This large-scale statistical study tests the validity of two factors that explain why social entrepreneurs measure their social impact as addressed by qualitative case based research. For this purpose, data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2015-survey is used to test the significance of the ‘measuring to prove’ and ‘measuring to improve’ dichotomy. Based on the results of a fixed-effects logistic regression analysis, this paper finds validation for both factors. Hence, the empirical setup allows for generalising the findings to a broader scope. Regarding ‘measuring to prove’, this paper finds that social entrepreneurs who receive funding from the government are more likely to measure their social impact compared to receiving funds from other sources. Regarding ‘measuring to improve’, this paper finds that social impact measurement is more likely among social entrepreneurs who innovate and prioritise their social mission. In addition, the ‘measuring to improve’ factor seems to be a stronger predictor for measuring social impact than the ‘measuring to prove’ factor. This paper may guide the actions of funders , policy makers and scholars who are engaged in the field of social entrepreneurship, generally, and social impact measurement, specifically.
Michiel van Rijn, Jörg Raab, Femke Roosma & Peter Achterberg (2021) To Prove and Improve: An Empirical Study on Why Social Entrepreneurs Measure Their Social Impact, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, DOI: 10.1080/19420676.2021.1975797