What is a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. It has a clear sense of its 'social mission': which means it will know what difference it is trying to make, who it aims to help, and how it plans to do it. It brings in most or all of its income through selling goods or services. It will also have clear rules about what it does with its profits, reinvesting these to further the 'social mission'.
Social enterprises come in many shapes and sizes from large national and international businesses to small community based enterprises but they all:
- Are businesses that aim to generate their income by selling goods and services, rather than through grants and donations.
- Are set up to specifically make a difference.
- Reinvest the profits they make in their social mission.