To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Obstacles to Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

ISBN: 978-1-80043-791-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-790-6

ISSN: 2514-1759

Publication date: 24 November 2021


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify and understand the obstacles hindering social entrepreneurship as a business model. Methodology/Approach: We performed an exploratory analysis structured in three stages. First, we used the Delphi method to identify the main difficulties with the collaboration of 20 social entrepreneurship experts. We then analyzed how these experts and a group of 21 social entrepreneurs rated the importance of the difficulties that had been identified. Finally, we performed a comparative analysis of both groups' ratings and found significant differences between their perceptions. Findings: Experts and social entrepreneurs agree on identifying financial difficulties as the main obstacles. They all highlight the lack of financial resources and difficulties in the sustainability and independence of the venture in the long term. However, while the experts recognize that human resources' lack of skills is another important obstacle, the social entrepreneurs give more importance to external factors, such as resistance to social change or lack of knowledge and understanding of the social entrepreneurship concept. Practical Implications: The decision to seek the collaboration of two different groups is enriching, as the results show that their perceptions of the barriers facing social entrepreneurship do not always coincide. Originality/Value of Chapter: It is a chapter focused exclusively on deepening the knowledge of the obstacles to social entrepreneurship, which tries not only to identify them but also to offer the vision of experts in social entrepreneurship as well as of social entrepreneurs themselves.




We are grateful to all the experts and social entrepreneurs for their valuable contribution. This study has received financial support from the Government of Aragon (Spain) and the European Regional Development Fund (S42_17R CREVALOR Group and E46_17R Stochastic Models Group), the ECO2016-77-P and the MTM2017-83812-P project (AEI/FEDER, UE).


Murillo-Luna, J.L., García-Uceda, E. and Asín-Lafuente, J. (2021), "Obstacles to Social Entrepreneurship", Wasieleski, D.M. and Weber, J. (Ed.) Social Entrepreneurship (Business and Society 360, Vol. 5), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 195-216.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 by Emerald Publishing Limited