Identifying the key factors of a conducive environment for development and promotion of social entrepreneurship is a research issue that requires vast and overall, holistic, research of the determinants that facilitate the development of the SE ecosystem. In order to identify, analyse, and evaluate the impact of the factors on the organisational and individual determinants, there is a need to discover “what” people think and “why” they think so. In order to better understand the organisational business processes under the current setting and the motivation, views, perceptions and feelings of the relevant stakeholders and to provide a suitable response to the established research questions, a mixed methodology will be used.

Utilising mixed methods research will provide us with the possibility to use the strengths of both methodologies, a more comprehensive account of the area of enquiry, triangulate findings, and answer the main research question on both organisational and individual levels.


For the primary sources of data, an organisational survey will be utilised to pinpoint the level of influence of the macro-level factors on the organisational processes such as mission, resources, governance, organisational culture, and other.

We are analysing the personal experiences of social enterprises related to the macro-factors’ (policies, regulations, institutional support and financing) accelerators, constraints, effects on social enterprises’ operations, support for social entrepreneurship and accessibility of key stakeholders (policymakers and regulators), collaboration with institutions and funding for social enterprises.

In the first phase, we will analyse the quantifiable data with descriptive statistics to summarise the backgrounds of the respondents and the companies. Also, we could potentially use correlation to measure the strength of the relationship between two variables. For the quantitative analysis, we will use the computer software SPPS or Excel.

Main output:

  • Organisation survey with at least 100 responses from social enterprises;
  • Descriptive statistics – descriptive summaries, frequencies, and cross-tabulation table; and
  • Correlations (TBD-depending on the available data).


Semi-structured, face-to-face in- depth interviews as a qualitative tool for gathering data will be used. The semi-structured, in-depth interviews will be used to assess and determine how the interviewee understands and perceives the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, social- enterprise-specific development options, possible intervention points for sector growth, identifying opportunity, gaps based on identified key factors for development of the field, but also how it affects its motivations, values, abilities, entrepreneurial orientation and other. The focus is on what the interviewee recognises as important in describing the social entrepreneurship environment and its effects on day-to-day business operations. Using in-depth interviews will allow us genuine access to the views of the key stakeholders in the research related field which will provide us with an external perception of both the macro-environment and its effects on social enterprises and social entrepreneurs.

In the second phase, we analyse the qualitative data. For this research, five steps were used for the qualitative data analysis:
1. Documentation of the data and the process of data collection;
2. Organization/categorisation of the data into concepts;
3. Connection of the data to show how one concept may influence another;
4. Corroboration/legitimisation, by evaluating alternative explanations, disconfirming evidence, and searching for negative cases; and
5. Representing the account (reporting the findings). For the qualitative analysis, we will use the computer software TAMS Analyser or MAXQDA.

Main output:

  • Interviews with 12 social entrepreneurs in Belgium;
  • Interviews with 12 social entrepreneurs in North Macedonia;
  •  Interviews with 12 organisations supporting social enterprises in Belgium;
  •  Interviews with 12 organisations supporting social enterprises in North Macedonia.