Original Research

Impact of social entrepreneurs on community development in the Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality area, South Africa

Russ Ngatse-Ipangui, Maurice O. Dassah
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 15, No 1 | a474 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v15i1.474 | © 2019 Russ Ngatse-Ipangui, Maurice O. Dassah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 September 2017 | Published: 30 January 2019

About the author(s)

Russ Ngatse-Ipangui, Graduate Centre for Management, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Maurice O. Dassah, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa


Social entrepreneurs are well positioned to tackle socio-economic problems in deprived communities. The impact of social entrepreneurs is becoming important for addressing social challenges and providing innovative, sustainable and effective social solutions. Although many entrepreneurs are active in the Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality area, their impact on community development remains largely unreported publicly. This article focuses on social entrepreneurs’ impact on community development and provides an understanding of their impact. It addresses the question: what impact do social entrepreneurs have on community development? It is based on a study that combines qualitative and quantitative data collection methods conducted in Khayelitsha (Harare) and Gugulethu (Section 21). The sample consisted of 73 respondents representing social organisations, social entrepreneurs and individual township residents, selected by using the margin of error formula. Interviews and a questionnaire were the instruments. It was found that social entrepreneurs positively impact communities’ development in several ways: improvements through training, educating and facilitating communities’ engagement in different activities such as home-based care and developing children’s mentality and creating space for people to develop their needs. Despite the crucial role social enterprises play in deprived communities, their activities do not alleviate core community problems and their impact is minimal owing to shortcomings such as non-involvement of local people, unsustainability of their activities’ outcomes, lack of plans to present to communities, poor implementation of activities and weak monitoring of outcomes. To enhance their impact, social entrepreneurs should involve beneficiaries trapped within socio-economic problems in the process of community development.


community development; entrepreneurship; Gugulethu; impact; Khayelitsha; non-governmental organisations; social enterprises


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Crossref Citations

1. Social Enterprise Performance in South Africa: The Role of Strategic Planning and Networking Capability
Willie Chinyamurindi, Motshedisi Mathibe, Progress Hove-Sibanda
Journal of Social Entrepreneurship  first page: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1080/19420676.2023.2212672