Factors influencing social entrepreneurship propensity in South Africa

Teise, Heinrich Richardt
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Entrepreneurship, which is attracting notable attention in the modern world, has roots that extend back in time to the earliest traders. Interestingly, the phenomenon was only really identified and defined in the 17th and 18th century French economics. Today, the phenomenon has several permutations, one of which, social entrepreneurship, still remains enigmatic in its emergence. Several scholars claim that social entrepreneurship has been present for many years, however, the phenomenon has thus far been poorly articulated from an academic perspective. By definition, social entrepreneurship possesses the mission of addressing social challenges and injustices through economic and commercial means. Given this context, the main purpose of this research was to gain insight into those factors that could influence social entrepreneurship propensity in South Africa. Furthermore, given South Africa’s socio-economic challenges with poverty, unemployment and a widening unequal income distribution, social entrepreneurship bears particular relevance. A quantitative research approach was adopted, whereby data was collected through 249 questionnaire type surveys amongst tertiary business students. All the data was subsequently subjected to factor and multivariate statistical analyses. The findings of the research revealed six factors that could influence social entrepreneurship propensity. These factors were empirically derived and represented literature reasonably well. A particular factor, namely, moral judgement and empathy, upon which social entrepreneurship substantially hinges, showed modest levels present in the research. However, the overall results obtained in this research were positive and the conclusion that the propensity of possible social entrepreneurship engagement exists can be drawn. While this research can be considered as relatively new in South Africa, it does contribute to the body of knowledge in the social entrepreneurship domain. Notwithstanding, this research has also highlighted the importance of further research that social entrepreneurship still requires
MBA thesis
Entrepreneurship , Social entrepreneurship