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Does Social Innovation Contribute to Sustainability? The Case of Italian Innovative Start-Ups

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  • Michela Piccarozzi

    () (Department of Economics, Engineering, Society and Business Organization, University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy)

Abstract

Start-ups, among other enterprises, play a major role in the development and/or commercialization of new technologies and the development of national economies, given that firms are the innovation locus for an entire society. In Italy, a recent regulatory intervention has focused on start-ups creating a framework where innovative start-ups are defined and regulated. Among innovative start-ups, those with a social vocation are of particular interest, since they are understudied in the literature. Indeed, the aim of this paper is twofold: to analyze the relationship between social innovation and sustainability in the latter businesses, and try to understand how sustainability could be fostered through them. Italian cases of innovative start-ups will be studied through content analysis applied to the Social Impact Assessment Document provided by firms. Results show that the Social Impact Assessment Document provided by innovative start-ups explicitly pays attention to social innovation and sustainability in different ways. However, the document does not show the link between social innovation and sustainability. Nonetheless, going through these documents, the link between social innovation and the three aspects of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) clearly emerge and therefore could be better managed.

Suggested Citation

  • Michela Piccarozzi, 2017. "Does Social Innovation Contribute to Sustainability? The Case of Italian Innovative Start-Ups," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(12), pages 1-28, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2376-:d:123590
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Storey, D. J. & Tether, B. S., 1998. "New technology-based firms in the European union: an introduction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 933-946, April.
    2. Paul Benneworth & Effie Amanatidou & Monica Edwards Schachter & Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2015. "Social innovation futures: beyond policy panacea and conceptual ambiguity," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20150127, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
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    4. Alessandra Colombelli, 2016. "The impact of local knowledge bases on the creation of innovative start-ups in Italy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 383-396, August.
    5. Pol, Eduardo & Ville, Simon, 2009. "Social innovation: Buzz word or enduring term?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 878-885, December.
    6. Almus, Matthias & Nerlinger, Eric A, 1999. "Growth of New Technology-Based Firms: Which Factors Matter?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 141-154, September.
    7. Carlo Borzaga & Riccardo Bodini, 2012. "What to make of social innovation? Towards a framework for policy development," Euricse Working Papers 1236, Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    start-ups; social innovation; technology; sustainability; content analysis; social impact assessment document;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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