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Creating and sustaining social value through collaborative effort: the slum ambassadors of Bwaise

Diana Nandagire Ntamu (Department of Entrepreneurship, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Waswa Balunywa (Department of Entrepreneurship, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
John Munene (Department of Human Resource Management, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Peter Rosa (George David Chair of Entrepreneurship and Family Business, University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh, UK)
Laura A. Orobia (Department of Entrepreneurship, Edinburgh, Uganda)
Ernest Abaho (Department of Entrepreneurship, Edinburgh, Uganda)

Publication date: 21 May 2021


Learning outcomes

By the end of their studies, students are expected to: undergraduate level. Learning objective 1: Describe the concept of social entrepreneurship. Learning objective 2: Explain the sources and challenges of funding social entrepreneurial activities. Learning objective 3: Discuss the different strategies that social entrepreneurs may use to raise funds. Postgraduate level. Learning Objective 1: Use theory to explain the concept of social entrepreneurship. Learning objective 2: Discuss the role of social capital in facilitating resource acquisition for social entrepreneurial activities. Learning objective 3: Evaluate the current action for fundamental change and development (AFFCAD) funding model and propose strategies that may be used by a social enterprise to achieve financial sustainability when donor funding expires.

Case overview/synopsis

The past decade has seen the emergence of many social enterprises from disadvantaged communities in low-income countries, seeking to provide solutions to social problems, which in developed countries would normally be addressed by government sponsored welfare programmes. The social entrepreneurs behind such initiatives are typically drawn from the disadvantaged communities they serve. They are often young people committed to improving the lives of their most disadvantaged community members. Being poor themselves and located in the poorest communities, establishing their enterprise faces fundamental challenges of obtaining resources and if accessed, sustaining the flow of resources to continue and grow their enterprise. Targeting external donors and mobilizing social resources within their community is a typical route to get their enterprise off the ground, but sustaining momentum when donor funding ceases requires changes of strategy and management. How are young social entrepreneurs dealing with these challenges? The case focusses on AFFCAD, a social enterprise founded by Mohammed Kisirisa and his three friends to support poor people in Bwaise, the largest slum in Kampala city. It illustrates how, like many other similar social enterprise teams, the AFFCAD team struggled to establish itself and its continuing difficulties in trying to financially sustain its activities. The case demonstrates how the youngsters mobilised social networks and collective action to gain access to donor funding and how they are modifying this strategy as donor funding expires. From an academic perspective, a positive theory of social entrepreneurship (Santos, 2012) is applied to create an understanding of the concept of social entrepreneurship. The case uses the social capital theory to demonstrate the role played by social ties in enabling social entrepreneurs to access financial and non-financial support in a resource scarce context (Bourdieu, 1983; Coleman, 1988, 1990). The National Council for Voluntary Organisations Income Spectrum is used as a tool to develop the options available for the AFFCAD team to sustain their activities in the absence of donor support. The case provides evidence that social entrepreneurs are not limited by an initial lack of resources especially if they create productive relationships at multiple levels in the communities where they work. However, their continued success depends on the ability to reinvent themselves by identifying ways to generate revenue to achieve their social goals.

Complexity academic level

This case study is aimed at Bachelor of Entrepreneurship students, MBA, MSc. Entrepreneurship and Masters of Social Innovation students.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognisable information to protect confidentiality.Authors wish to thank the team of social entrepreneurs at Action for Fundamental Change and Development who are helping to support vulnerable youth, women and children in Bwaise. They thank them for having readily shared their story and experiences to inspire other people to create change in their communities.


Ntamu, D.N., Balunywa, W., Munene, J., Rosa, P., Orobia, L.A. and Abaho, E. (2021), "Creating and sustaining social value through collaborative effort: the slum ambassadors of Bwaise", , Vol. 11 No. 2.



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