In business, everyone subscribes to different definitions of success. While most of them focus on the growth of their enterprise through strategies on how to earn more, others have found a whole new sense of purpose that not only made them good entrepreneurs but also socially responsible members of their community.
According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, social entrepreneurship utilizes specific business models to help in the development, funding and implementation of solutions to different environmental, social, and cultural issues around the globe. However, unlike non-profit organizations that depend on donations and generous financial support from private individuals or foundations, a for-profit social enterprise expects a return on investment to ensure the survival of their business.
But this new way of doing business while making the world a better place doesn’t come without challenges. For instance, identifying the most reliable business models that can fit the vision and objectives of a particular social enterprise can be tricky.
A 2008 book published by Harvard Business School Publishing have identified three strategic models of social entrepreneurship: the leveraged non-profit, hybrid-non-profit, and social business venture. All of these three models have one goal of responding to social needs but the differences among them lie on how they use their financial resources and direct their funds to make a difference whether to support a specific community or to help sustain other smaller businesses and operations.
Undeniably, social entrepreneurship can potentially change the way we do business and just like other enterprises that have started to give something back to the community, many of them have successfully developed their business while representing their stand on the issues that they care about.
Some of the world’s top social enterprises focus on the environment, local workforce (such as farmers and artists), small manufacturers, and digital systems. While they may still be developing, they have great potential to become big brands in the future.