In this blog we will briefly talk about what makes the social enterprise business model a powerful tool for change.
Social enterprises help to create a fairer society whilst being profitable. We call it business with purpose. This is the most efficient way to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
In our course we have created a module to explain the difference between a social enterprise, business and a charity, but for now this is a brief introduction.
What makes social enterprises different to traditional business models is that they integrate the 3 P’s, so lets start there.
3 P’s: People, Planet and Profit
At the heart of a social enterprise is a social mission, which sets out the positive impact it hopes to achieve. Their objectives will then clearly state how they are going to help solve a social issue.
Being sustainable is really important to social enterprises. This means making the best possible choices for the environment and having an ethical supply chain.
Many social enterprises offer training courses or employ the most vulnerable or disadvantaged. For example, a social enterprise could employ those that are homeless, giving them employable skills, confidence and a stable income to help break the cycle of homelessness.
There are also social enterprise models which have been created to employ people who have suffered domestic abuse, have criminal records, or those with disabilities who find it difficult to gain employment.
Some social enterprises have a mission to save the planet and environment. As discussed in our first blog, the Plastics crisis is completely out of control and causing havoc to the planet every day.
The plastic tap needs to be turned off and there are social enterprises that have created alternative plastic-free products to help tackle this issue. Their business model has been created to eliminate the plastics social issue which would make them a social enterprise.
This is different to corporate social responsibility, which we explain in more detail in our course.
The way a social enterprise spends its profit has caused the most debate when defining what a social enterprise is.
We will discuss this in more detail in a future blog post, as there are organisations that offer official social enterprise accreditation if you meet their criteria and this can offer many benefits.
However, at With Social Enterprise we recognise a social enterprise by its social mission and the positive impact it is making to society and we will feature social enterprises that reinvest profits to their social cause without having any set percentage of how much should be reinvested.
At With Social Enterprise we want social enterprises to connect at all levels, to supply each other so they can grow and create even more of a positive social impact.
There are social enterprises that have been around for some time and those that are just starting up and we are excited about the sector growing.
Is there a particular industry or social issue you want to hear more about? Do you want to know more about the negative impact of fast fashion, or want to hear more about social enterprises helping to tackle homelessness?
You can let us know your thoughts by emailing us or tweeting us @WithSocialEnt.
Click on the Learn page to find out more about How to Build a Social Enterprise.
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