The phenomenon of social enterprises is growing in South Africa; as a result there is a need to study management of these organisations in an effort to enhance their sustainability. The concept of social enterprise is still undefined in South Africa, and this lack of clarity is resulting in the inappropriate use and classification of non-profit organisations as social enterprises amid the growing trend of converting traditional non-government organisations into self-sustainable entities. The purpose of this study is to identify and explore factors which may improve the management and the sustainability of social enterprises as hybrid organisations.
A quantitative research study was conducted to assess the relationship between these factors. Founders and managers of social enterprises participated in the study by completing an online survey. This study indentified that the following factors have an influence on the sustainability of social enterprises: (i) access to funding; (ii) pursuit of dual missions; and (iii) competitiveness. The results of this study showed that the factors are correlated and thus have an impact on the sustainability of social enterprises as hybrid organisations. To this effect a model was developed to guide managers of hybrid social enterprises on sustainable management of their organisations.