Social Entrepreneurship as Emancipatory Work

46 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2017

See all articles by Yanto Chandra

Yanto Chandra

City University of Hong Kong; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Date Written: August 22, 2017


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.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, ideology, terrorism, emancipation

JEL Classification: M1, M00, M13, O35, O31, O53, O38, Z18, Z38, Z12, Z13

Suggested Citation

Chandra, Yanto, Social Entrepreneurship as Emancipatory Work (August 22, 2017). Journal of Business Venturing, Forthcoming, Humanistic Management Association, Research Paper Series No. 17-38, Available at SSRN:

Yanto Chandra (Contact Author)

City University of Hong Kong ( email )

83 Tat Chee Avenue
Hong Kong


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University ( email )

Building GH
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong, Hung Hom, Kowloon HJ402

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