Succeeding at social enterprise

publication date: Jun 30, 2011

Does the notion that one can produce a social benefit, produce good products and earn some income sound foreign? How about the term social entrepreneurs? Perhaps you're more familiar with these examples of social enterprises:  Goodwill Industries, newspapers written, printed and sold by homeless people or vocational services for people with disabilities.

In Succeeding at Social Enterprise; Hard-Won Lessons for Nonprofits and Social Entrepreneurs, twenty authors share their successes and failures as learning lessons for anyone starting or growing a social enterprise.

From the issues surrounding the start-up of a nonprofit social venture to creating, marketing and selling services or products, through to managerial challenges, this book is filled with best practices, tools, guidance and successful cases for leaders (and future leaders) of social ventures.

Doing good versus doing well: balancing impact and profit

A social enterprise needs both mission and margin to be successful; drivers that are often in conflict.  Authors Kevin Lynch and Julius Walls, Jr., argue that this tension is valuable; pushing you, your staff, and your organization to work to your very best while grappling with numerous paradoxes.  The authors offer a template for developing guiding principles that help you continually rebalance this tension.  Here is a sample: 


Ask Yourself:


What is your role with our employees?  Are they a means to an end or are they an intricate part of who you are? How does that manifest itself in your business and its structure?


What is your relationship to your community? Is it simply a place of business?  Could you move a hundred miles away without any loss of impact or connection? Or would your community miss you because you were having a positive impact?


What will you do and not do to earn a profit? What are your profit goals? Who is rewarded when a profit is made?

Purchase your copy of Succeeding at Social Enterprise for just $44.00.  

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