Exploring the Motivation of Nascent Social Entrepreneurs

Subject: Social entrepreuneurs

Resource Type: Training Manual

Author: Andrew J. Germak & Jeffrey A. Robinson

Language: English


Social entrepreneurship (SE) is an increasingly popular practice in which business solutions are applied to social problems. While empirical study of the various facets of SE is on the rise, the motivation of social entrepreneurs – a key antecedent of SE – has received little attention. In contrast, substantial theoretical and empirical work exists on the motivation of commercial entrepreneurs as well as the motivation for public–social sector work. Seeking to fill a gap in the SE literature, this paper presents qualitative findings from in-person, in-depth interviews with self-identified nascent social entrepreneurs that participated in an SE training program in the USA. The findings provide an empirical foundation for further theory development and research on SE motivation.


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Playing with Numbers: A Methodological Critique of the Social Enterprise Growth Myth

Subject: Social enterprise growth

Resource Type: Journal Article

Author: S. Teasdale, F. Lyon & R. Baldock

Language: English


Social enterprise is a contested concept which has become a site for policy intervention in many countries. In the UK the government has invested significant resources into social enterprise infrastructure, partly to increase the capacity of social enterprises to deliver or replace public services. Government publications show the number of social enterprises to have increased from 5,300 to 62,000 over a five-year period. This paper explores the myth of social enterprise growth in the UK through a methodological critique of the four government data sources used to construct and legitimise this myth. Particular attention is paid to how political decisions influence the construction of evidence. We find that growth is mainly attributable to political decisions to reinterpret key elements of the social enterprise definition and to include new organisational types in sampling frames.

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