What is Social Enterprise?
Social enterprise is a business model whose goals, mission, and vision embrace social values and have a direct positive impact on the community.
Features of a Social Enterprise:
- Run as a regular business, but with a second (social) and sometimes third (environmental) bottom line
- Returns are measured not just in terms of dollars, but also on societal impact (e.g. number of jobs created for the marginalized, number of people no longer relying on the social safety net, increase in number of contributing taxpayers, pounds of waste saved from landfill, etc.)
Benefits of a Social Enterprise:
- Giving back to the community is good for business: improving the community means employee attraction to the area, and a broader customer base;
- Set the standard and become a benchmark amongst affiliate organizations and competition;
- Become a business mentor to assist non-profit organizations to become self-sustaining;
- By imbedding social values with corporate position, enjoy an increase in market share, and brand awareness.
What the BC Centre for Social Enterprise can offer:
- Connections to other local social entrepreneurs for knowledge exchange and strategic alliances;
- Connections to the business community as mentors, investors, and co-owners;
- Connections to potential funding sources;
- Learning events on business practices and related topics;
- One-on-one counseling;
- Assistance with venture selection, feasibility studies, and business planning;
- Access to a print and web-based library of related resources and relevant case studies;
- Connections to technical experts to build and position your social enterprise.