Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the motivations of social entrepreneurs in East Africa to create a social enterprise and their identified links to successful social entrepreneurship in East Africa. Design/methodology/approach – The authors employed a qualitative method by performing thematic analysis on a set of interviews on social entrepreneurs from East Africa who are Ashoka fellows. Findings – The findings suggest that intense personal experiences linked to past-life events as well as a high achievement orientation towards improving livelihoods and creating impact serve as key triggers for social entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurship focusses on system change at national and local levels. Their success is also seen when the social entrepreneurs have achieved their mission and are no longer needed; thus, they become irrelevant. The paper discusses the implications of these findings on the model used for sustainable social entrepreneurship in East Africa. Practical implications – Based on an exploratory research on Ashoka fellows, the study adds insight to their motivations and success which can be used in a wider scale study of the same. Originality/value – The authors advance the scarce empirical research on East African social entrepreneurs, link success factors of social entrepreneurship to a recent framework on motivation to engage in social entrepreneurship and stimulate further research in the area. The study contributes to the literature on social entrepreneurship by linking success factors of social entrepreneurship to a recent framework on motivation to engage in social entrepreneurship.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Wanyoike, Caroline N. and Maseno, Matilda
"Exploring the Motivation of Social Entrepreneurs in Creating Successful Social Enterprises in East Africa,"
New England Journal of Entrepreneurship: Vol. 24
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/neje/vol24/iss2/2