How does the stigma of failure affect social entrepreneurship entry decisions around the world? Informed by a real options logic, we hypothesize that the stigma of failure decreases the value of the option to defer social entrepreneurship entry. Results of a multi-level analysis of 50,349 individuals from 22 countries suggests that the stigma of failure is positively associated with social entrepreneurship entry decisions. Further, the impact of failure stigma is more prominent in low stigma environments. Lastly, the stigma of failure affects revenue-generating social entrepreneurship, but not NGO-type social entrepreneurship. This study is the first to examine the impact of stigma of failure on social entrepreneurship entry decisions.