Social Enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.
What is social enterprise?
Social enterprises are businesses driven by a social or environmental purpose. As with all businesses, they compete to deliver goods and services. The difference is that social purpose is at the very heart of what they do, and the profits they make are reinvested towards achieving that purpose.
Well known examples of social enterprises include The Big Issue, Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen, and the fair-trade chocolate company Divine Chocolate.
What are different types of social enterprise?
- can be non-profit or for-profit
- the profit from a business can be used to support a social aim.
- can accomplish its social aim through its operation, by employing individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds or lending to micro-businesses that have difficulty in securing investment from mainstream lenders.
Why social enterprise instead of voluntary organisation?
- it is a way to reduce dependence on charitable donations and grants
- launched by social entrepreneurs who want to solve a social problem in a new, more lasting and effective way than traditional approaches.
Community Impact Bucks Sustainability Officer is also able to advise new Social Enterprises. Use the link below to contact them.