The development of the third sector in Australia has involved the negotiation of varying forms of state and market regulatory mechanisms. In the course of these settlements, ground-up initiatives have often found that authenticity is only the starting point on journeys that end in incorporation. Social entrepreneurship is an emerging set of ideas which attempts to hold on to the authentic and unique elements generated by grassroots actions. What are its chances of success? This article sets out to answer this question through a discussion of regulation and social capital. A four-fold model of social cap ita I formation is advanced which outlines 'defensive', 'consolidative', 'inclusive' and 'regulated' social capital. It is concluded that while social entrepreneurship has the potential to shift social capital formation from reactive to active forms, it is likely to become increasingly standardised and regulated.