Exploring: Social entrepreneurs and failure

Exploring: Social entrepreneurs and failure

In the first of our Explore papers we consider what failure really means for social entrepreneurs and if support organisations can do more to support people through failed experiences.

In recent years, open discussions about failure in social entrepreneurship have been actively encouraged. In the current framing of failure, it is often presented as a learning opportunity, a chance to grow and develop, yet the difficulties and personal costs for social entrepreneurs are less frequently discussed.

UnLtd researchers Jami Dixon and Katie Thorlby teamed up with researcher in failure Roxanne Persaud to produce our first Explore paper. The paper identifies some of the issues that social entrepreneurs face when it comes to failure and ways that we can provide better support. This provocative exploration of a taboo subject will be useful for aspiring, new and established social entrepreneurs as well as support agencies, including funders looking to further develop the ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs.

The research, based on a workshop we facilitated in 2015, highlights social entrepreneurs’ different experiences and the dynamics of failure. Failure is a sensitive subject and we are grateful to those who shared their views and experiences in confidence.


UnLtd research social entrepreneurs and failure

Exploring: Social entrepreneurs and failure

Read the Explore paper here.

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