Social enterprise has become growing concept in the global world. Institutions have championed the importance of social enterprise/social entrepreneurship within a public policy context globally, nationally, regionally and locally. The aim of this brief article is to discuss the importance of social enterprise as a key problem solver in dealing with the key economic and social economic problems in society within the context of Ghana.

The authors of this work are currently undertaking a funded Innovation for African Universities Programme project with the British Council; the key focus of the research is to see how social enterprise can be better integrated into economic development in Ghana from a higher education policy perspective.

Social Enterprise as Problem Solver

Social enterprise is a term that sparks great debate when an all-embracing definition is attempted. This is, in part, due to its multi-faceted nature, cultural and social variances, and the complexities of the numerous social, economic and psychological influences upon the notion of social enterprise. The authors of this article view the social enterprise as an altruistic, social and economic movement that drives an innovative response to a pressing societal challenge that may be local, regional, national or global, and there is a clear impetus to develop social enterprise globally, generated by COVID-19.

This has been fuelled by the view of the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2020), which emphasises the crucial role that social enterprise and social entrepreneurs will play in the current global health crisis, asserting that in order for society to build a new normal, social enterprise and social entrepreneurs must step up to the challenge presented.

The response of the social entrepreneur is critical and cannot be overstated. Social enterprises are fundamental pillars of the “new normal,” and as Oberoi, Halsall, and Snowden (2021) assert, the skills and capabilities of the social entrepreneur will be challenged to their utmost. Recently, Snowden, Oberoi and Halsall (2021) have proposed the development of a new social entrepreneur avatar that illustrates the key skills and qualities that are fundamental to the successful social entrepreneur within this developing new normal. Whilst it is beyond the remit of this article to explore these in depth, it is appropriate to highlight these key features: creativity, empathy, resilience, optimism, mentorship, being solution focused, heutagogy and holism. 

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This article was written by Josiah Nii Adu Quaye, Michael Snowden, Ernest Christian Winful, Jamie P. Halsall, Denis Hyams-Ssekasi, Frank Frimpong Opuni, Emelia Ohene Afriyie, Elikem Chosniel Ocloo and Kofi Opoku-Asante