Leaving a Social Venture: Social Entrepreneurial Exit among the Maasai in Northern Tanzania

Alexander Tetteh Kwasi Nuer, Miguel Rivera-Santos*, Carlos Rufín, Gert Van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Arguing that the exit of social ventures is likely to follow specific patterns, due the uniqueness of a social entrepreneur’s goals, the social venture’s emphasis on the provision of public goods, and its relationship to stakeholders, we conduct a qualitative analysis of the entrepreneurial exit of a Dutch social venture in Northern Tanzania. Our analysis suggests that the choice of exit and the potential exit routes are indeed specific to social ventures, as the original social goals of the venture influence the decision to exit and its implementation. Specifically, we find that the goal of leaving a sustainable venture after the exit and the preference for the transfer of ownership to local community members was paramount for the social entrepreneur. Our results also highlight the difficulties associated with the unique role of stakeholders in social ventures, due to different perceptions and interests about the meaning and implementation of entrepreneurial exit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-299
Number of pages19
JournalAfrica Journal of Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016


  • entrepreneurial exit
  • Maasai
  • social entrepreneurship
  • stakeholders
  • Tanzania

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