Small social enterprises (SEs) face many challenges as they seek to secure their survival, sustainability and performance, but little is known about the interrelations among these challenges and how these SEs might mitigate their challenges by using online platforms.
Drawing on the results of 19 in-depth semi-structured interviews with founders of small SEs in Australia, the authors present two integrative frameworks: one demonstrates how different challenges directly or indirectly influence SE performance, and the other represents the linkage between online platforms use and SE performance.
The authors’ findings indicate that SEs face social, economic and organizational challenges, and that SEs use online platforms to mitigate these challenges and improve their performance. Online platforms enable these enterprises to identify funding opportunities, recruit staff and volunteers, connect with other SEs, form partnerships, promote their organization, market their products and services, and avoid competition and duplication in their ecosystem.
The authors provide a guiding model for further research on using online platforms to mitigate challenges for small enterprises to improve performance. This study advances current understanding of why some SEs fail to thrive, while others survive, flourish and grow.
The authors’ study advances the resource-based view by identifying how online platforms offer a valuable resource to improve SE performance, and assist managers to maintain the strategic direction of their enterprise.
Abedin, B., Douglas, H., Watson, J. and Bidar, R. (2023), "Mitigating challenges of small social enterprises to improve performance", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 72 No. 1, pp. 226-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-10-2020-0567
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