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Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Research Accelerator Grant Awardee 2017: Tanja Collavo

Bridging the academia-practitioners gap to improve the ecosystem of support for social entrepreneurial projects

'Tanja’s Research Accelerator Grant will allow her to diffuse her research findings on networks and influence strategies adopted in the social entrepreneurship sector. The award will be used to provide practitioners with relevant information on the state of the sector and on effective (and less effective) practices to support its growth with the help of networks.

'Core to this effort is the creation of a case study to teach MBAs how to strategise in the social entrepreneurship sector. The case study concerns a sector intermediary trying to survive in a highly competitive environment and building a network contributing to the growth of social enterprises and to the establishment of the social entrepreneurship sector as mainstream. The objective is to challenge MBA students into finding alternative revenue streams for this intermediary, thinking about the non-market strategies needed to gain legitimacy in the sector and understanding how to build a network to favour the growth of social impact.

'An additional strand of Tanja’s work will focus on connecting academics with practitioners, starting from her own experience of disseminating her PhD research findings into both the academic and practitioner worlds. Her work will explore how academics engage with stakeholders in order to make their findings useful and relevant as well as theoretically sound and enriching. Outputs from this work will be accessible to both academic and non-academic audiences.'

About Tanja Collavo

Tanja Collavo started her DPhil in October 2013. She specialises in networks present in the social entrepreneurship sector and in how they can be managed so to not only foster the creation of social impact but also produce changes at field or sector level. She is a member of New College and she has been awarded the Saïd Foundation Scholarship for her DPhil studies. In 2016 she was also awarded the Skoll Centre Early Career Research Fellowship.

Tanja's area of expertise is Strategy and Innovation. She has a special interest in social enterprises, which she started to get involved with in 2011, after meeting some social entrepreneurs and getting to know their companies. She believes social enterprises might represent a new important source of work and growth and a potential avenue for a more sustainable globalization and development.

Her research focuses on organisations acting as brokers in the social enterprise sector. She is interested in exploring how brokerage is carried out in a sector in need of matching players with very different backgrounds (business, public sector, and third sector players) and in how brokerage activities are shaping the social entrepreneurship sector's evolution.

The working title of Tanja's thesis is 'Creating and managing networks to foster social and institutional change. The case of brokerage in the social entrepreneurship sector in England'.

Read more about Tanja

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