Spiritual capital and social entrepreneurship: a case study of Nigeria




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Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship



Peer reviewed



This paper examines the relationship between spiritual capital and social entrepreneurship. Spiritual capital is defined as a set of intangible, transcendent resources that people draw from their religious beliefs or spiritual experiences (Kolade et al., 2019). Entrepreneurship is, at its core, a resource-driven endeavour. As a result, there is a significant and growing body of work on entrepreneurial resourcing. Scholars have employed a wide range of theoretical and analytical approaches to interrogate the means, processes, and strategies that entrepreneurs deploy to mobilise the resources they require to overcome challenges, recognise opportunities, and create and capture value. The firm's resource-based view distinguishes between tangible and intangible resources that entrepreneurs/managers deploy to create and capture value (Connor, 2002; Heirman and Clarysse, 2007). To achieve and maintain a competitive advantage, such resources or assets also need to be valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable (Lockett, Thompson, and Morgenstern, 2009). Concerning intangible resources, several studies have examined the role of human capital and social capital as two critical forms of intangible resources that influence entrepreneurial outcomes. Conversely, the concept of spirituality and spiritual capital has only emerged recently in the broader management, let alone entrepreneurship literature. This research seeks to explore spiritual capital as an intangible resource drawn on for social entrepreneurship. While recent studies have examined the links between spiritual capital and innovation performance ((Neubert et al., 2015) and entrepreneurial resilience (Sinha et al., 2019), this paper seeks to explore spiritual capital contextually as a driver of social entrepreneurship. We therefore propose a conceptual framework that illuminates the link between key elements of spiritual capital- such as self-transcendence, inspiration and spiritual values- and social entrepreneurship. We use Nigeria as a case illustration to briefly explicate this framework.



Spiritual capital, Social enterprise, Self transecendence, Social capital, Faith


Osunmakinde, A., Kolade, O., Mwila, N. (2021) Spiritual capital and social entrepreneurship: a case study of Nigeria. Paper presented at Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship `Annual Conference 2021, 28-29 October. Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)