A big part of breathing life into your vision is drawing upon all the tools available to bring it into reality. Social enterprise is one of those tools.
Social enterprise reflects a growing social consciousness, where doing good works alone isn't enough. Rather, social benefit becomes infused into the very sinews of the operation and part of its reason for existence.
So what's a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is a for-profit business organized to serve a core social purpose. A popular example is a charity setting up a separate, for-profit business (most types of earned income are prohibited for charities), and the profits are donated or distributed up-stream to the charity to fund its charitable operations.
A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders.
Wow. They sure make it hard to understand, don't they? This chart may help.
For new missions, know that it's far easier to start a new venture from scratch than adapt an existing one around a core social purpose. If you're starting one, let us help you design yours from the ground up as a conscious business or social enterprise, where people, planet and profits are in balance.
That doesn't mean social enterprises don't apply to existing mission. Any business, existing or otherwise, can make use of the social enterprise intention and benefits. Why it matters to going concerns is two-fold:
- Many small businesses, especially those sharing some message or operating under a sense of mission, are already social enterprises and don't even know it. Many of those are failing to serve either the need for profit, or their underlying social mission.
- You may wish to establish some sort of charity or school, but want it to be self-sufficient so as not to drain operating revenues. A social enterprise established in conjunction with the mission can help to offset its operating expense, thereby creating less of a need for future support from your business (this does not forego the opportunity to seek grants and donations directly to the charity, either).
We can help you navigate these complex waters and chart a course that works for you. Schedule a consultation to discuss your needs.