This study gives a rich and detailed account of the lived experiences of social entrepreneurs in Gauteng, South Africa. The research seeks to give a better understanding of their day-to-day experiences in their journeys as social entrepreneurs. The paper also sheds light into their motivations, the key resources needed to start the enterprise, the types of support and benefits received and the challenges faced to date.
A qualitative research approach was used to gather data through face-to-face in-depth interviews. Judgement and purposive sampling techniques were used to select twelve respondents for the research. Findings of the research show that social entrepreneurs are motivated by a social objective and that this takes precedence over personal wealth creation. Social entrepreneurs need both tangible and intangible resources to begin a social enterprise. Although financial capital is imperative, this does not hinder the social entrepreneur from addressing the identified social need. Social entrepreneurs often receive support from different sources, such as the community and family. A common challenge faced is the inability to balance the double bottom line comprising of social impact and financial sustainability. Despite the challenges faced, these social entrepreneurs are persistent in making a difference. They are often celebrated by their communities, family members, and, most importantly, the beneficiaries for the positive impact they have made