Dutch Knowledge Network for Social Entrepreneurship (KSON)

Our Story

The Dutch Knowledge Network for Social Entrepreneurship (KSON) is a unique initiative of researchers/lecturers from different Dutch universities, who share a common interest in promoting social entrepreneurship and have joined forces because the extent and complexity of present-day societal challenges goes beyond the capacity of individual organizations and calls for collaborative action. Within this network, knowledge and experiences are shared, educational materials are exchanged and proposals for joint research projects are formulated.

At present, the network communicates in Dutch and therefore most of this website is also in Dutch. Below you find basic information. If you need more info and / or want to contact the core team, then please get in touch by email: info@kson.nl.


By 2017, it became increasingly apparent that numerous Dutch universities were developing research and/or educational activities on social entrepreneurship. That same year, an initial meeting with twenty researchers/lecturers from five different universities of applied sciences was organized to explore the possibilities of sharing resources to jointly advance social entrepreneurship initiatives in The Netherlands. Since then, the network has grown to around fifty members from 20 universities, with multidisciplinary backgrounds such as Psychology, Business Studies, Economics, Social Work and Law.

The network typically meets three or four times a year, at different locations or online. Most meetings are hosted by one of the universities involved, but sometimes the host is a social enterprise. The meetings are aimed at sharing information related to recent developments in research projects, educational programs and national policy. Sometimes the meetings are combined with a national or regional event on social entrepreneurship.


KSON’s main objective is to bring together researchers, lecturers and students who are engaged in social entrepreneurship initiatives. Both research universities and universities of applied sciences are represented in the network. They share their experiences in both research and educational activities related to social entrepreneurship, thus establishing connections between entrepreneurs, research and education. The most essential characteristic of this network is that all researchers/lecturers involved agree on the fact that they want to share instead of compete.


Meeting colleagues, knowing what everyone is up to


Sharing knowledge, in order to be able to use complementary knowledge


Building connections and networks in research and education


Improve the social entrepreneurial ecosystems in The Netherlands


The content of most network meetings is mostly focused on sharing information on developments regarding current research, education and policy on social entrepreneurship. The network has resulted in several joint research projects that have been awarded with national research funding, for instance on ‘future-proof social entrepreneurship’. Some of these projects website are hosted on the website of KSON.