Social Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Upper-Middle-Income Countries: Social Policy and Sustainable Economic Development Implications

Allan Villegas-Mateos, Mario Vázquez-Maguirre*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to explore how a region’s degree of vulnerability influences the perceived level of support toward social entrepreneurship from a social entrepreneurial ecosystem perspective. The study of social entrepreneurial ecosystems (SEEs) constitutes a promising area for its potential to support high-impact entrepreneurs, but they are currently underexplored in upper-middle-income countries. This study also combines a macro-level (countries) and a meso-level (vulnerability regions) analysis to better understand how national policies may affect the perceptions of different ‘regions’ and, consequently, sustainable economic development. This study follows principal component analysis and non-parametric statistics to compare the means of the countries and the levels of regions’ vulnerabilities based on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s regional data from Chilean (n = 276) and Mexican (n = 188) experts. At the macro level, the results show that experts in Chile have a better perception of social policies for social entrepreneurship than their counterparts in Mexico. At the meso-level, experts in high-vulnerability regions have a better perception of the social ecosystem dynamism than those in the low-vulnerability regions. The results contribute to the urgent dialogue to set up strategies that allow upper-middle-income countries and their regions to achieve greater impact and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number729
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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