Advantages of a social enterprise that are entrepreneur specific like:
- Social entrepreneurs find it easier to raise capital. There are huge incentives and schemes from the government for the same. since the investment industry here is ethical, it is easier to raise capital at below market rates.
- Marketing and promotion for these organisations is also very easy. Since a social problem is being tackled with a solution, it is easier to attract attention of the people and media. The degree of publicity often depends on the degree of uniqueness of the solution.
- It is easier to garner support from likeminded individuals since there is a social side to the enterprise. It is also easier to get people onboard at lower salaries than compared to other industry.
Similarly there are advantages that are specific to the environment, society and the people concerned. Some of them are as under:
- Services in whichever section they may be offered are customized better to suit the needs of the individual or the problem. This is also designed in harmony with all other systems like the environment, society or the people.
- Cost effectiveness is another advantage of a social enterprise. The solutions offered by these organisations in the form of either products or services are reasonable than compared to the same service provided by a profit making organisation. No wonder basc amenities like healthcare, education etc have become very affordable to people world over with the help of these institutions. Micro finance, for example, today caters not to the poor but to the poorest!
Leveraged non-profit ventures
“The entrepreneur sets up a non-profit organization to drive the adoption of an innovation . In doing so, the entrepreneur engages a cross section of society, including private and public organizations, to drive forward the innovation through a multiplier effect. Leveraged non-profit ventures continuously depend on outside philanthropic funding, but their longer term sustainability is often enhanced given that the partners have a vested interest in the continuation of the venture”.
“The entrepreneur sets up a non-profit organization but the model includes some degree of cost-recovery through the sale of goods and services to a cross section of institutions, public and private, as well as to target population groups. Often, the entrepreneur sets up several legal entities to accommodate the earning of an income and the charitable expenditures in an optimal structure. To be able to sustain the transformation activities in full and address the needs of clients, who are often poor or marginalized from society, the entrepreneur must mobilize other sources of funding from the public and/or philanthropic sectors. Such funds can be in the form of grants or loans, and even quasi-equity”.
Social business ventures
“The entrepreneur sets up a for-profit entity or business to provide a social or ecological product or service. While profits are ideally generated, the main aim is not to maximize financial returns for shareholders but to grow the social venture and reach more people in need. Wealth accumulation is not a priority and profits are reinvested in the enterprise to fund expansion. The entrepreneur of a social business venture seeks investors who are interested in combining financial and social returns on their investments”.
“Social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development. Business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organizations, which are either set up as not-for-profits or companies”.