Starting up, not slowing down: social entrepreneurial intentions in later working-life

Zeineb Djebali, MariaLaura DiDominico, Mark Saunders

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Despite a growing literature on entrepreneurial intentions, there remain gaps in the understanding of how these are affected by the age of later working-life social entrepreneurs. This research examined ‘over-50s’ social entrepreneurs’ understandings of age as an antecedent of their social entrepreneurial intentions. In-depth interviews were conducted with 28 UK-based social entrepreneurs. Our findings demonstrate that social entrepreneurial intentions in later working-life are influenced by an interplay of necessity, fulfilment, and experienced later life, age being perceived as a positive construct rather than as a barrier. Our research contributes to the social entrepreneurship and small business literature by enhancing and advancing current knowledge and theorisation of over 50s’ social entrepreneurial intentions. We reveal firstly how social entrepreneurs make sense of their older age and the influence of their social entrepreneurial intentions; and secondly how these social entrepreneurial intentions are formed by the intertwining of necessity, fulfilment and experienced later life.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Early online date14 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (DTC), the University of Surrey and a third sector organisation.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • ageing
  • later working-life
  • social entrepreneurial intentions
  • social entrepreneurship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management


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