Social entrepreneurship as emancipatory work

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Building on the ‘entrepreneuring as emancipation’ perspective, I explore the emancipatory potential of social entrepreneurship as a means to disengage individuals enthralled to ideology and trapped by their own past behavior. I studied two former religious-based terrorists from Indonesia, and their social enterprise, a cafe chain, which has successfully emancipated 10 ex-terrorists. In this paper, I show how engagement in entrepreneurship can be emancipatory through allowing individuals not only to escape some ideological constraints but also to construct new meaning in life and new social roles and connections that provide a platform for building a new future. Importantly, because social entrepreneurship as a form of organizing permits autonomy from an exclusive focus on profitability, it afforded the entrepreneurs I studied to achieve a degree of emancipation both for themselves and also for those they served. My results also have substantial practical value in elucidating a potentially valuable tool in efforts to reduce terrorist violence. I develop a grounded process model of social entrepreneurship as emancipatory work to summarize the study and offer avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-673
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Emancipation
  • Ideology
  • Social enterprise
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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