We have a practical definition of social enterprise. It has evolved based on our experiences at earning revenue while pursuing our social mission and program objectives. To us, social enterprise is not a funding strategy. It is part of the culture of PLAN and is infused into everything we do. We define social enterprise as any program or product that:
- Enables us to pursue our social mission and program goals
- Earns revenue
- Increases our ability to reach more supporters, members and partners
- Brings tangible value to our partners.This means social enterprise by definition involves collaboration and partnerships.
Social enterprise has many benefits. It enables us to:
- Mobilize the untapped resources of our members to achieve social objectives
- Diversify our funding base
- Acquire flexible funds with no strings attached
- Attract new allies and partners, particularly from outside the social sector
- Develop a sustainable financial plan that can withstand changes in our economic fortunes
To view Al Etmanski’s talk on Five Good Ideas about Social Innovation , click here.
Leaders in the citizen sector who want to extend impact, durability and scale of their work should check out Thinking Like a Movement retreat. With four days of intensive learning with other social change leaders, participants will explore the complexities of systemic change while reflecting on personal roles and responsibilities.
Transforming deeply rooted social problems by introducing new ideas, practices, policies, relationships and resources in the direction of greater resilience.
An organization, usually non-profit but sometimes for-profit, that seeks to earn revenue while achieving its social and economic justice objectives.
The leveraging of multiple sources of financing to achieve long term, accountable, social impact while generating an economic return.