A discussion on social entrepreneurship in South Africa: A look at why social entrepreneurship offers opportunity to strengthen civil society and fast track socio- economic development in South Africa

This chapter collates both practitioner and academic writing on social entrepreneurship to present a broad perspective on what social entrepreneurship looks like in the South African environment. The local environment for social entrepreneurship and more broadly, civil society is under researched and the aim is to present a spectrum of views to anchor a discussion on the value of social entrepreneurship and how the approach can be better supported. The chapter aims to:

• Present discussions on what social entrepreneurship is in South Africa
• Highlights why it is considered a model to accelerate socio-economic change in South Africa by discussing both the country context and a self-declared crisis in civil society
• Discuss recent insights into the major learning areas identified by students of the GIBS Social Entrepreneurship Programme (SEP), and present views on where social entrepreneurs can be supported to strengthen and grow their work.
• Argue for social entrepreneurship as a framework to connect the disconnected sectors of business, government and civil society in the neo-liberal system

This chapter explores the literature on social entrepreneurship and civil society in South Africa, with a brief look on the country context and the need to fast track socio-economic change. It presents weaknesses in the current ability of civil society to function well and argues that social entrepreneurship offers opportunity to strengthen traditional methods of delivering social value, whilst introducing new approaches. The chapter provides brief insights on where social entrepreneurs require greater support to be effective and looks at where there are quick wins to enable them to thrive.

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