Are extractive ventures more socio-environmentally committed?

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This article analyzes social entrepreneurial initiatives of established and early-stage extractive and non-extractive businesses. Empirical results based on the GEM Adult Population Survey 2015 show that extractive businesses are more likely to engage in social initiatives than non-extractive ones. However, both types of businesses show moderate commitment to social and environmental aspects of social entrepreneurship, such as reinvestment of profits and impact. This evidence lends mild support to the notion of a social license to operate. On the other hand, a structural equation model for the social entrepreneurial process shows that social awareness is fostered by a strong social entrepreneurial culture and strict protection of property rights, and led by extractive, innovative and growing businesses. This evidence suggests that social awareness may be a mechanism to facilitate long-term sustainability and moderate social license concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102288
JournalResources Policy
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Extractive sector
  • Generalized structural equation modeling
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Social license to operate


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