Motivations for social entrepreneurship in Finland
1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
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The purpose of this study is to examine the motivations of certain entrepreneurs who decide to become social entrepreneurs. There was a gap in the knowledge of how and why social entrepreneurship attracts entrepreneurs and why they choose to operate as social enterprises instead of operating as more traditional companies. Social entrepreneurship is relatively new phenomenon in the field of entrepreneurial research, even though many of its components have existed under a different name for decades. Social entrepreneurs have a mission to solve social problems and their top priority is not to generate as much profit as possible to the shareholders, unlike traditional companies. In Finland, the research on the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship is still in its infancy. Therefore, it was important to add new and valuable information to the existing literature on the topic. Empirical data of the study were collected by conducting five semi-structured individual interviews via VoIP service Skype. The interviewees were social entrepreneurs who all provided health care and social welfare related services. Based on the empirical findings, the main reason why entrepreneurs choose to become social entrepreneurs is their value system. The interviewees expressed their willingness to create social value, help people who are less fortunate, solve social problems in the society, and operate their businesses as morally and ethically as possible. The interviewees want to be open and transparent in their business operations and threat their employees with respect and care for their well-being. Personality traits can contribute to the entrepreneurial orientation as well. Scores in the values of self-transcend, self-enhancement and conservation are the most important determinants of the entrepreneurial orientation. High scores in the values of self-transcend and conservation heavily suggest social orientation whereas high score in the value self-enhancement would indicate traditional orientation. The empirical data suggests that the values do predict entrepreneurial orientation. Indications for high scores in self-transcend and conservation were apparent, while indications for high score in self-enhancement were not present.
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