The Challenges of Creating Databases to Support Rigorous Research in Social Entrepreneurship

By Paul N. Bloom and Cathy Clark

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges associated with trying to create databases that serious researchers would want to use to examine issues related to social entrepreneurship. Questions are raised about defining the units to be studied, determining what to measure, deciding where to obtain data, avoiding selection bias, obtaining responses, protecting anonymity and confidentiality, managing the database, ensuring accuracy and honesty, and creating a sustainable business model.

CASE, 2011