Unleashing Social Innovation for Social Economy:
Experience of Social Enterprise Development in Hong Kong
This paper reflects on the emergence and growth of social enterprises in Hong Kong via the theoretical lens of social innovation. Two distinct and yet complementary usages of the term in the fields of local/urban governance and social entrepreneurship are employed to make sense of the development of social enterprises in the past decade. By reviewing the development trajectories and the organizational practices of five local social enterprise cases, the twofold meanings of social innovation as new modalities of service governance and key components in the practice of social entrepreneurship are delineated, which are found applicable to the policy discourse in Hong Kong. The experience of social enterprise development suggests that the idea of social innovation would likely play an important role in building and sustaining the growth of the social economy.
Key Words: social innovation; social enterprise; social economy; local governance; Hong Kong