Our paper 'The Motivation of Social Entrepreneurs: The roles, agendas and relations of altruistic economic actors' has been accepted for publication in "The Journal of Social Entrepreneurship'. The paper can be accessed on :
Social entrepreneurs present a contradiction if one accepts that economic motivation is premised on personal gain alone. In our understanding of the economic activity of social entrepreneurs we presume they are altruistic actors, their actions intending to primarily benefit others. We compare here the theoretical and actual motivations, social networks and values of these actors. A series of semi-structured interviews of prominent social entrepreneurs in the West of England forms the basis of our analysis. Our subjects are selected through a nomination-referral technique that allow us to determine and target for interview those that are considered prominent in the sector within our chosen location. We conduct two types of analysis. A narrative exploration of their motivations and a semantic networks analysis of their statements. We have found a conceptual association between those actors success, entrepreneurship, motivation and social relations that indicate profitable avenues for future research. We conclude by making a policy recommendation. The multiple roles of social entrepreneurs and the multiple audiences they address indicate multidimensional agency. The development of the sector could very much depend on comprehending conflict inherent in their multiple agendas.