Business development · 22 June 2016

Social entrepreneurs struggling to balance growth with staff capacity

social enterprise
Social entrepreneurs struggle to balance competing goals
Almost 60 per cent of social enterprise leaders find it difficult to balance ambitious expansion plans with employee capacity, according to new research carried out by social enterprise organisation CAN.

Finance worries were also high on the list of issues keeping social entrepreneurs awake at night, with 71 per cent losing sleep over cash flow woes.

For the smallest social enterprises those with a turnover of under 100, 000 72 per cent of owners were concerned about sustainable growth, while 55 per cent of all owners have struggled to access traditional finance.

The research also highlighted the difficulties that the owners of small organisations with big missions have accessing support and advice, with over half unsure who to ask for help.

it’s not surprising to see the lack of support in terms of finance and business strategy expressed by the social sector, said CAN chief executive Andrew Croft.

while some organisations in our sector are thriving, there is still a vacuum, where many are struggling to meet their social objectives while still achieving significant financial and organisational growth. Business advisory support needs to be better, and we need more new, innovative funding streams from social investors and trust and foundations, he added.

Additional research published by Santander in 2015 revealed that despite the challenges faced by owners, the social business sector of the UK is booming and full of entrepreneurship.



Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.