Aim of paper: This paper explores how an entrepreneurial mindset can be developed using a South African case due to its complexities of high social challenges in a middle-income country. These complexities have restricted opportunities at which the social sector operates.

Methodology: Empirical research was used to collect research papers on social entrepreneurs, with reference to social entrepreneur (ship) in South Africa. A search using Scopus with key words ‘social entrepreneur (ship)’ and ‘South Africa’ yielded 63 documents. The core question was to determine how the development of the entrepreneurial mindset has been documented in South Africa’s social sector with specific reference to the non-profit sector to create social value.

Key findings: Developing an entrepreneurial mindset means influencing not only ways of thinking, skills and knowledge, but also a reflection through attitudes and an observable set of behavioural patterns.

Practical implications: The development of a conscious awareness that incorporates social and environmental issues and a contribution of ‘Ubuntu’ principles with a combination of resources for a mix of innovation to target social needs.

Conclusion: A targeted educational curriculum (both at school and institutions of higher learning) is required to integrate entrepreneurial development with a social focus