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Title: Key success factors for scaling social enterprises in South Africa
Authors: Esau, Henry Oswald 
Tengeh, Robertson Khan 
Keywords: Social entrepreneurship;youth development;positive youth development;socio-ecological theory;social enterprise ecosystem framework;scaling strategies;key success factors;grassroots social enterprises
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center
Source: Esau, H. O. & Tengeh, R. K. 2022. Key success factors for scaling social enterprises in South Africa. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 9(4): 396-415. []
Journal: Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues 
Abstract: Governments rely increasingly on social partners for assistance to deliver on UNESCO’s sustainable development goals by 2030. However, community organisations are buckling under socio-economic hardship and a lack of donor funding during a global Covid19 pandemic. Many social enterprises (SEs) are faced with the reality of cutting back or in some instances, completely shutting down their operations. An investigation of the literature revealed a high rate of early-stage business failure in South Africa. Hence our investigation into the key success factors that will aid SEs to scale and thrive in the hostile South African socio-political and economic climate. Using a qualitative, single case study approach underpinned by an interpretivist philosophy, this paper investigates the critical success factors for scaling SEs in South Africa. Three (3) semi-structured interviews, website content analysis and observations were used in the study to deliver data that was thematically analysed to come to the following results: SEs must express the ambition to scale, provide a best practice model, and have a social entrepreneurship orientation. Grassroots SEs must create access for local communities by focusing on three organisational dimensions, i.e., personal, operational, and strategic. Community partnerships are an overarching factor when considering scaling GSEs. By forming a social contract with communities, SEs allow them to take ownership of the interventions, increasing social impact. This paper adds to the existing knowledge regarding the critical success factors that enable the scaling of SEs in South Africa. It also creates a frame of reference for grassroots SEs in other developing countries.
Description: Article
ISSN: 2345-0282
Appears in Collections:BUS - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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