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Problem Statement

Discuss about the Problems Faced By Social Entrepreneurs for Capitalism.

In the recent times, there has been a growing focus on organization's and individual business owners impact on the on the society and the environment. The focus has substantially shifted towards the realization of maximum profits by business entities while at the same time promoting sustainability. Many people in the modern world have become so concerned with engaging in profiteering ventures using their skills while at the same time impacting the world positively. This has seen the rise in Social entrepreneurship as the new business model because of its ability to combine a do-good mentality and Capitalism (Teufel,2007). Social entrepreneurship is the use of techniques to pursue innovative ideas which have the potential of providing solutions to cultural, environmental and social issues such as climate change, poor education standards, and hunger. Social entrepreneurs offer these solutions through partnerships, donation models as well as local and international collaborations (Hockerts, Mair & Robinson,2010) This research project proposal aims at identifying and analyzing problems that are faced by social entrepreneurs in the course of establishing and running social enterprises. The proposal begins with a statement of the problem, research aims, objectives and research questions, justification of the project and potential output, conceptual framework, methodology and finally concludes with an organization of the study, project budget, and schedule.

Social entrepreneurs establish social enterprises with the main aim of addressing perceived social, environmental and cultural challenges. The process of social entrepreneurship should, therefore, achieve a balance between offering solutions to perceived challenges and obtaining profits. Social entrepreneurs, therefore, should focus on positively impacting the environment and the society. However, with the gradual shift from other business models to the social entrepreneurship model have come various challenges which have continued to have an impact on social entrepreneurs and their ability to achieve their objectives. By affecting the operations of social entrepreneurs, these challenges have made it difficult for social entrepreneurs to remain sustainable while at the same time generating profits (Dagnino, 2012).  The inefficiency caused by these challenges presents a significant burden both regarding wasted opportunities and wasted time. The time and opportunities wasted as a result of these challenges translate to lump sum amounts of money per year.  Remaining focused on the part of social entrepreneurs and having in place policies to facilitate the acquisition of sufficient funding by the relevant authorities can help in mitigating these challenges. This can result in several benefits such as saving costs and time which can facilitate the establishment of new ventures and translate to increased productivity. Establishment of solutions to the numerous challenges facing social entrepreneurs in the modern times can help in facilitating the crucial roles played by social enterprises and in the realization of an increase in the number of social enterprises (Lyons, 2013).  This proposal will analyze the viability of the various solutions to the problems faced by social entrepreneurs and suggest steps for effective implementation.

Research Aims And Objectives

To identify the meaning of Social entrepreneurship

To identify the role played by social entrepreneurship in the economy

To establish the differences between other forms of entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship

To study the problems faced by social entrepreneurs

The Study is intended to provide answers to the following questions

Primary Question

What are the problems faced by social entrepreneurs?

Secondary Questions

What is meant by social Entrepreneurship?

What role do social entrepreneurs play in the economy?

What are the differences between social Entrepreneurship and other Forms of entrepreneurship?

Unlike other forms of entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship has remained to be a concept that is that is little known by many people. Lack of a clear-cut definition of the word social has been viewed as the main reason for this trend. Failure of social entrepreneurship to compete effectively with other forms of business in several parts of the world has made many people have a negative perception about social entrepreneurship and the subsequent reluctance by many potential social entrepreneurs to engage in social entrepreneurship (Jafta, 2013). The failure to understand the concept of social entrepreneurship has also resulted to the succeeding of only a few of the social enterprises out of many that have been established. Unlike other forms of businesses shutting down of a social enterprise affect not only the social entrepreneur but also the people or the ecosystems which the venture initially targeted to offer their services to. Failure of a social enterprise, therefore, leads to real world-consequences unlike failure of normal startups which only affect the owner, customers, and employees. 

In normal ventures, the profit-making acts as main motive behind their establishment. However, for social enterprises, the motive for providing solutions to existing problems is usually considered innate in which a social entrepreneur seeks to achieve personal fulfillment by offering services that meet ethical and moral standards. Social enterprises are therefore referred to as Non-profit organizations. As a result of these reasons, failure of a social enterprise is therefore considered to be more sensitive than the failure of other kinds of ventures. For this reason, it becomes significant to have an understanding of the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs which ultimately leads to the failure of social enterprises (Gilliss,2011).

The research will help in identifying reasons that make people establish social enterprises. Evaluate the differences that exist between social enterprises and other forms of entrepreneurship. It is also expected that the research will help in identifying the roles played by social entrepreneurs socially and economically. Different social entrepreneurs establish social enterprises to offer different kinds of products and services to identified segments with the aim of providing a solution to an existing need or problem. Challenges faced by social entrepreneurs are varied, but in some instances, most social enterprises fail for similar reasons. The research will also help in identifying the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs and the possible inputs of social entrepreneurs into these challenges as well as the possible solutions to these problems (Lyons,2013).  The research will also help in identifying why Social entrepreneurship is considered as the new business model. This research is also expected to give the researcher a deeper understanding of

Research Questions

What is meant by social entrepreneurship and the role played by social entrepreneurs in building successful social enterprises.

The descriptive conceptual framework will be used for analyzing data collected from this research. After it has been collected, data will be grouped in order of similarity. Selected Successful enterprises both small and large will be used as the case study for this research .data collected will then be analyzed to establish the relationships existing between variables. The research will also involve the use of questionnaires and surveys where it will be deemed necessary (Haag,2010). The research will also involve the use of technology to study the various life cycles of and stages of social enterprises. Various indicators to be considered will include ethical practices and sustainability measures, the levels of efficiency of operations, level of satisfaction on targets segments, financial performance as well as the level of satisfaction on the part of the social entrepreneur. Different types of social enterprises will be compared to establish whether they are all guided by similar principles.

Many scholars have engaged in in-depth research on the area of social research which has led to the rise of many scholarly works on the topic. Literature review gives an analysis of the various points of view and arguments given by scholars on a particular topic. This particular section of this proposal will, therefore, present an analysis of literature relating to the topic of social Entrepreneurship and compare their ideas, findings, thoughts, and recommendations. This literature review will be used as a basis for further research through the identification of the existing gaps that need to be filled

Zahra et al.,(2009) views social entrepreneurship as involving activities and processes that are carried out with the aim of discovering, defining and exploiting opportunities or incorporate technology in existing ventures to create wealth.(Sharir and Lener,2007) defined Social entrepreneurship as the application of business strategies to confront complex social challenges (Mair and mart,2007) view social entrepreneurship as a process involving the use of different resources innovatively in pursuing opportunities aimed at addressing social problems and catalyzing social change

Social entrepreneurs play many different roles that may differ from one geographical location to another. (Thomas, 2013) ,Identifies creation and sustenance of social value, engaging continuously in an innovative process, pursuing new opportunities relentlessly and acting without being limited to the scarcity of resources as the main roles played by social entrepreneurs. According to Jafta (2013), the role of social entrepreneurs is centered on creating social cohesion and equality in the world. He also observes that Social entrepreneurship help in providing solutions to developmental problems. (Deshi, 2010) states that the ability of social entrepreneurs to mobilize community resources makes them a very important component of community development

Justification Of The Project

There are differences that exist between social entrepreneurship and commercial entrepreneurship (Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, 2012).Bright,(2013) notes that while for social entrepreneurs the main focus is on solving a problem that their solution is intended to address, commercial entrepreneurs do not care about any solution so long as there is a monetary output. He continues to state that social entrepreneurs are more focused on understanding problems in their political, social economic and cultural contexts.(Robbie,2012) observes that social entrepreneurs know the exact problem and only struggle to create a solution for the problem, commercial entrepreneurs struggle with problems and build solutions aimed at looking for problems to solve.

Although there exist several success stories concerning social entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges. Walter et al. (2012) note that lack of a legislative framework is among the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. Lack of this legislative framework denies social entrepreneurs a chance to blend socially while at the same time generating maximum profits (Dees, 2007). According to (Gilliss, 2011) however, lack of Funding, lack of a plan, lack of focus by the social entrepreneur, lack of skilled workforce, lack of structure and central agenda are the main challenges facing social entrepreneurs.

Data for this research will be collected using both qualitative and quantitative methods

Qualitative data which will be collected in descriptive form will be used in developing research questions and ideas. Data collected through qualitative method will be analyzed to help understand the concept of social entrepreneurship as well as its challenges. After qualitative data has been collected, it will then be classified into different strata according to the existing relationships. Qualitative data will be majorly collected from secondary sources such as literature reviews, magazines, books, journal articles and other secondary sources (Kumar, 2011).  Some of the tools that will be used in qualitative research include online forums and surveys. The research will require physical visits to selected organizations and other social enterprises to understand different perceptions, opinions, and challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. Data collected through this method will be used in establishing challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. The data will be presented in report format. The qualitative method will be the main method for the study because of the nature of this study (Khan, 2011).  Apart from secondary data, primary data will also be collected from some selected social entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. This will be majorly collected through the use of face to face interviews and questionnaires to facilitate acquisition of first-hand information

Research Output

The following will be the organization of the study

Chapter one: Title and introduction to the research subject

Chapter two: Justification of the research and potential output

Chapter three: Literature review

Chapter Four: Research Methodology

Chapter Five: Analysis and discussion and summarizing of findings from the research 

The Figures shown below are the budget estimates estimate required to successfully conduct the research.

Budget item




Printing cost


Consultation fees


Material and supplies Printing cost


Accommodation & meals during research


Total cost


The research will involve a lot of traveling to gather as much information from different organizations

A number of materials will be required facilitate the research including a computer for analyzing the data that will be collected and stationery and other equipment to be used in collecting data

A considerable amount of money is also expected to be spent on various experts whose will be needed for the successful completion of the research

Materials to be used in the collection and analysis of data will also need. Some cost will be incurred in acquiring sufficient materials.

With the anticipated travelling, it is also expected that some considerable amount of money will be spent on accommodation and meals for the researcher and his/her team. High cost of food and accommodation is expected since the research will be conducted mostly in urban areas. 


Start Date


End Date

Identifying research subject




Formulation of research questions and setting research objectives




Identification and formulation of research design and strategy




Preparation of research proposal




Review of past literature




Collection of primary data




Analysis of data




Preparation and submission of final report





Austin, J., Stevenson, H., & Wei-Skillern, J. (2012). Social and commercial entrepreneurship: same, different, or both?. Revista de Administração (São Paulo), 47(3), 370-384.

Bright,B.S (2013).What Makes Social Entrepreneurs Different. Harvard Business School

Dees, J. G. (2007). Taking social entrepreneurship seriously, Society, 44(3), pp.24–31. doi:10.1007/BF02819936

Dagnino, G. B. (2012). Handbook of research on competitive strategy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dhesi, A. S. (2010). Diaspora, social entrepreneurs and community development. International Journal of Social Economics, 37(9), 703-716.

Haag, H. (2010). Research methodology for sport and exercise science: A comprehensive introduction for study and research. Berlin: Logos-Verl.

Hockerts, K., Mair, J., & Robinson, J. (2010). Values and opportunities in social entrepreneurship. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jafta, R. (2013). Social entrepreneurship can boost development in SA.

Khan, J. A. (2011). Research methodology. New Delhi: APH Publishing Corporation.

New Delhi : APH Publishing Corporation 

Kumar, R. (2011). Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. London : SAGE Publications Ltd

Lyons, T. S. (2013). Social entrepreneurship: How businesses can transform society. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger

Gilliss, C.L., (2011). The nurse as social entrepreneur: Revisiting our roots and raising our voices, Nursing Outlook, 59(5), pp.256–257.

Mair, J., & Marti, I. (2009). Entrepreneurship in and around institutional voids: A case study from Bangladesh. Journal of business venturing, 24(5), 419-435.

Robbie, A .(2012)Social Entrepreneurs Vs. Entrepreneurs: What’s the Difference?.Technori

Sharir, M., & Lerner, M. (2007). Gauging the success of social ventures initiated by individual social entrepreneurs. Journal of world business, 41(1), 6-20.

Teufel, F. (2007). Social entrepreneurship: Understanding a phenomenon and its nexus with current changes in philanthropy.

Thomas S (2013).The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Business. Triple Pundit

Zahra, S. A., Rawhouser, H. N., Bhawe, N., Neubaum, D. O., & Hayton, J. C. (2008). Globalization of social entrepreneurship opportunities. Strategic entrepreneurship journal, 2(2), 117-131.

Watters, K, Willington, L, Shutte, T & Kruh, R. (2012). Social Entrepreneurship – individuals with vision hold unlimited potential to alleviate poverty: The UnLtd South Africa model. 

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