The first Part argues that in order to properly and effectively reintroduce the anthropological factor into contemporary economic life, theology and philosophy need to develop a fruitful dialogue with the so-called logic of economic reasoning. Concretely, this means taking into account the reflections and findings made in economic theory and practice, and seeking to enrich these reflections and insights with arguments drawn from philosophy and theology. The Author discusses the ethical imperatives that can be drawn for business leaders from the claims of Social Christian Thought about an ‘integral human development’. She relates these assertions to some current economic research findings. After considering this interplay of arguments, she reflects in the third chapter upon the concrete role the private business sector plays in the promotion of the inclusive growth paradigm. The second Part aims at being a theoretical vademecum for practitioners, focusing on the most debated aspects of social entrepreneurship. Mercado and Scotti introduce the topic with a historical overview of the phenomenon, presenting some experiences that can be arguably considered as precedents of social entrepreneurship. They also discuss the major forces advocating for the rise of social entrepreneurs in both developed and developing countries, identified respectively with the decay of the welfare state and the failure of aid strategies. Then, they provide a comprehensive assessment of what social entrepreneurship actually means by focusing on the meaning of ‘entrepreneurship’ and of ‘social’.
Juan Andrés Mercado. Professor of Applied Ethics at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce (Rome). Completed his undergraduate studies in Philosophy in Mexico and his PhD in Spain with a dissertation on David Hume’s philosophy of belief. Vice-director of MCE Research Centre. Visiting Professor at IPADE Business School (Mexico City).
Daniela Ortiz. Senior Researcher and lecturer at the Center for Corporate Governance and Business Ethics at the Vienna University of Applied Sciences for Management and Communication. She studied Business in Vienna and Innsbruck, and Philosophy (doctorate) in Rome.
Benedetta Scotti. Master student in International Economic Policy at Science Po Paris. She holds a Bachelor in International Economics, Management and Finance from Bocconi University, Milan.