A social enterprise is an organization that uses business strategies to maximize its social impact. For seCatalyst, a social enterprise is distinguished from other types of businesses, non- profits and government agencies by the following criteria:
- Addressing a cultural, social and/or environmental need is the principal goal of the organization, which serves the common good through its products and services or through offering employment to people who face barriers to mainstream employment;
- Commercial activity is a strong revenue driver, whether a significant earned income stream within a non-profit’s mixed revenue portfolio, or as a for-profit enterprise;
- The common good is its primary purpose, Literally ‘baked into’ the organization’s DNA;
- Surpluses and profits are principally reinvested into its social, cultural and/or environmental mandate.