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Purpose – This paper aims to examine the factors that influence and collectively conspire to inhibit social enterprises’ abilities to flourish in geographies of economic and social deprivation. Drawing upon the extant literature, it deploys a Delphi study to rank the relative importance of these factors.

Design/methodology/approach – A two-round Delphi study has been used to assess the relative importance of the issues that beset social enterprises. The research panel consisted of owner-managers of nine social enterprises from South Wales (UK).

Findings – The findings indicate that the prime challenge faced by social enterprise owner-managers is balancing their dual mission. The difficulties faced in delivering social value while remaining financially viable is one that appears to impinge upon the other strategic and operational challenges they face.

Research limitations/implications – The generalizability of this study that utilizes expert insight is dependent upon the nature of the panel. In this instance, social enterprise owner-managers studied operated within a socially deprived region of the UK. The relative influence of the tensions that affect social enterprises in less impoverished areas of the UK or other geographies may well differ.

Originality/value – Drawing upon the extant literature that examines the tensions that surround social enterprises, the prevailing factors are considered and ranked of significance. The resulting ranking provides a crystallised vantage point for policy and support. This could be used to better inform the allocation of resources to facilitate a favourable eco system capable of supporting social enterprises who operate in areas troubled by economic and social deprivation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-38
JournalSocial Enterprise Journal
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

ID: 2820456