SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
December 2011

Developing a balanced project portfolio for a social enterprise - the case of SIFE in Salford UK

Kane, K & Andreasik, M 2011, 'Developing a balanced project portfolio for a social enterprise - the case of SIFE in Salford UK', Serbian Project Management Journal, 1(2), pp.3-11.


In the UK, Social enterprises are organisations whose existence is predicated on a social model where both commercial and charitable sources of income are used to achieve social aims such as education, the improvement of local communities and the relief of poverty. Such social enterprises are in essence project based organisations which select, develop and operate projects in accordance with their internal motivation to achieve social aims and goals. Social Enterprises tend to be small and are often lacking in managerial skills such as project management, consequently they often select projects based solely on social need or other arbitarially determined factors and ignore other important criteria. This approach increases the likelihood of project overload and unbalanced project portfolio development and may lead, over the longer-term, to strategic failure. This research uses an expert survey to identify factors used by social enterprise managers to determine project selection in order to develop the framework for an Analytic Hierarchical Process approach to help structure decision making. These factors are then utilised to guide a small group of social enterprise managers from the SIFE social enterprise organisation to score and rank three specimen projects. These managers proved adept at using this approach and could analyse the specimen projects effectively, however, they proved less able to select a suitable portfolio of projects. This research, although small in scale, suggests that social enterprise managers can improve their selection of suitable projects through clarification of the decision criteria to be used, but find it considerably more difficult to develop a balanced portfolio of projects.


SEEK Members

External Authors

Mariusz Andreasik

Publication Details

Journal Name
Serbian Project Management Journal