Innovation - Social enterprise: challenges and opportunities

April 2013 to March 2014

Despite optimism about what they can achieve, social enterprises face many challenges to reaching these goals. This project aims to understanding these challenges and provide recommendations to enterprises, service providers and regulators on how to address them. The research builds on ODI’s work to map financial and non-financial support provided to social enterprises.


This project examines the objectives, operations and challenges faced by social enterprises and explores ways of overcoming these challenges. The work is centred around two case studies – in Kenya and in Vietnam – exploring social enterprise activity in the health and agriculture sectors. These are two diverse countries and sectors in which social enterprises are particularly active, and where there is potential for impact on large numbers of people. The study is informed by field interviews with social enterprises and organisations supporting them in Kenya and Vietnam.


This project is in partnership with Spark Centre for Social Enterprise Development (Vietnam), the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and KCA University and the East African Social Entrepreneurship Network (EASEN (Kenya).


Survey of social enterprise activity in South Asia and Ghana

Research reports and studies | October 2016 | Emily Darko, Minhaz Anwar, Muhaimin Khan, Anhar Athoi, Farhanna Islam, Alainna Lynch, Kissy Agyeman-Togobo, Lord-Gustav Togobo, Samuel Sharp, Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed and Arslan Khalid
The ODI and the British Council have published a landmark survey which examines the positive externalities of social entrepreneurship in developing country communities.

Emerge conference 2013

Conference | 2 - 3 November 2013
Emerge​ conference allows students, professionals and sector leaders to connect to learn about and develop businesses with a social impact. Emily Darko is hosting an interactive session on 2nd November at the...
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