Exploring the Motivation of Nascent Social Entrepreneurs

Andrew J. Germak, Jeffrey A. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Social entrepreneurship
  • motivation
  • nascent social entrepreneurs
  • social enterprise
  • social innovation


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