Hello everyone - there has been a lot of buzz going on about social businesses as of late. What are they? How are they different from regular businesses and why is everyone jumping on the social business bandwagon? To fill us in, I asked Tiana Reid, community manager at socialbusiness.org, to explain their ins and outs and point our her favorite ones for us below.
Social Enterprises seem to be all the range in the circles in which I operate. That said if you ask 5 social entrepreneurs on what constitutes a social enterprise you often get five different responses. I personally would define a social enterprise as a business that actively decides not to maximize profits at the expense of social or environmental costs. Rather a social enterprise will seek to maximize profit, while producing as much social impact as possible.
Although the label of social enterprises is new, organizations producing both social betterment which are cash flow positive have existed for decades. I believe that the greed demonstrated in recent financial crash energized the world to create the term social enterprise to provide all with an impetus to create something new and socially productive.
To demonstrate some of the best examples of those businesses which are both producing financial and social output, I've listed in no particular order, 10 of my favorite social enterprises. As we're posting this on the Art Sumo blog, I thought it would be best to focus on companies that don't focus on International Art or World Paintings.