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Entrepreneurial Universities: Tackling social, environmental, and economical challenges Extended abstract

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Abstract

Most of the relevant studies in Academic Entrepreneurship attempt to explain the importance of the role of universities in economic growth. A reason for the above is that universities generate research-based intellectual property, which can be later transferred to the industry or transformed into a university spin-off company. However, the scientific literature on Academic Entrepreneurship is limited when it comes to explaining what is the role that universities have when academic entrepreneurial initiatives seek to tackle social and environmental challenges without looking for economic growth. With this research, we want to contribute to the scientific literature on Academic Entrepreneurship by explain-ing how social and environmental challenges can be met by universities through entrepreneurship. We do this by using the theoretical lenses of Social Identity, Deontic Justice, and Legitimacy in the context of university entrepreneurship to argue that universities can address environmental and social challenges, by promoting not only commercial entrepreneurship based on research results, but also non-commercial entrepreneurship from university students. Based on em-pirical qualitative data obtained from semi-structured interviews (39), focus groups (6), observation panels (1), and surveys conducted among university staff, located in the countries of Bolivia, Colombia, and the Ecuador, we highlight fu-ture research opportunities, and discuss how stakeholders in the social entrepre-neurial ecosystems as well as policy makers, can leverage our findings.

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