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Reintegrating socially excluded individuals through a social enterprise intervention

Fred Seddon (Development and Social Impact, Northampton University, Northampton, UK)
Richard Hazenberg (Development and Social Impact, Northampton University, Northampton, UK)
Simon Denny (Development and Social Impact, Northampton University, Northampton, UK)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this research project is to reveal participant perceptions of a Social Enterprise Intervention (SEI) programme, run by a social enterprise and designed to reintegrate socially excluded individuals into society.

Design/methodology/approach

The research participants were the social entrepreneur, staff at the social enterprise, the SEI programme attendees and a representative from an external referral agency. Participants engaged in semi-structured interviews with a researcher designed to elicit participant perceptions of the programme.

Findings

Results of the analysis of the interviews revealed six emergent themes that were interpreted by the researchers as: “social mission focus”, “heroic social entrepreneur”, “social impact”, “recidivism”, “the programme” and “programme attendees”. Results of the analysis reveal that all research participants reported the programme helped to re-socialise the programme attendees and increased their self-confidence and self-esteem. Participants also believed programme attendees acquired important skills and qualifications in general warehouse activities and forklift truck driving, which would greatly increase their future employability. Programme attendees indicated the “real world” working environment was important to their feelings of success on the programme.

Originality/value

This paper identifies a hybrid SEI programme based upon the “vision” of a “heroic” social entrepreneur. It also identifies the advantages of the “real” working environment in increasing the employability of socially excluded individuals whilst, at the same time, increasing their social skills.

Keywords

Citation

Seddon, F., Hazenberg, R. and Denny, S. (2014), "Reintegrating socially excluded individuals through a social enterprise intervention", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 222-238. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEJ-08-2013-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited