In the framework of youth entrepreneurship development in the present circumstances, it is particularly important to support social entrepreneurship and develop this area among young people. As part of the study of youth involvement in social entrepreneurship, the authors conducted a sociological study "Sociological diagnostics of youth involvement in the sphere of social entrepreneurship" in the Belgorod region using a questionnaire survey. The purpose of the study was to identify the degree of involvement of the younger generation in social entrepreneurship. The sample size was 800 respondents aged from 16 to 35 years. According to the data obtained, young people are quite active, and they are included in social activities for solving problems (gatherings and meetings of citizens, public hearings, to assist those in need). The problem of trust and distrust in the possibility of obtaining social benefits, on the one hand, is still quite sharp, and on the other hand, we can see relatively high rates of hope and wonder by the possibilities. Moreover, the youth are ready to accept social entrepreneurship in the hope of solving social problems. There is a demonstration of a reasonably high level of social responsibility in business practice. Thus, respondents have a particular understanding of the purpose of business – not only as a source of profit but also as a responsible entity to solve current problems in the social sphere.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial activityresponsibilitysocial activitysocial entrepreneurshipsocial orientation
The development of youth entrepreneurship makes a significant contribution to the development of the country's economy, becoming recognized as a direction for raising funds, increasing the efficiency of production of goods and services needed by society, ensuring employment of the population, and solving the problem of employment of young people themselves. The development and support of social entrepreneurship are of particular importance in developing youth entrepreneurship and self-awareness, the growth of social responsibility, and young people's patriotism. In this regard, Russia, despite the growing interest in both at the Federal and regional levels (in the framework of conferences, consultations, social forums, studying the experience of well-known social entrepreneurs, etc.), is significantly behind both in implementing state support for social entrepreneurship and in General awareness of this phenomenon.
Therefore, the development of youth social entrepreneurship is seen as an opportunity to involve the younger generation in solving social problems, increasing their self-awareness and civic engagement, social responsibility and professionalism.
In recent years, the development of small and medium-sized businesses in the Russian Federation has significantly increased. However, as we emerge from the global economic crisis, there is an increasing need to create a new generation of young entrepreneurs who can play a more active role in the economy, business, and society. The development of youth entrepreneurship at the present stage should contribute not only to the training of qualified personnel but also to the country's rapid transition to an innovative path of development. The State's main task is to build an innovative economy, which is impossible without the formation of its foundation-a community of young, initiative, innovative-minded entrepreneurs. Nowadays a comprehensive system has not yet been formed to educate a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Study of determinants of youth involvement in social activities.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to identify the degree of involvement of the younger generation in social entrepreneurship through the prism of such determinants as responsibility, assistance, and support.
The research included system analysis methods, a sociological survey, and a method of quantitative and qualitative data processing. The sample size was 800 respondents aged from 16 to 35 years.
Every year, sociological research is conducted in the Russian Federation regions to determine the degree of involvement of the younger generation in business activities. They show that the percentage of young people who want to do business (according to IISS) is several times larger than the proportion of youth already in business: 54% of student respondents believe that most young people in Russia consider a small business to be a desirable career choice. The majority of students believe that doing small business creates preferential opportunities for self-realization (78% of respondents) and provides a higher income (60% of respondents) compared to employment. However, young people are in no hurry to create their own business: only 3% of respondents said they were running their own business (Institute for integrated strategic studies (IISS), 2020, June 18. Official web- site. https://icss.ru. ) .
Young people's activity is hindered by significant difficulties faced by young entrepreneurs when starting their own business. They are caused by both financial problems and insufficient education of young people in the business sphere. According to the research, the main difficulties faced by young people at the start of business are lack of money (about 53% of respondents), experience (about 16%) and education (about 11%). Only state support can facilitate a young entrepreneur's entry into the market in such a situation.
Youth entrepreneurship as a sphere of economic activity and scientific study began to take shape in Russia in the early 90's. But in the next ten years, as the monitoring of social development conducted by the Department of youth sociology of the IISS RAS has shown, the interest in this form of activity among young people fell rapidly, which was reflected in the narrowing of the spectrum of youth entrepreneurship. The origins of the interest drop mainly lie in the peculiarities of entrepreneurship's formation and functioning among young people.
Since the Russia transitioned to a market-based business model, youth entrepreneurship's structural and motivational components have undergone significant changes. Studies of small businesses in the early 90's of the XX century showed that young people up to 30-35 years old had started doing business out of desperation or in the absence of alternatives. Today, the situation has changed, and the choice is made under the influence of such incentives as "self-realization", "ambition", "new opportunities". This fact shows that youth entrepreneurship in Russia has reached a fundamentally new civilized level.
Research of the level of involvement of young people in business activities conducted by IISS RAS has shown that among the factors that encourage them to start a business, respondents often mention: expected high earnings (59%); the ability to be independent (47%); the ability to be creative (38%); career growth (30%); the ability to be an owner (28%); the ability to lead (24%); prestige (20%); risk (7%).
According to the respondents' opinions, the main obstacles to business organization are: lack of financial resources for business organization, unavailability of credit resources (76%); lack of necessary information (15%); administrative barriers (14%); ignorance of the basics of entrepreneurship, etc. Such state actions as: direct financial support (38%); educational support (27%); information and consulting support (21%); equipment leasing (18%), etc. could help to overcome these difficulties. The primary needs of young entrepreneurs are in the field of finance and the replenishment of educational and information resources. This also includes the need to develop such personal qualities as confidence (77%), purposefulness (70%), risk-taking (62%), communication skills (59%), leadership (50%), and some others.
Youth social entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular to involve young people in solving social problems when the desire for profit is not as strong as the desire to do something useful for society.
We mean young entrepreneurs to be young people under the age of 35, bright, proactive, energetic careerists, ready to take risks, quick to perceive everything new, prone to innovation, charismatic leaders, because it is believed that the most striking discoveries, creativity, original and unconventional thinking, the ability to take risks and achieve success are characteristic of a person at this age.
Statistics show that the activity of young social entrepreneurs in Russia is growing year by year. For example, young people are implementing about 30 of the 130 projects supported by the Fund “Our future”, while being well prepared, highly qualified and purposeful, and focused on social orientation in the development of their business (Fund for regional social programs "Our future", 2020, June 20. Official web- site. http://www.nb-fund.ru) .
The development of youth entrepreneurship makes a significant contribution to the development of the country's economy, becoming increasingly recognized as a direction for raising funds, increasing the efficiency of production of goods and services needed by society, ensuring employment of the population and, first of all, solving the problem of employment of young people themselves. Many public figures have repeatedly stressed the importance of developing young people, small and medium-sized businesses, and innovative small and micro enterprises. The main role in the implementation of the state policy to support youth entrepreneurship is played by the international and Russian youth chambers, the Youth public chamber, the Russian Center for promoting youth entrepreneurship, and the Association of young entrepreneurs of Russia. The main goal of supporting youth entrepreneurship is to prepare the generation of young entrepreneurs for the country and improve young entrepreneurs' entrepreneurial and personal competence.
The development and support of social entrepreneurship is of particular importance in developing youth entrepreneurship and self-awareness, the growth of social responsibility and patriotism of young people. In this regard, Russia, despite the growing interest in it both at the Federal and regional levels (in the framework of conferences, consultations, social forums, studying the experience of well-known social entrepreneurs, etc.), is significantly behind both in implementing state support for social entrepreneurship and in the general awareness of this phenomenon.
A social entrepreneur has such a need for the development of society qualities – he or she practices with an innovative approach, seeking large-scale, systematic and sustainable social change, pragmatic visionary with a healthy impatience bureaucracy, the engine of change, they are ambitious and persistent, that's why they can assess the situation realistically and to take the necessary decisions on social issues, leaving the needs of society to the State or the business sector.
Therefore, the development of youth social entrepreneurship is seen as an opportunity to involve the younger generation in solving social problems, increasing their self-awareness and civic engagement, social responsibility and professionalism.
For the first time, Diz addressed the problem of social entrepreneurship. The researcher pointed out that the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship has always existed, but previously scientists simply did not deal with this issue (Dees et al., 2002). In 1963, Drayton described the social entrepreneur as an innovator for society, defined it as an individual, which combines the practical and result-oriented methods of a business entrepreneur with the goals of a social reformer (Alvord et al., 2004). Until 1990, social entrepreneurship was considered in the study of social movements and specific values (Reutov et al., 2016). With the most significant force, interest in social entrepreneurship increased in the 1990s. Leadbeater's book The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur, published in 1997, became a turning point in promoting the popularity of social entrepreneurship. In the same year, the School of Social Entrepreneurs, led by Young, was created in Great Britain. At this time, the first attempts to define the term and the first studies appear. Social entrepreneurs were defined as agents of change in the social sector that detect and distribute undervalued resources or change the distribution of rare public resources (Bacq et al., 2016). At the beginning of the second millennium, scientific works appear to substantiate the issues and problems of social entrepreneurship fully. In these works, measuring instruments are already used – quantitative and qualitative research methods. The most famous studies include the work of Borins, Thompson, Hibbert, Mair, Sullivan Mort. Social entrepreneurs here are defined as leaders who use an entrepreneurial approach to solving social problems, search for innovations (Epifanova et al., 2015).
Particular attention is paid to the social partnership between the public, social, and business sectors, directing the economy to solve social issues.
An essential event in forming the concept of social entrepreneurship was the presentation of the Nobel Prize to social entrepreneur Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, in 2006. As Mukhin noted, attempts to create a general concept of social entrepreneurship and summarize previous experience have led to the understanding of social entrepreneurs as organizations or individuals who take risks, use innovations, refuse to accept limitations in existing resources, and try to solve pressing social problems (Mukhin, 2011). Since 2007, the period of formation of social entrepreneurship has been observed abroad. Civil society is seeking state support; the legal status of social entrepreneurship is being consolidated.
Among modern authors studying issues related to social entrepreneurship, it is necessary to highlight Carraher et al. (2016); Dwivedia and Weerawardenab (2018); Kimmitt & Muñoz (2018); Rawhouser et al. (2019).
The Russian research community also did not ignore the current trend in developing the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship. The most in-depth analysis of this phenomenon belongs to a team of authors from the Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation of the Higher School of Economics under the direction of Moskovskaya. The book "Social Entrepreneurship in Russia and the World: Practice and Research," published in 2011, provides an overview of both the current State of research in this area and a description of many empirical cases of social enterprises from foreign and Russian practice. According to the conclusions received by the center’s employees, social entrepreneurship is developing in the western, developed industrial world much more active and varied than in third world countries. Moreover, researchers in their work suggested that social entrepreneurship projects in developing countries that have gained world fame have largely been successful thanks to entrepreneurial patterns, values, culture, economic education created in developed industrial countries of the West, as well as emerging recently, the practice of advisory, financial assistance from various foundations and non-profit organizations (Moskovskaya, 2011).
Today, the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship is an incredibly popular research topic in a wide variety of theoretical fields. The development of youth entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship, is considered in scientific papers written by Kurash (2016); Kosharnaya et al. (2019); Molchan (2018); Reutov et al. (2017). Regional experiences in social entrepreneurship development are presented in the papers of Logunova and Logunova (2018); Sabirova (2017).
As part of the study of youth involvement in the sphere of social entrepreneurship, the authors conducted a sociological study "Sociological diagnostics of youth involvement in the sphere of social entrepreneurship" in the Belgorod region by means of a questionnaire survey. The sample size was 800 respondents aged from16 to 35 years.
When asked about providing assistance on personal initiative, supporting someone, or performing actions for the benefit of other people, the answers were distributed as follows (table
Based on the responses received, almost half of the respondents (48.75%) said that they were more likely to provide assistance or support to someone on their own initiative, or to perform actions for the benefit of other people. And 26.00% do not doubt it. The total number of those who did not provide assistance and support is 22%, while for 3.25% it was difficult to answer. The degree of responsibility of respondents for what is happening around us was measured on the scale of proximity-distance from the subject of action. The distribution of responses to this question was calculated based on the average score. The obtained data are presented relative to the two-dimensional grouping (table
While analysing, it is noteworthy that the average score in more than one position does not have an unambiguous choice. Moreover, the willingness to take responsibility for what happens in the family corresponds to only 4.4 points. At the same time, men have a lower score than women.
It is interesting that the average scores for assessing the responsibility at work (study), as well as at home (yard or area) are the same and are equal to 3.8 points. In this case, respondents do not share the proximity of the place where they work and the place where they live. Upon more closer examination, the dependence on the gender of the respondents is noticeable. For example, men have a higher degree of responsibility at the workplace (4.2 points), and women – in the house or yard/ area where they live (4.1 points).
Indicators showing the degree of responsibility for what is happening in the city (district) and in the country are quite low. They were rated by respondents at 3.2 points. At the same time, it is interesting that men are less likely to be responsible for what is happening in the city (2.9 points), while demonstrating greater responsibility for what is happening in the country (3.2 points).
Thus, according to the obtained distributions, we can conclude that the degree of responsibility is largely dictated by the relationship of proximity-distance from the subject. The closer the events are to the subject, the greater the degree of responsibility and vice versa. In this case, we can't say that the respondents are indifferent to the events in the city and the country. Nevertheless, there is a certain detachment from problems that are more global than personal ones.
For research purposes, we were interested in finding out who, in the opinion of respondents, should be more involved in solving problems in the social sphere. The distribution of responses to this question is shown in table
The distribution of responses to this question shows that almost half of the respondents (48.38%) believe that both governmental and non-governmental organizations should deal with social sphere problems. At the same time, the answers were distributed almost equally with an unambiguous choice. Thus, 26.00% of respondents believe that solving problems in the social sphere should be handled primarily by the State, while 22.62% are inclined to believe that solving such problems should be handled mainly by non-governmental organizations.
The dependence of the distribution of the answers to this question on age is shown in the fact that respondents aged from19 to 22 years and from 23 to 25 years are more likely to give preference to both governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations when solving problems in the social sphere, in fact, without sharing their status (65.20% and 73.6%, respectively). And respondents aged from 31 to 35 years are more likely to believe that the solution of problems in the social sphere should be handled by the State (68.4 %).
In accordance with the identified features, it can be stated that the age groups of 19-22-year-old and 23-25-year-old people do not share the need to solve problems in the social sphere between specific organizations. Rather, the problem of solving social needs is put at the forefront, rather than the actors of these actions. And the age group of 31-35-year-oldpeople determine the burden on governmental structures in solving problems in the social sphere.
The issue of transferring functions for solving social problems from the State to non-governmental organizations and socially responsible businesses has been discussed in the public space for a long time, and the potential for developing social entrepreneurship in the country largely depends on its solution.
According to the all-Russian monitoring conducted by the research group ZIRCON with the support of the Fund "Our future", most respondents to the all-Russian survey put the responsibility during all the measurements for solving problems in the social sphere on the State. Only from 3% to 8% (in different years) of citizens are sure that non-governmental organizations should mainly handle social problems.
The researchers note that the distribution of responses to the question about solving problems in the social sphere is subject to certain fluctuations. The largest share of Russians who believe that the State should play a dominant role in solving social problems was recorded in 2015 (68%). Over the past year, there has been a shift in public consciousness towards a growing perception that the State and non-governmental organizations should deal with problems in the social sphere equally (by 12 percentage points per year) (Research group "Zircon". Social entrepreneur-2018, 2020, June 19. Selfportrait. http://www.zircon.ru) .
We believe that public opinion on this issue seriously depends on the country's overall economic situation and on the expectations of citizens from the State. According to the survey, Russians are increasingly aware that in the current crisis situation, they do not have to expect much from the State, and they are ready to delegate powers in the social sphere to non-state structures, i.e. to perceive new unusual practices, including social entrepreneurship positively.
The distribution of responses to the question about participation in public activities to solve various problems (meetings and meetings of citizens, public speaches, assistance to those in need, etc.) over the past year showed that 68.50% of respondents answered this question affirmatively, and 28.37% – negatively, while 3.13% - couldn't answer.
According to the data obtained, it can be concluded that young people are quite active and are involved in public activities to solve various problems (gatherings and meetings of citizens, public hearings, assistance to those in need, etc.).
The attitude of trust to the ability to perform actions for the benefit of people was measured by the question: "Imagine that you find out that in your area an unknown entrepreneur is building a sports and recreation complex with his own money, claiming that local children will study in it for free. Tell me, what will be your first reaction to this information?"
The data shows that men would be more skeptical of the information provided. 33.2% of respondents said that "they will not believe such information, thinking that in fact it will be an ordinary commercial sports complex." It is interesting, that females are less skeptical about this issue. Only 18.6% of respondents expressed their doubts. The results are also interesting because almost a third of both men and women express hope and say that "perhaps there will be free classes for children in the complex, but these will be separate charity events that will be made to advertise this entrepreneur" (27.8% and 35%, respectively).
Quite positive, in our opinion, is that 34.5% of men and 43.6% of women expressed joy and chose the answer "I will be happy. I fully assume that such a complex is possible and will function continuously, providing free classes for children by providing commercial services to other categories of users."
It should be noted that the survey participants demonstrated a fairly high level of social responsibility in business practice. Quite clearly, the" social orientation " of the respondents can be seen in a series of questions that represent judgments- dilemmas about the main tasks (mission) of business. In each of the statements, certain contradictions are formulated between the "pure" business logic and the focus on participation in solving actual social problems. Agreement or disagreement with the statement means that a respondent is inclined to prefer a particular "norm" in business activity.
In general, we can say that respondents have a special understanding of business's purpose – not only as a source of profit. Most of them understand that business, along with the State, should be responsible for solving acute social problems. Many of them supported the business community's active role in the development of their region and agreed on the need to direct part of their profits to social needs.
In our opinion, the most revealing is the comparison of the answers to the two "mirror" questions. The first one is: "The profit from the company's activities should be at least partially directed to development or social programs, and not exclusively to the payment of dividends"; and the second one is: "The task of business is to treat its customers and its activities in general responsibly, to act within the law, and the implementation of social programs is a waste of resources." The attitude to these judgments also turns out to be "mirror": more than half of the respondents (61%) believe that profits should be at least partially directed to social programs and solving social problems, and almost half of them (48%) do not agree with considering the implementation of social programs as a "waste of resources". It turns out that a significant part of the respondents believe it is correct to initially include the norms of "social responsibility of business"in the logic of doing business.
Answers to other questions- judgments only confirm this basic thesis. Thus, 73% of respondents agree that "entrepreneurs should help to develop the region of their presence (local community)", and about the same number (70%) are ready to participate in partnerships with the government, state structures and other businessmen in solving acute social problems.
Thus, as the results of our research have shown, the respondents demonstrate not only business logic, but also norms about participation in solving actual social problems.
According to the data obtained, young people are quite active and included in social activities to solve problems (gatherings and meetings of citizens, public hearings, assist those in need). The problem of trust and distrust in the possibility of obtaining social benefits, on the one hand, is still quite sharp, on the other hand, relatively high rates of hope and delight by the possibilities are seen, and the youth are ready to accept social entrepreneurship hoping of solving social problems. There is a demonstration of a reasonably high level of social responsibility in business practice. Thus, respondents have a special understanding of the business's purpose – not only as a source of profit. Most of them understand that business and the State, should be responsible for solving acute social problems. Many of them supported the business community's active role in the development of their region and agreed on the need to guide part of their profits to social needs.
The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-011-00350 «Technology for the development of the social entrepreneurship in the youth environment (regional dimension)».
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16 April 2021
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Sustainable Development, Socio-Economic Systems, Competitiveness, Economy of Region, Human Development
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Shavyrina, I., Demenenko, I., Divichenko, O., & Zhenikhova, L. (2021). Determinants Of Inclusion Of Youth In The Social Entrepreneurship. In E. Popov, V. Barkhatov, V. D. Pham, & D. Pletnev (Eds.), Competitiveness and the Development of Socio-Economic Systems, vol 105. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 869-880). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.04.92