MODULE 1: WHAT IS A SOCIAL ... • Infographic on Current social enterprises that are changing vast

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  • .. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP .. London (Capture Project & Lewisham) .

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    OVERVIEW Introduction:

    Welcome to Social Entrepreneurship

    In this module you will find lots of useful information to help you become a social entrepreneur including; What a social enterprise is, the people involved, the structures and legal requirements, how to get organised and find funding. We think the Case Studies in Step 5 cover this in detail.

    Before that you might want to work through Steps 1-4 in order to familiarise yourself with the basics of definitions, how to set a social enterprise, who to talk to and watch our interviews with inspiring people in Lewisham and across London. Most of the detailed information about What is a social enterprise you can find under the Definition tab above.

    British Council on Social Enterprise:

    You will have seen the opening film from the School of Social Entrepreneurs. They are based in London but started in Deptford Creekside in Lewisham.


    What is a Social Enterprise?

    The European Commission itself, in the Social Business Initiative (2011-14) (PDF) defined a social enterprise as follows;

    A social enterprise is an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for their owners or shareholders. It operates by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and uses its profits primarily to achieve social objectives. It is managed in an open and responsible manner and, in particular, involve employees, consumers and stakeholders affected by its commercial activities

    As Wikipedia puts it

    “A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being – this may include maximizing social impact rather than profits for external shareholders”

    The Social Enterprise:

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    However in the UK, with its long tradition of the Welfare State and the public provision of services, the definition is slightly different;

    Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. Make it #LocalGood – Local Stories of Social Enterprise –

    Definitions used by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship (Oxford University) and the Social Enterprise Coalition in the UK.

    Social entrepreneurship is the product of individuals, organizations, and networks that challenge conventional structures by addressing failures – and identifying new opportunities – in the institutional arrangements that currently cause the inadequate provision or unequal distribution of social and environmental goods.

    Social entrepreneurship has three key characteristics: sociality (in the public benefit), innovation and market orientation.

    Social enterprises are businesses trading for social environmental purposes. Many commercial businesses would consider themselves to have social objectives, but social enterprises are distinctive because their social or environmental purpose is central to what they do. Rather than maximising shareholder value their main aim is to generate profit to further their social and environmental goals.

    Social enterprise is a business model which contributes to a more sustainable society by offering the prospect of greater equity in economic participation

    What is Social Investment (UK trade and investment):

    Societal Benefit

    FAQs Good list on a range of issues, Social Enterprise UK

    Ethical; Community-owned assets NZ resource

    Rural; Developing Rural Economies; UK report on LEP development in rural communities. Has a useful benefits table at the end

    Accreditation; Social Enterprise Mark UK – standards for a Social Enterprise to achieve

    ZOP Space – Creating a place of belonging and well-being

    People Republic of Stokes Croft CIC Bristol

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    39% of Social Enterprises start in Deprived Communities

    What it means to be a SE (from EMES)

    EU Study on practices on Social Enterprises in Europe

    There was a thorough and useful pan-European report on social enterprise across Europe published in 2007. This neatly reflects the current circumstances of economic transition and change, because no two countries treat social enterprise in quite the same way, nor is there a standard definition; indeed in France the term “social economy” is used.

    Characteristics of a social enterprise

    1. Fulfils social goals 2. Addresses a target population in need 3. May operate under various legal forms 4. Deals with voluntary Social work 5. Has a non-profit orientation or reinvests profits 6. May receive public funding

    Economic criteria:

    • Continuous activity of the production and/or sale of goods and services (rather than predominantly advisory or grant-giving functions).

    • A high level of autonomy: social enterprises are created voluntarily by groups of citizens and are managed by them, and not directly or indirectly by public authorities or private companies, even if they may benefit from grants and donations. Their members have the right to participate (‘voice’) and to leave the organisation (‘exit’).

    • A significant economic risk: the financial viability of social enterprises depends on the efforts of their members, who have the responsibility of ensuring adequate financial resources, unlike most public institutions.

    • Social enterprises’ activities require a minimum number of paid workers, although, like traditional non-profit organisations, social enterprises may combine financial and non-financial resources, voluntary and paid work.

    Social criteria:

    • An explicit aim of community benefit: one of the principal aims of social enterprises is to serve the community or a specific group of people. To the same end, they also promote a sense of social responsibility at local level.

    • Citizen initiative: social enterprises are the result of collective dynamics involving people belonging to a community or to a group that shares a certain need or aim. They must maintain this dimension in one form or another.

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    • Decision making not based on capital ownership: this generally means the principle of ‘one member, one vote’, or at least a voting power not based on capital shares. Although capital owners in social enterprises play an important role, decision-making rights are shared with other stakeholders.

    • Participatory character, involving those affected by the activity: the users of social enterprises’ services are represented and participate in their structures. In many cases one of the objectives is to strengthen democracy at local level through economic activity.

    • Limited distribution of profit: social enterprises include organisations that totally prohibit profit distribution as well as organisations such as co-operatives, which may distribute their profit only to a limited degree, thus avoiding profit maximising behaviour.

    What is a social enterprise? (SENS):

    ClearlySo – What is a social enterprise?

    This potentially helpful infographic from ‘ClearlySo’ who claim that their vision is ‘of a world where the financial system is a powerful force for good and the impacts of businesses are considered in all investment decisions.’ The blog entry is discussing whether social enterprises should be considered on a spectrum alongside not for profit and profit based businesses.

    The Telegraph – ‘What is a social enterprise?’

    This article sums up with the following steps:

    • They want to change the world

    • They’re not in it for the money

    • They’re mould breakers

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    • They’re meeting a need

    British Columbia Centre of Social Enterprise

    Although focusing mainly on Canadian laws etc, this website is offering simple and concise definitions of what social enterprise is on a global and general scale.

    • ‘Social enterprise applies an entrepreneurial approach to addressing social issues and creating positive community change.’

    • A social enterprise is a business that uses entrepreneurial methods to accomplish soci