What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship is the practice of responding to market failures with transformative and financially sustainable innovations aimed at solving social problems. †Change-maker organization Ashoka writes that the most effective way to promote positive change is to invest in social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions that are sustainable and replicable, both nationally and globally.
What is Social Enterprise?
Social enterprise is defined as a business operation commonly run by a charity or non-profit organization. Revenue raised by the business operation is reinvested into the charity or non-profit to support their programs and operations.
In addition to revenue generation, a social enterprise will often engage the services of the clients that the organization is supporting. The skills that the clients develop in sales, business operations, and administration may be utilized to access job opportunities outside the enterprise.
Social enterprise encourages greater resiliency and independence within the non-profit sector by helping organizations to stabilize and diversify their funding base while enhancing their programs or services. The result: stronger, more sustainable non-profits and healthier communities.
You'll find elements of social enterprise in all of these organizations:
- Girl Guides sell over four million boxes of cookies per year in Canada. The revenue goes toward funding their numerous programs, and selling the cookies help Girl Guides gain valuable skills and experiences.
- Goodwill Industries operate hundreds of thrift stores internationally. These stores generate revenue that help fund Goodwill's operations, and also serve as training grounds for disabled and inexperienced individuals to gain hands-on work experience.
- Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit Fair Trade Organization, operate retail stores across Canada that sell handicraft items sourced from global artisans. Rather than maximizing profits, the goal of their business is to benefit the artisans whose goods they sell.
- EthniCity Catering, a non-profit venture run by Calgary's Centre for Newcomers, is a catering company that specializes in multi-ethnic food. EthniCity's handmade food is produced by female immigrants who lack Canadian work experience, and the revenues help support the Centre for Newcomer's programs.
What is Socially Responsible Business?
Social enterprise resides on the non-profit side of the business continuum, but it is not the only blended value return on investment vehicle. Socially Responsible Business or Social Purpose Business is a profit-making enterprise that has a positive social and/or environmental impact. The blend is the combination of profit, social, and environmental return on investment. This business model is also often referred to as having a double or triple bottom line.
Trico Charitable Foundation supports socially responsibly business through their partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.
How Trico Charitable Foundation Supports Social Enterprise
At Trico Charitable Foundation, we focus on supporting non-profit organizations that run social enterprises with the aim of using the revenue from their income generating venture(s) to support their cause/issue. We do this through our Enterprising Non Profits Alberta program and the Social EnterPrize.
This is consistent with our mission statement, which is to provoke innovation and build capacity in social entrepreneurship within the non-profit sector. We are helping to foster a community of sustainable, entrepreneurial non-profit organizations by serving as an incubator that stems from our educational initiatives and award-granting activities.†Definitions from Primer on Social Innovation: A Compendium of Definitions Developed by Organizations Around the World. http://sigeneration.ca/primer.html.