Progress is not a car. It can have many engines. For example hunger, fear, curiosity, lack of time, lack of resources, desire to dominate, etc.
I think that the engine of progress is, first of all, the mind. Smart people drive progress. But if this is just scientific knowledge, then the incentive is simple scientific interest. And if this is an invention of some technology, then the main incentive here is benefit. If we are talking about social progress (feminism, emancipation, the struggle for democracy), then here the main stimulus is the accumulated dissatisfaction in society with their position and the desire for a better life.