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Working paper

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN RUSSIA: KEY PLAYERS AND DEVELOPMENT POTENTIALITY

This Article gives an overview of different approaches to the definition of social entrepreneurship and contains the findings of the survey on the organizational field of social entrepreneurship that emerges in Russia. Whereas this type of business is institutionalized in the economy of the U.S. and certain European nations, where special laws are developed for it and significant tax benefits are afforded in certain cases, it is in an infant state in the Russian society.  Its progress in the Russian economy will largely depend on the actions taken by the players in the emerging organizational field, not only on socio-economic and historical conditions. A series of expert interviews at the first study stage resulted in identification of the main players, in particular, Our Future – the foundation for regional social programs that served as the monopolistic source of financial support for social entrepreneurship during the study. To find out what social entrepreneurship model is taking shape in Russia, 186 applications filled by different organizations for support to social entrepreneurship financing were reviewed in three years of the Foundation’s business. The review suggested that the Foundation mostly backs up the social programs capable of becoming financially independent from external sources.