What is Social Enterprise?

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Social enterprises are businesses that trade primarily to benefit society. What makes social enterprise different to conventional business is that they seek to create social or environmental impact through the work they do, whatever they do.

From reducing inequality to tackling environmental issues and reducing plastic waste, social enterprises have clear aims and a commitment to changing our world.

Social enterprises are changing the face of how we do business. They can offer inventive solutions to society’s problems and provide goods and services across all industries and sectors.

A social enterprise is a different way of doing business. It’s not about generating wealth for shareholders or owners, but rather reinvesting profit for social purposes.

Social enterprises generate impact in two ways. They may directly benefit people and communities through the work they do, for instance creating employment for homeless people like the Big Issue magazine. Or, they may sell a product or service and donate the profits they make to a cause, like Belu Water who direct profits to Water Aid. 

Whichever the model, it’s important that social enterprises are able to make a profit through selling goods and/or services in order for them to be sustainable and create social impact.

Some well-known examples of social enterprise include Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain Fifteen, Divine Chocolate and Cafe Direct.

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Find out how you can source goods and services from social enterprises near you with Buy Social

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