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Social Entrepreneurship in China’s Non-profit Sector

The Case of Innovative Participation of Civil Society in Post-disaster Reconstruction
Xiaomin Yu
p. 53-61


In recent years, civil society organisations in China have increasingly taken entrepreneurial and innovative approaches to enhance their ability to fulfil social missions. How are we to delineate the salient characteristics of non-profits engaging in socially entrepreneurial activities in comparison with their conventional counterparts? Will the emergence of social entrepreneurship in China’s non-profit sector engender new opportunities for grassroots social organisations to overcome the financial and institutional impediments constraining their development? This article tackles these issues through an in-depth case study of a typical social entrepreneurship initiative launched in the process of post-disaster construction after the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008. The findings indicate that socially entrepreneurial non-profits participate in post-disaster reconstruction more innovatively than conventional non-profits in various ways. Nevertheless, they still need to conquer organisational and contextual challenges before evolving into an effective remedy to the development pains of grassroots social organisations in China.

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Bibliographical reference

Xiaomin Yu, « Social Entrepreneurship in China’s Non-profit Sector », China Perspectives, 2016/3 | 2016, 53-61.

Electronic reference

Xiaomin Yu, « Social Entrepreneurship in China’s Non-profit Sector », China Perspectives [Online], 2016/3 | 2016, Online since 01 September 2017, connection on 04 December 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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About the author

Xiaomin Yu

Xiaomin Yu is an associate professor in the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Beijing Normal University.School of Social Development and Public Policy, New Main Building Room 2007, 19 Xinjiekou Wai Street, Beijing, P. R. China, 100875 (

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