There are a lot of benefits to being a social enterprise, you can type that question into Google and you’ll be greeted by extensive lists. This blog post, however, highlights three benefits that I have experienced first-hand from my many years in a Social Enterprise over a mainstream business.
I find that the main difference is that you are more focused on making an impact, making a difference and contributing to society. You focus on your big WHY, and you are focused on that goal. In mainstream business, the bottom line is the profit, no matter how much people love their job and what they do, the bottom line is still profit. Your focus is that you want to make an impact.
By its very nature, a social enterprise is genuinely there to solve a social problem. Whether that be an environmental problem, a housing problem, rehabilitation or any other problem that society faces. I have clients that contribute to solving different degrees of social problems, for example, I have a client that recycles/repairs mobile phones. They want to reduce the amount of waste that is brought about from people constantly throwing out their phones and getting new ones. Ultimately, they are trying to solve an environmental problem.
I know another social enterprise which recycles tables, desks and chairs from offices, they get paid to pick them up and they then recycle them. They take something that was meant to be thrown away and give it a new lease of life to be sold again. This particular social enterprise also employs disadvantaged people, people with learning difficulties and people with disabilities.
All these social enterprises are working towards solving a social problem.
The public is becoming more and more aware of businesses that are making a contribution to society’s problems. Also, wanting to buy from ethical companies or social enterprises, people are actually voting with their own purses and making that decision to buy, or do business with a social enterprise.
People like stories, and if you are solving a social problem, people will become aware of the story behind your enterprise. They want to know why you are doing this, why are you recycling? Why do you want to solve this problem? There are no personal stories behind a mainstream business, the majority of the time, but humans like hearing the origins.
Personally, my whole mission in life or my hope is that all mainstream businesses become social enterprises. Hopefully, society continues to move towards this trend and they vote with their purses by continually buying ethical products.
Feel free to continue this discussion on Facebook, with me or everyone in the community! If you are just starting out, or this blog has inspired you to start your own Social Enterprise, I have plenty of material on my website for you to read, but you can also contact me with any problems you are having.