Social entrepreneurs in challenging places: a Delphi study of experiences and perspectives

Gareth R. T. White, Anthony Samuel, David Grant Pickernell, Dan Taylor, Rachel Mason-Jones

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Social Enterprises have grown in number and scope in response to reductions in state-provided welfare and increasing ambition to improve social conditions. Whilst a range of issues have been identified in the literature as affecting the ability of Social Enterprises to successfully conduct their activities, there is currently a dearth of research into the relative influence of these factors. This study explores and ranks the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs in South Wales. Based on a Delphi study with twenty-one social entrepreneurs, government policy-developers and scholars, it presents a hierarchy of fourteen factors, useful instruments for informing social entrepreneurs and policy makers about the way social enterprises are managed, and how national and local policy should be developed. As part of this, the study also identifies four novel factors that affect the sustainability of social enterprises: ‘Professionalisation of Marketing’, ‘Perception of Validity’, ‘Leadership’ and ‘Situatedness’
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-821
Number of pages22
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number8
Early online date10 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Hybridity
  • Social Enterprise
  • Delphi study
  • South Wales
  • Management


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