The role of Social Entrepreneurship and Education in addressing Native American social and economic challenges: A transformative study
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Native Americans suffer from social and economic challenges, including psychiatric problems, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and poverty. One possible solution is social entrepreneurship. The purpose of this study was to determine how social entrepreneurs could successfully engage Native American populations to reduce social challenges. This study was conducted through the lens of the transformative worldview and grounded in servant leadership by exploring the potential role of social enterprises as a vehicle for service to improve the social and economic conditions of particular groups. The general research question was: How do social entrepreneurs effectively engage indigenous groups to reduce social challenges through social enterprises? The two specific research questions were: RQ1. How do social entrepreneurs build sustainable social enterprises? RQ2. What is the role of cultural intelligence in effectively building sustainable social enterprises with an indigenous population? In this transformative mixed-methods study, a case study and two quantitative instruments were used. Interview and other qualitative data were analyzed through the process of coding. Survey results were analyzed and interpreted using descriptive statistics. Data from all sources were triangulated and converged for an accurate coding schema. Findings from this study were that access to education and opportunities for practical experience are keys to developing Native Americans for social enterprise careers, and cultural intelligence in the forms of understanding and application were key to outside social enterprises’ interest in working with Native American populations. Additional research is needed to study the relationships between social enterprises and Native American populations, given that this is the first known study to cover the topic.