust has been developed following this approach. We hope that this chapter will provide the knowledge needed for other TSE’s to improve their effectiveness using the BM framework.

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