Social entrepreneurship holds promise for finding solutions to some of societyÕs most
pressing problems. From this perspective, supporting the successful creation of social
enterprises is vital. This study investigates the processes by which opportunities are
evaluated and created for social enterprises. It employs an explorative and qualitative
methodology. Data is sourced from 12 social entrepreneurs and four social funders in
South Africa using focussed semi-structured interviews.
The study finds that social entrepreneurs employ multiple approaches to the evaluation
and creation of opportunities, frequently disregarding formal evaluation (causation) and
relying on the logics of bricolage and effectuation to create opportunities to sustain their
organisations. Through investigating contextual factors and opportunity risks, along with
the application of design thinking and lean start-up principles in practice, a set of
overlapping frameworks are developed.
This study is limited to a sample of South African social entrepreneurs and funders. It
finds application for both social entrepreneurs and impact investors in the evaluation and
creation of opportunities for social enterprises.
This study provides deeper analysis of the process of social venture creation and the
related processes of opportunity evaluation and creation. By providing a more granular
view on the enactment of processes, along with the contextual and intrinsic factors that
drive them, a step has been taken in the direction of an integrated framework for effective
opportunity evaluation and creation for social enterprises.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.