Drivers and Challenges of an NGO Type Social Enterprise in Malaysia: A Narrative Study

Ummu Kolsome Farouk, Mok Siew Wing
Faculty of Accountancy and Management, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman


The purpose of this research is to understand why a co-founder chose to establish a non-governmental organization (NGO) type social enterprise, the challenges he faced in managing its social and financial sustainability, and the initiatives he took to negotiate those challenges. A narrative approach was used in this qualitative single case study to analyse the self-accounts of the co-founder, and the various internal and external information. The primary drivers of the co-founder’s establishment of an NGO type social enterprise were his recognition of an opportunity to redress the prevalence of social ills adversely affecting children, his extensive experience on social issues impacting children, and the successful establishment of his first NGO. Primary challenges faced by the co-founder were notably in terms of maintaining the social relevance of his NGO and securing both its financial sustainability and future scalability. The research is limited by the fact that it is a narrative study, based upon the lived experience, of the co-founder of an NGO type social enterprise. Hence, although the generalizability of the findings is compromised, it can still be placed in the context of past research, in the area of social entrepreneurship in general, underpinned by Malaysia’s social entrepreneurship landscape. This paper provides evidence on how the co-founder of an NGO type social enterprise assessed its developmental stage, measured its success, and paved its path toward becoming a centre of excellence.

Keywords: Social enterprise, Drivers of social enterprise, Challenges of social enterprise, Management of social enterprise, Social entrepreneur, a NGO type social enterprise