International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Social Entrepreneurship as a Mechanism for Agro-Innovation: Evidence from Doi Tung Development Project, Thailand
Wyn Ellis, Apiwat Ratanawaraha, Dispanadda Diskul, Achara Chandrachai

Numerous attempts have been made to conceptualize social entrepreneurship in terms of Schumpeterian entrepreneurship theory and Sen’s capability approach. This paper aims to examine social entrepreneurship as a practical mechanism for facilitating technology adoption within the agro-innovation system. A study of technology adoption among participants in the Doi Tung Development Project (DTDP), a long-running social enterprise in northern Thailand, revealed significant adoption of new technologies and accompanying welfare benefits for project participants since the project’s launch in 1988. The study also identified three modalities for institutional interventions by DTDP, categorized by their primary functions in risk reduction, knowledge-provision and welfare-enhancement. The empirical findings help to affirm the significance of institutional interventions financed under the social entrepreneurship model in delivering the positive long-term welfare outcomes seen at DTDP. The study concludes that social entrepreneurship can serve as a viable and sustainable practical mechanism for facilitating agro-innovation.

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