Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Low-Density Territories: The i3Social Project




Social entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Social Sustainability, I3Social


The last decade has seen a significant increase in economic and social inequalities, especially in Portugal's inland territories. As a consequence, the increase in social needs is increasingly evident in low-density territories. In this sense, social entrepreneurs have an important role in society, to the extent that, by having more direct contact with their surroundings, they are also more alert to identify needs, which until then have not had the necessary response from public policies. Thus, social entrepreneurship, allied with innovation, can serve as a "tool" to meet social needs, as well as help combat depopulation. Thus, this work shows the social entrepreneurship activities developed within the i3Social project, which aims to clarify the aspects and dynamics of social entrepreneurship to create social businesses. In this sense, this work also seeks to give an overview of what social entrepreneurship involves, i.e., in practical terms, to show that there is a path that should and must be followed for the business idea to become effective and successful in the social intervention market.

Author Biographies

Manuel Salgado, Polytechnic of Guarda

Manuel Salgado is vice-president of Polytechnic Institute of Guarda and Professor in the School of Tourism and Hospitality, Portugal.  PhD in Tourism from the University of Aveiro, in 2007. Integrated Member of the Research Unit - Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policy (GOVCOPP), University of Aveiro.

Ana Daniel, Polytechnic of Guarda

Ana Daniel is a professor of Management at Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Portugal. She received her PhD in Quantitative methods applied to economics and management from Algarve University in 2010. Her main research area is management.

Ascensão Braga, Polytechnic of Guarda

Ascensão Braga is a professor of Management at Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Portugal. She received her PhD in Management from Évora University in 2005. Her main research area is management.

João Copeto, Polytechnic of Guarda

João Copeto is a research fellow of i3Social project at Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Portugal. He received his Master in Management in the field of public administration from Polytechnic Institute of Guarda in 2021. 

Rosa Branca Tracana, Polytechnic of Guarda

Rosa Branca Tracana is a professor of science education at the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda. Ph.D. in Child Studies from the University of Minho, Portugal. She has diverse scientific activity: articles published in International Journals and chapters of books,referee in several international journals, and have been involved in the organization of International Conferences. Her main area research areas are science education, environmental and health education, and innovation.

Cristina Castro, Polytechnic of Guarda

Cristina de Castro, Bachelor Degree in Communication and Public Relations, Master's degree in Marketing and Communication, postgraduate degree in Project Management and Official Industrial Property Agent.