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Title: 'Starting-up, not slowing down' : social entrepreneurs in an ageing society
Author: Djebali, Zeineb
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 3067
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2018
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A growing body of literature examines entrepreneurial intentions of people aged fifty and over who can be referred to as 'later life' entrepreneurs (e.g. Curran and Blackburn, 2001; Singh and DeNoble, 2003; Weber and Schaper, 2003). However, there is a significant gap in our knowledge about entrepreneurial (social) intentions for people in the same age group. This study uses qualitative research incorporating twenty-eight in-depth interviews with social entrepreneurs aged fifty and over as well as seven expert interviews with members of the Age Action Alliance. These were used to explore the factors these social entrepreneurs consider important in their decision to set up their social enterprises, their 'everyday' lives, and the challenges they face and how they might be supported. An interpretive social constructionist approach was adopted to examine and make sense of the participants' daily lived experiences, from their perspectives. Data was analysed using a thematic analysis approach (Braun and Clarke, 2006) and the findings revealed the participants were driven by 'making a difference' to people's lives, with each having a different interpretation of the factors they considered important in influencing their entrepreneurial (social) intentions, affecting their social orientations and their entrepreneurial (social) identity. The participants displayed a strong sense of commitment to the social need they identified. Nevertheless, despite some perceiving income generation to be significant for facilitating their ability to achieve their social objectives, others viewed income generation to be incompatible with their social mission. This study examines the subjective views of social entrepreneurs aged fifty and over and the ways in which they construct their 'everyday lives' as social entrepreneurs. It provides insights about the interplay between the participants' motives for setting up their social enterprises and their age and entrepreneurial (social) identity. In addition, this study provides an in-depth understanding of the benefits the participants gained during the social entrepreneurial process, whilst bringing significant insights into the challenges and barriers they experienced and how they might be supported. As such, this study extends theoretical and empirical research on social entrepreneurship and social enterprise by developing our understanding of the 'everyday' lived experiences of social entrepreneurs in 'later life' from their own perspectives. It is recommended this study be used as a guide for policy makers and organisations that are supporting social entrepreneurs in this age group. Future research should, therefore, be carried out to examine entrepreneurial (social) intentions of different age groups, as more investigation is needed to explain whether the support required by social entrepreneurs is age specific. Furthermore, it is suggested this study could be useful for academic researchers who would like to further their knowledge on the underlying factors that drive those aged fifty and over to become social entrepreneurs and how they view their 'everyday' lives from their perspectives.
Supervisor: Di Domenico, MariaLaura ; Saunders, Mark Sponsor: Surrey Business School ; UnLtd ; ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available