A questionnaire about the challenges of social enterprise.

A questionnaire to social enterprises

The aim of this questionnaire is to identify the key needs and challenges of social enterprises, how these challenges are addressed, and to investigate how the challenges could be addressed.


The questionnaire is part of the Social UP project co-funded by the European Union under the ERASMUS+ programme. The outcomes of the questionnaire will be used for developing open access training material, a field guide, to enhance their competitiveness and profitability but also to answer the social mission of social enterprises. The training aims to use principles of Design Thinking.


Completing the questionnaire takes approximately 20 minutes. All information will be treated confidentially and no personal information will be disclosed or be otherwise used except for research purposes.


When you complete the questionnaire before March 31st 2017, you will have a better chance to ensure your seat in a FREE 'Design Thinking for Social Enterprises' Workshop as there are a limited number of seats.



A2. Your gender (optional)
A4. Your position in the company (optional)
(Please specify)
A6. The legal form of your organisation (optional)
(Please specify)
A7. Industry of your organisation ?
(Please specify)
A8. Number of employees
A9. The main income sources ?
(Please specify)
A10. What is your social mission? ?
(Please specify)


B1. What are the biggest challenges of social enterprises?

Please, evaluate every  statement and mark your choice on scale 1= not challenging at all, 5 = very challenging

Society and support ?
1 not at all 2 3 4 5 very
1. Lack of support/poor engagement of the government
2. Awareness of social enterprises among consumers is low
3. Awareness of social enterprises among developers, policy makers, public institutions is low
4. Social enterprises have a poor knowledge of development initiatives and their possibilities
5. Challenges in measuring Social Impact of social enterprises
Finance and support ?
1 not at all 2 3 4 5 very
6. Taxation and VAT
7. Access to finance and funding including credit and grant funding
8. Lack of investment/investors
9. High business and business operation rates
10. Financial management, cash flow and securing funding
Business models and entrepreneurship ?
1 not at all 2 3 4 5 very
11. Lack of entrepreneurial skills and commercial understanding
12. Lack of managerial and professional skills/competencies to startup, run a social enterprise and/or scale business
13. High resilience on the public sector as a source of income
14. Lack of viable and sustainable business models, plan and strategy
15. Uncertain growth prospects and limited growth capacity
16. Lack of access to business design tools and methods
Competition and customers ?
1 not at all 2 3 4 5 very
17. A weak competitive position
18. Challenges in winning contracts in public procurement
19. Marketing, diversification, branding and PR
20. Lack of/or poor knowledge of in-depth customer understanding
21. Lack of/or poor knowledge of use of customer research, tools and methods
Products and productivity ?
1 not at all 2 3 4 5 very
22. Lack of demand of products and services
23. Limited offer and development of products and services
24. Poor attention on market oriented product development
25. Perception of inferior quality of products and services
26. Productivity
People and networks ?
1 not at all 2 3 4 5 very
27. Insufficient networking, creation of relationships and alliances
28. People management
29. Recruiting staff
30. Shortage of skills of the staff
31. Predjudice of employers t employ disabled/long-term unemployed
Other ?
1 not at all 2 3 4 5 very (Please specify)
32. Other


C1. Who are your main competitors? ?
(Please specify)
C3. Who are your customers? ?
(Please specify)
C5. Who are your partner organisations/cooperators? ?
(Please specify)

C7. What kind of assistance do you use in developing and elevating your activities and products/services at the moment?

You can select one or more options.

Funding and finances ?
Enterprise support ?
Training and education ?
Products, certfication, networks, research and development ?
Other ?
(Please specify)


D1. Which methods/tools and techniques do you use for development of products/ services and to increase the level of creativity and innovation and problem solving skills in your activities? ?
(Please specify)
D2. Are you familiar with the following innovative approaches, methods and tools? ?
D3. Do you know what Design Thinking is?
D4. Please read the description of Design thinking below. How do you think you could use Design thinking in your organisation’s activities? ?
(Please specify)

Design Thinking is a a new, creative and holistic method that aims to gain deep understanding about an issue, engaging stakeholders and users, generates many ideas and evaluates potential solutions, and develops prototype concepts and tests solutions with users. It is often used to solve ill-defined problems and challenges.


E1. Would you be interested in learning more about Design thinking for social enterprises?
E2. Would you be interested in taking part in a FREE 'Design Thinking for Social Enterprises' Workshop to learn more about the benefits it can offer and discover which tools can help your organisation?



We appreciate your support and availability to contribute towards the Social UP project.


You can follow Social Up -project at






The Social UP project consortium

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.