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Humanity experiences numerous social and environmental problems as the years go by. Although some glimpses of hope still can be found all around the globe, coordinated and holistic activities are still in their infant stages. These problems include poverty, lack of basic human rights, high-grade pollution, unemployment, lack of access to basic education and healthcare systems, gender inequality, maltreatment of children and women, exclusion of the disadvantaged and marginalized groups from the bulk of society, armed conflict and ongoing fear of terrorism, refugee discrimination, and environmental problems both present in the contemporary era and those looming in the horizon such as high gas emission and pollution of the clean water sources (Seelos and Mair, 2005; Praszkier and Nowak, 2012). In addition to the aforementioned problems stated above, food insecurity and food waste present even bigger problems not only in undeveloped or developing countries but also in developed ones. As reported similarly in the reports of the United Nations, a third of the world’s food is wasted while many people struggle with poverty and do not have access to sufficient food (FAO, 2020).

Dealing with these pressuring problems requires a systematic approach that can be provided by social entrepreneurship. Within this context, social entrepreneurship acts as a bridge between problems and their solutions by taking the role of a catalyst.

According to Santos (2012), sustainable and long-term solutions to these problems are provided by social entrepreneurship. Various characteristics make up the nature of social entrepreneurs. These characteristics are ambition, persistence, altruism, and cantankerous nature. Furthermore, relying not on other people or public bodies and aiming for systematic changes can be listed as the additional traits of social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship is exercised by aiming to generate social value and to host a social transformation endeavor. To achieve this aim, social entrepreneurs seek out opportunities to create value and identify them beforehand, embrace

innovative approaches, tolerate risk to a high extent, and refuse to limit themselves with the scarcity of the available resources (Peredo & McLean, 2006).

In the contemporary era, gastronomy is always considered as one of the biggest fields in the service industry along with other sectors such as tourism, hospitality, and recreation. Although many definitions exist in the literature, Artusi (2003) considers gastronomy as the “science of the kitchen and the art of eating well”. On the other hand, Vega and Ubbink (2008) defines gastronomy as the “practice or art of choosing, cooking and eating good food”. In the field of gastronomy, chefs are considered as the main players who design the food that is the final output of the process. In the recent years, chefs have become more visible and started to be more conscious of problems which endangers the social welfare. Also, they strongly desire to transform the plate that they prepared into a social benefit. In addition, they aim to destroy existing non- functional food systems and replace them with newer and more sustainable ones (Pereira et al., 2019). More clearly, social gastronomy entrepreneurs use their entrepreneurial principles to develop innovative ideas for social inclusion and wide- scale change in society. As stated by Navarro-Dols and González-Pernía (2020) chefs act as social innovator and change maker actors in the field of gastronomy. Thus, they have started to utilize the already-known transformative force of gastronomy (Morales and Copping, 2015) for developing the social welfare of the society they live within.

This transformative and healing power of gastronomy is also closely associated with the social entrepreneurship aspects.

Widely considered as one of the biggest gastronomy associations, Basque Culinary Center (BCC) aims to change the various aspects of society via gastronomy since 2016 (Basque Culinary Center, 2020). To encourage chefs all around the world to be more conscious of the social problems, BCC holds a chef-exclusive competition called the Basque Culinary World Prize (BCWP), also dubbed as Nobel of gastronomy. Award of the BCWP is one hundred thousand euro, which is given to the winner to support their endeavor of developing their communities in various areas such as education, environment, supporting local products and producers as well as developing more abstract areas such as innovation of the culinary, developing the food industry and many other areas. The main goals of the BCWP can be derived from its finalists’ social objectives, such as providing food for the disadvantaged population, completely reducing the waste of food, social and labor integration, improving the food

consumption habits and living conditions, and providing support for the local products and producers (Basque Culinary World Prize, 2019). Moreover, Social Gastronomy Movement (SGM) is another crucial reflection of social entrepreneurial practices within the borders of the gastronomy scene. SGM is a human-centered movement that was found by David Hertz with an aim to address social inequalities, eliminate food waste, reduce food insecurity, fight hunger, improve nutrition-based education opportunities, train disadvantaged young chef candidates, empower others, and create sustainable job offerings for those who live in the pariah of society and recognized as disadvantaged segments of the population. More precisely, achieving social inclusion through food is the main objective of SGM which confirms the speech of David Hertz;

“Food for us is a tool, it’s not a mean” (Global Gastro Economy Summit, 2019b).

In the light of this information, understanding how chefs have taken the role as gastronomic innovators or change-makers in recent years, what drives them to engage in social gastronomy entrepreneurship, and their ability to transform society through the altering power of gastronomy is quite crucial for both scholars and practitioners.

In this regard, the creation of a detailed holistic approach to the topic of social entrepreneurship in the gastronomy industry constitutes the objective of this dissertation.

This dissertation is comprised of six chapters. The first chapter of this dissertation consists of the introduction part which acts as a pathway into the literature review and the overall topic. The introduction part provides brief information about social entrepreneurship, the transformative role of gastronomy in social problems, and some examples of the real-world practices that are currently undertaken by practitioners.

The second chapter of this thesis begins with the historical background of entrepreneurship and numerous definitions that were extracted from the literature. To develop a comprehensive and holistic understanding of social entrepreneurship, clarifying the term of entrepreneurship as the first step is deemed necessary. After defining entrepreneurship, the nature of the entrepreneurs is explained, followed by a detailed explanation of their personality traits such as risk-taking propensity, need for achievement, locus of control, tolerance towards ambiguity, innovativeness, self- confidence, creativity, and need for autonomy. The chapter is finalized with the shades of the entrepreneurial process and different types of entrepreneurship.

In the third chapter of this dissertation, the origins and boundaries of social entrepreneurship are scrutinized followed by the social entrepreneurial process. Same chapter is followed by the nature of the social entrepreneurs. Within this headline, personality traits, underlying motivations, main challenges that are faced on a day-to- day basis, and lastly resources available to social entrepreneurs are examined.

Differences between traditional entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship are mentioned, followed by the components of social entrepreneurship such as social mission, social vision, social venture, social enterprise, social innovation, and social economy. Successful social entrepreneurship examples from all over the world are also discussed throughout the chapter. The chapter is concluded by examining the related areas and the relationship between social entrepreneurship and gastronomy.

The fourth chapter of the dissertation consists of the methodology of the research. The chapter starts by mentioning the importance and foremost aim of the study, followed by the development of the research questions, research methodology, population, and the sampling technique employed throughout the study, process of data collection and its subsequent analysis has been examined. To be more specific; qualitative content analysis, interpretative structural modeling, and MICMAC analysis have been examined in detail.

In the fifth chapter, the findings and results of the study have been discussed. Findings have been separated into three parts. In this first part, results of the inductive content analysis have been displayed whereas, in the second and third parts, findings of the interpretative structural modeling and MICMAC analysis have been presented respectively.

Sixth and the last chapter of this dissertation presents the discussion and conclusion of the study. Within this chapter, inferences are made which derived from the findings of the study. In addition to this, potential implications to real-life examples and literature have been provided. Similarly, some suggestions are provided towards the social entrepreneur candidates whose main playing field is gastronomy. Lastly, the limitations of this study and future research recommendations are mentioned

CHAPTER 2