The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Research (CREIS) was created to generate knowledge around the entrepreneurship and social innovation fields, obtaining data and analyzing this phenomenon in depth, with an interdisciplinary team of researchers. The CREIS began its activity in July 2019, within the Department of Business (Faculty of Economics and Business), and it responds to the desire to become an academic reference in this field of study. In addition, the CREIS emerges as one of the pillars of a larger project, the Espai Innova en Emprenedoria Social (eines, Innovation space in Social Entrepreneurship) where research will be complemented with training and the transfer of knowledge to society.
In recent years, entrepreneurship has become a key element for public administration, mainly as a result of its positive effect on economic and social development of countries, regions and territories. In addition, the latest economic crisis has dramatically increased the percentage of companies that are created by necessity over those created by opportunity, with a negative impact on the survival of new companies. At the same time, the "new" awareness of everything social (sustainable, ecological, ethical, etc.) has attracted the attention of not only policy makers but also academia. Hence, there is a great interest in the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship and, more broadly, in social innovation. In this regard, the concept of entrepreneurship and social innovation (understood as a process of identifying, evaluating and exploiting opportunities that allow the creation of social value, along the lines of the Sustainable Development Goals -ODS-), includes a broad range of typologies. For example, from social micro-macro transformations, the third sector, and the cooperative world, and the social and solidarity economy (with clearly social values: democratic governance, limitation of profits, etc.), up to start-ups, with marketing purposes in social innovation.
In this scenario, an in-depth study of the entrepreneurship and social innovation phenomenon; an analysis of the factors that condition it; and a focus on the impact of social projects from an economic and societal perspective, are key for a research agenda. At the same time, a better understanding of the social entrepreneurial ecosystem may also help in the design of more efficient and effective government policies that really support entrepreneurs with social perspective. In addition, if the technology factor is included in social entrepreneurship, several relevant implications, both theoretical and practical, could be derived from a rigorous and methodological study of this topic.