Greetings and welcome to this article on “what is a social enterprise.” In this article I will aim to explain the history and meaning of a Social Enterprise. I have compiled and researched a few definitions from different source on the web. I hope by the end you will come out with adequate knowledge and a strong understanding of the topic “what is a social enterprise”.
What is a Social Enterprise? Definitions and Meanings
A social enterprise or social business is defined as a business with specific social objectives that serve its primary purpose. Social enterprises seek to maximize profits while maximizing benefits to society and the environment, and the profits are principally used to fund social programs.https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-enterprise.asp
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 co-ownersWikipedia
In simple terms, a social enterprise can be defined as a business that ploughs its profits back into a strong social or environmental missionhttps://www.socialenterprisemark.org.uk/what-is-social-enterprise/
Social enterprises are businesses whose primary purpose is addressing a social or environmental challenge rather than creating profit for owners or shareholders. They bring together the entrepreneurial skills of the private sector and the values of public service. They deliver positive social impact through their means (i.e. how they conduct their work) and ends (i.e. what they achieve).https://www.britishcouncil.org/society/social-enterprise
About Social Enterprises
Social Enterprises are different from other businesses, companies and organisations as they combine the elements of “Profit Making” and “Social Goals”. Social enterprises have business, environmental and social goals. As a result their Social aims and goals are embedded in their objectives.
Thr primary focus of social enterprises is to promote social change. The business is built around this social goals therefore a certain percentage of the income, funding and profits and reinvested into the business to further promote the social goals
History of Social Enterprises
The idea of a social enterprise as a distinct concept first developed in the late 1970s in the UK as an alternative commercial organisational model to private businesses, co-operatives and public enterprise.
At that time, the idea and concept was based on 5 main principles:
- a common ownership legal structure where members/owners have one voting share and different forms of investment
- democratic governance, where each worker/community resident is a member with one vote
- trading and financially viable independence
- creating social wealth
- operating in environmentally responsible ways
Types of Social Enterprises
Community Organisations –
These are types of organisations which primarily focuses on building the communiyt and are membership based. Examples include housing associations, credit unions, community centres, pubs and shops, associations, housing associations and football clubs
NGO’s and Charities
This types of organisations provide business services and the proifts are generally used to provide wages and salaries to for individuas who provide free services to specific groups of people or to further the social or environmental aims of the organisation.
This includes organisations such as credit unions, cooperative banks and revolving loan funds. They are classified as savings and loans organisations
This includes Worker/employee-owned trading enterprises, co-operatives, and collectives. They can range from large enterprises to medium sized enterprises
How To Create a Successful Social Enterprise
Examples of Social Enterprises
Grassroots Busines Funds
Orangi Pilot Project
Institute for OneWorld Health
One Acre Fund
Partners in Health
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