This two-day event responded to the rapidly growing interest in social entrepreneurship (SE) research as a continuously developing domain with high importance for theory and practice.

The conference was hosted by the University of Edinburgh Business School and sponsored by the European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB). It attracted well-known academic speakers and practitioners within the field of social entrepreneurship, and offered PhD students and early career academics a valuable opportunity to discuss and develop their ongoing work with distinguished experts in the social entrepreneurship field.

The organisers felt privileged to host excellent academic speakers, including:

  • Prof Mairi Maclean (University of Bath)
  • Prof Benson Honig (McMaster University)
  • Dr Helen Haugh (University of Cambridge)
  • Prof Frank Moulaert (KU Leuven)
  • Prof John Amis (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Ben Spigel (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Winston Kwon (University of Edinburgh)

A range of leading Scottish social entrepreneurs were also invited, such as Zakia Moulaoui (Founder of Invisible Cities), Colin McMillan (Programme Manager at Firstport), Jonny Kinross (Chief Executive at Grassmarket), and Jim Berryman (Knowledge Transfer Adviser at Innovate UK).

Overall, the organisers received positive feedback and felt that the two-day event went well. Participants in particular enjoyed the Panel Session 'Addressing the Gap Between Theory and Practice', where leading academics and practitioners discussed the practical impact of social entrepreneurship research.

The session attracting the most participants was 'Getting Published in Leading Journals: Insights from Editors and Authors'. In this session, editors from leading academic journals shared their insights into what scholars need to consider during their publication journey. This sharpened participants' views by illustrating common flaws and how to avoid these in their publication journey, which could increase participants' chances to publish in renowned journals.

Through their conference attendance, the participants gained the opportunity to get specific feedback on submitted paper drafts from leading academics within their field. Also, participants presented their research in 15-minute presentations, allowing them additional feedback from attending peers. The presentations were open to all attendees and gave viewers rich opportunities to gain insights into other scholars' cutting edge research within the field of social entrepreneurship.

A comfortable conference environment including several networking opportunities, such as wine receptions and conference dinners, enabled participants to network with leading academics in their field. They could build connections that have the potential to form a social entrepreneurship research community that will last beyond the Edinburgh Social Entrepreneurship Conference.

More on the SE Conference 2019