Social entrepreneurship and networking challenges: Impact on sustainable development in South Africa


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The overwhelming complexity of achieving sustainable development globally, including in South Africa, requires the networking and partnerships of all stakeholders. This paper reports networking challenges affecting social entrepreneurship’s contribution to sustainable development. The study aimed to investigate and analyze the impact of networking challenges on social entrepreneurship contribution to sustainable development in the townships in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. The study is quantitative and was conducted in three KZN township communities. The sample consisted of 90 social entrepreneurs selected using a snowball sampling technique. The respondents completed a self-administered close-ended questionnaire (employing a five-point Likert scale). The data were analyzed using SPSS (27.0 version). Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.808 indicated the reliability of the questionnaire as a measuring instrument for this study. The study revealed that lack of partnerships and networking with other social entrepreneurs, insufficient networking and partnership with corporate organizations, absence of networking and partnerships with government, and lack of platform use for social networking, affect social entrepreneurs’ activities. A chi-square test also revealed that all the tested variables were statistically significant, with a p-value = .000.

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    • Table 1. Definitions of networking
    • Table 2. Demographic information of surveyed social entrepreneurs
    • Table 3. Frequency distribution, descriptive statistics, and chi-square statistics of the networking challenges
    • Conceptualization
      Emmanuel Inalegwu Akoh, Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya
    • Formal Analysis
      Emmanuel Inalegwu Akoh, Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya
    • Investigation
      Emmanuel Inalegwu Akoh
    • Methodology
      Emmanuel Inalegwu Akoh, Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya
    • Resources
      Emmanuel Inalegwu Akoh, Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya
    • Writing – original draft
      Emmanuel Inalegwu Akoh
    • Writing – review & editing
      Emmanuel Inalegwu Akoh, Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya
    • Supervision
      Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya