Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship


A Replicable Evaluation Method of Social Entrepreneurship Centers and Programs


Article published in Emerging Research Directions in Social Entrepreneurship in 2014. .

Document Type



Prominent social entrepreneurship centers and programs in North America, Europe, and Asia are examined in terms of their position in the institutional structure, initial and additional funding, teaching initiatives, research achievements, and outreach activities. We computed performance by using a transparent coding scheme. Low correlations with institutional endowment and social entrepreneurship center/program performance offer evidence of discriminant validity of our ranking approach. Performance scores were used to rank-order social entrepreneurship centers/programs. Such an approach to examine social entrepreneurship center/program performance goes beyond the perception-based ranking instruments that popular magazines employ to evaluate subject-specific rankings. We examined data from 28 centers/programs and, in addition to an unweighted approach to ranking, we computed regression-weighted ranking of these centers/programs. The ranking instrument has strong discriminant validity and moderate inter-item reliability. With quickly growing numbers of centers/programs and associated faculty, additional attention and evaluation may be needed for related activities including role modeling, student mentoring by practitioners, and resultant social ventures. Implications for social entrepreneurship centers/programs, social entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurship scholars, and funders are discussed.