Social Enterprise Ecosystems: A Case Study of the Danube Delta Region of Romania

Georgiana Els and Kevin Kane

Abstract This chapter seeks to critically explain the optimal conditions that enable social enterprise activities to materialize, grow and blossom into sustainable organisations. The core notion and key to understanding the necessary framework for these developments is the concept of a social enterprise ‘ecosystem’. The case explores the knowledge and understandings of the actors who constitute the social enterprises and ecosystem elements in order to uncover how the integrated support network of nodes and connections that constitute the ecosystem is formed. The practical issues, influences and sources of innovation involved in creating social enterprise ecosystems are explored by examination of the individuals, organisations and processes which constitute the hub or tree trunk sap for a place-based community network located the Danube Delta region of Romania (i.e. the local ecosystem developed by a local social enterprise). The research methodology involves in-depth interviews with key decision makers and the mapping of the nodes and links that make up the social enterprise ecosystem and the practical issues and influences this has on tourism businesses in the Danube basin-area.

Keywords Social enterprise • Ecosystem • Entrepreneurship • Tourism • Slow tourism • Community • Place based • Innovation • Risks • Romania • Danube Delta

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