What is a Social Enterprise?Social enterprises use business strategies to maximize social, environmental or cultural impact goals
Making a difference is the bottom line
For seCatalyst, a social enterprise is distinguished from other types of businesses, non-profits and government agencies based on the following criteria:
- Addressing a cultural, social and/or environmental need is the principal goal, 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 enterprise’s DNA;
- Surpluses and profits are to be principally reinvested into its social, cultural and/or environmental mandate.
Is a social enterprise the same as a social venture?
Typically, a social enterprise tends to be operated as a non-profit, and a social venture as a for-profit. seCatalyst takes the perspective that the incorporation of an enterprise is less important than the purpose of the enterprise, whether it be non-profit, for-profit, CCC or co-operative. We use social enterprise and social venture interchangeably.