Talk:Social enterprise

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Social enterprise is a phenomenon with at least two conflicting definitions. To Ashoka, Social Entrepreneurship is solving social problems entrepreneurially. Ashoka interprets a social enterprise as organization with a social mission that is either for-profit or with a profit generating component. To the Social Enterprise Alliance it is a non profit using earned income to fulfill part of its mission because of the inneficiency of the non profit capital market. These are related topics, but mean different things to different people. A social enterprise, is a non profit that has a revenue stream from the sale of goods or services. social entrepreneurship is more of a movement. They are related but not the same. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:39, 23 December 2005

  • The current definition seems circular. One problem is that the word "social" alone can be interpreted different ways, so using "social" in the definition is problematic right away. Generally this page needs to be streamlined and cleaned up: For example: why is there a mention of Russia as a root of the North American experience? The fact seems to come out of left field. DeweyQ (talk) 12:18, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
    • No in fact social can only be interpreted in two ways, the right way or the wrong way. For example it can not be interpreted as charity because there are several differences between the concepts. Charity and social enterprises may have the same goals, like protecting the rain-forest or protecting the interests of local residence. However social enterprises does not give money away or expect people to give them money, it does business in a way that benefits its goal. The social business will not give its money to its ends, it will invest in it. If its goal is to make make a village prosperous it will not give money to the villagers - it will pay villagers to do work and use business models to make the money needed to do that. That is not charity but business, even if it does satisfy the same goal. It is however both philanthropy. However unlike charity, social business does not consume money, it invests and reap the return, therefore it can reinvest and keep doing that - giving an end result that can be far greater towards it goal then the end result of charity. Also the difference between enterprise and social enterprise is that the social enterprise has a goal that it keeps reinvests toward, while the goal of the enterprise is to generate profit for its owner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:31, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposed merger of Social Enterprise/Entrepreneur[edit]

Proposed 18:19, 17 December 2005‎ by Piotrus (talk · contribs)

I agree that Enterprise and Entrepreneur should not be merged. But Social Entrepreneur should be a subset of the Social Enterprise entry. The definition of a social enterprise should be expanded to include a requirement that "nearly all" or "all" of the revenue is derived from trading. Otherwise, it's simply the trading arm of a charity. Social enterprises, in order to be considered a 3rd economy must be defined by this trait. It is this merging of private and non-profit which makes them unique.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Hannula (talkcontribs) 22:09, 28 December 2005‎

I would keep them separate. Social entrepreneurs are not managers of social enterprises, and the organisations they found and start up are not necessarily social enterprises as narrowly defined by parts of the entry / the comment above. Social entrepreneurs tend to be interested in outcomes not process: they don't care so much how they achieve their goals (legal structure / income generation / distribution of profits/surplus etc.) as long as they do. There are obviously connections between the two entries: social entrepreneurs do use what have been considered traditionally as more commercial 'business' methods, and are more opportunistic, risk-taking etc., and many of them found social enterprises (depending on your definition, of course). I write this from a more UK perspective, but I would agree with the top comment above: keep them separate, but linked. However, in response to the comment above, as social entrepreneurship is the wider movement, social enterprise should, if anything, be a subset of its entry, not the other way round. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:35, 12 January 2006‎

Distinctive differences and popular usages
The phrase "social entrepreneur" is currently popular among philanthropists, NGOs, and academics as a distinct form of civic engagement. This usage signifies an important difference with the phrase "social enterprise", which is neither a common or supported usage among the professional communities which purport to conduct these efforts. I would move to keep them as individual entries.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Freechild (talkcontribs) 05:27, 20 January 2006‎
Very different

Look at the classical definition of "entrepreneurship" as economists define it - it's an individual's reorganization of existing resources that radically improves the rate of return on those resources. Looking at that root, we would conclude that a social entrepreneur is someone who does this in a way that improves the rate of return for society. Social enterprise, on the other hand, refers to the blurring of business and nonprofit boundaries, especially in terms of using business practices to generate income for the organization. Consider this, classic social entrepreneurs such as Florence Nightingale or Martin Luther did not run social enterprises. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marcosmom (talkcontribs) 21:35, 21 January 2006‎

Also I would say that the social entrepreneurs are very important individuals to the social enterprises, even to the point that social enterprises cannot exist without them. However they are still two distinct things.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) Revision as of 15:35, 22 March 2011

I would agree that the two are different - primarily because I've known about the 'social entrepreneurship' business for about 3 years now and I've not once heard of the term 'social enterprise'. ----shmooth- 08:01, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Do not combine: related, but distinctly different
Agree with most of the comments, except for the first comment about subsets. In the U.S. context, social enterprise is more often considered a subset of social entrepreneurship, and not the other way around. However, this is a nit that doesn't affect the question of merger. Don't merge: distinct difference is that there are many respected social entrepreneurs that do not engage in enterprise activities.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jrandom (talkcontribs) 22:08, 13 March 2006

우리는 한국에서 사회적기업을 통하여 다른국가와 동참 할것으로 생각한다

우리와 함께 당신의 국가에서 소외된 국민들에게 교육을 시키고 그들이 자립을 할수 있도록 방안을 제시한다 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:52, 3 August 2010

Addition to awards?[edit]

Fast Company now does the 2008 Social Capitalist Awards, and I thought of this when I read your page: (talk) 19:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Merge with Social business[edit]

My point is separate from the discussion on merging Social enterprise and Social entrepreneur. I think that this article should be merged with Social business. These two articles share a lot of the same information, and I think the distinction between a "Social Business" and a "Social Enterprise" is just semantics.

Reziztor (talk) 22:46, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Social Business

While I see no real distinction to be made between social enterprise and social entrepreneur, social business on the other hand has been used to convey a business model which does not include mutuals and voluntary orgs. Muhammad Yunus has his own definition, Social Business Enterprise or SBE. A CIC for example could be described as a social business as could our own P-CED model, which is profit for social purpose. There's an interesting recent reference to this kind of approach, in the Papal encyclical of July 2009.

'This is not merely a matter of a “third sector”, but of a broad new composite reality embracing the private and public spheres, one which does not exclude profit, but instead considers it a means for achieving human and social ends. Whether such companies distribute dividends or not, whether their juridical structure corresponds to one or other of the established forms, becomes secondary in relation to their willingness to view profit as a means of achieving the goal of a more humane market and society' —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeff.mowatt (talkcontribs) 19:53, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


The following was posted in the article at the opening of the section on India, but is more appropriate to this page:— Preceding unsigned comment added by Timberframe (talkcontribs) Revision as of 14:03, 28 September 2009

I do not think this definition is correct. NGO's cannot be considered to be social enterprises. The below text also contradicts the definition made above in the article "Social enterprises are generally held to comprise the more businesslike end of the spectrum of organisations that make up the third sector or social economy. A commonly-cited rule of thumb is that their income is derived from the business trading rather than from subsidy or donations." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


Somebody deleted Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition - don't know why. Does it fit here? Dalkeithy (talk) 11:01, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Different tack![edit]

Sorry people, but to me with a few years industry experience, you are talking about leverage on the triple bottom line and then looking at turning that into specific business, or mayb that was the intention from the outset.

However, to me, the social enterprise is one that embraces current (and future) social media as a seemingly radical change to historical structured information and management.

It is an organisation that connects information through people, not hierarchical naming conventions (although they need to be in place as most technical systems currently require it!).

It is an organisation that embraces concepts like twitter and Facebook internally to disseminate information and events throughout the organisation.

It is an organisation that may even start using crowd sourcing as a way to solve issues and problems, currently especially in high profile marketing organisations, but I see few reasons why it can't be extended to all.

Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by MalHarwood (talkcontribs) 14:10, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Reassessment request[edit]

Class needs review; no explicit indication that all 5 B criteria were evaluated previously in 2008. Thanks,
SBaker43 (talk) 23:03, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Reorganization tag - May 2013[edit]

I don't see anything since the {{Reorganize}} template was added in May that looks like it addresses this. The issues I see appear to be minor (as far as organization is concerned).

  • WP:APPENDIX looks OK to me; correct sequence. Navigation template at the bottom.
  • Lead section seems OK. I'm not sure there's an Infobox that's applicable.
  • WP:BODY generally looks OK. Seemingly reasonable section headings. Continent sections probably need to be alphabetical and maybe without the "In" prefix. Paragraphs are generally narrative with some bullet exceptions. The bullets could be put into a big complex table but that doesn't seem very constructive. The bullets seem to draw attention to the variations in the different countries; a good thing.

Unless someone can identify something specific about what reorganization needs to be done by October 1, I suggest the {{Reorganize}} template be removed.
SBaker43 (talk) 00:54, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Parts of Globe Missing from Article[edit]

The Caribbean and South America are not present in this article; however, social enterprise is increasingly present in these areas. I suggest some information on social enterprise efforts and impact in this part of the world be included! Gilperkins (talk) 01:53, 4 September 2015 (UTC)Gilperkins

First use of the terms.[edit]

With this edit I've removed the section discussing who coined the terms. It's original research to claim that a specific example is the earliest use. If a reliable, WP:SECONDARY source makes a case that it's the first, or is in someway creditable for coining the term as applied to the concept, then great, but the sources and the statements were too flimsy and were attracting equally dubious counterclaims. Grayfell (talk) 08:16, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Social enterprise/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

*Reassess class because the old B assessment was done 02:46, 3 June 2008‎ and there is no indication that all 5 of the B criteria were evaluated. Thanks,
SBaker43 (talk) 22:39, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Last edited at 23:08, 8 August 2013 (UTC). Substituted at 06:25, 30 April 2016 (UTC)