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Abstract

In a world that increasingly invites private actors to address social needs, there has been a rise of social enterprises in a variety of sectors, including new and renewable energy. As of yet, little research has focused on how these enterprises interact with government policy in low- and middle-income countries. This research specifically explores how social enterprises operating in rural India with decentralised renewable energy solutions seek to access government support, and what strategies they adopt to engage with the government. An inductive theory-building approach was adopted to explore this and advance current knowledge in the boundaries of social entrepreneurship and policy. We propose 'Engagement' and 'Disengagement' as the two strategies used by social enterprises in this context in accessing government support and policy. 'Engagement' is a strategy comprising of the tactics: (a) Leveraging Policy, (b) Building and Leveraging Relationships, (c) Lobbying, and (d) Monitoring. 'Disengagement' is a strategy comprising of the tactics: (a) Avoiding Government Presence, and (b) Disengagement from Policy.

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