Social entrepreneurs start and run social enterprises – commercial businesses that often come with a “triple bottom line” (TBL) mandate. The triple bottom line refers to people, profits, and the planet. TBL implies that businesses can and ought to be run in a financially, socially, and environmentally responsible manner.
Social enterprises are often confused with nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The main difference between a nonprofit and social enterprise is the revenue model. Nonprofits rely primarily on charitable contributions, public funding and foundation grants to support their programs and cover their administrative overhead. If, due to a bad economy, donations, grants, and public sector subsidies dried up, the non profit would have to shut down. Very few nonprofits have created robust earned income streams, though there is an increasing trend to do so.
A social enterprise is designed to operate like a for profit business. Social enterprises rely primarily on their earned income stream, and like any other company, if needed, it takes loans, invites capital investments, forms partnerships etc. in order to expand its business activities.
Video: “What is Social Enterprise”
Wondering what Social Enterprise is? Find out more about social enterprise in general in this section on the Enterprising Non-Profit's Website. Including the following reports and worksheets.
VIEW ADDITIONAL RESOURCES IN THE MEMBERS ONLY SECTION