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
Number of pages43
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Not yet published as of 21/03/2022.


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


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