Social entrepreneurship has always been a contested concept, both within the academic discourse and in practice. A lot of scholarly eﬀort has been put into analyzing the diﬀerent definitions of social entrepreneurship and the negative consequences that the definitional debate has on the opportunity to advance social entrepreneurship as a research field. Very little is known about what the consequences of the multiple meanings of social entrepreneurship are for people working in the sector. This paper advances knowledge on this topic by looking at the social entrepreneurship sector in England and by investigating through qualitative research methods what sector members think about social entrepreneurship and its unclear boundaries. The results show that there are three diﬀerent conceptions of social entrepreneurship within the sector in England. However, while everyone agrees on the presence of a definitional debate, opinions on what this means for the sector are several. Some members think it is something positive; some others think it is causing diﬀerent issues, and a third group considers it as irrelevant.
Keywords: social entrepreneurship, defnitons, social enterprises, social entrepreneurs, UK, England.