Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore societal entrepreneurship in the turbulent health-care sector in a changing welfare state, Sweden. Empirically oriented questions about the businesses explored in this paper are: how do the entrepreneurs see combining “health-driven” and profit-driven enterprises? What mindset and strategies guide their enterprises? What organizatorial solutions are used?
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on two case-entrepreneurs, selected due to the author's perception of them as successful both as businesses and as societal change agents. The entrepreneurs have been interviewed by means of unstructured dialogues.
Findings – Both entrepreneurs prove to be frontier crossing combiners in several dimensions; they unite ideological commitment with economically sound businesses, they bring together their medical professions and complementary methods of treatment, they combine bridge building with challenging and they reconcile part-time entrepreneurship with employment.
Research limitations/implications – With regard to the long-term preconditions for societal entrepreneurship, it is concluded that these two entrepreneurial processes have traits of both opportunity- and self-exploitation. The long-term social sustainability of enterprises of this kind is an issue for further research.
Originality/value – The paper goes beyond non-profit research by exploring societal entrepreneurship in the for-profit sector, with focus on entrepreneurship which crosses sectoral borders.
2009. Vol. 5, no 3, 282-298 p.