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    Identity capital: an exploration in the context of youth social entrepreneurship

    Lewis, KV (2016) Identity capital: an exploration in the context of youth social entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 28 (3-4). pp. 191-205. ISSN 0898-5626

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    © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Côté’s model of ‘identity capital’ is said to comprise a set of strengths and psycho-social skills that are deployed by individuals to both define themselves and represent how others define them. Identity capital is multi-dimensional by nature, both tangible and intangible in character and acquired through the application of resources in identity exchanges. The identity capital framework is built around the youth experience and is, therefore, germane to an exploration of the meaning, motivation and value of youth engagement with socially entrepreneurial endeavours. The young are described as an increasingly important cohort in terms of the creation of socially innovative solutions to the world’s ‘wicked problems’ – and as leaders, not merely followers. In this paper, the model is applied to a single case study of a young New Zealand social entrepreneur using multiple sources of both primary and secondary data (with a longitudinal orientation). Particular emphasis is given to probing how identity capital in this example is accumulated, deployed and exchanged in relation to the lived experience of being a young social entrepreneur, and through a socially entrepreneurial cultural frame of reference.

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