Abridged excerpt from book “51 Questions on Social Entrepreneurship“.
What do you have to do to become a social enterprise?
Depending on the country you are in, you don’t have to do anything to become a social enterprise. In many places, the term is used very broadly. But if you do self-identify as a social enterprise, be ready to be challenged on your mission, how you measure and assess impact, and how you remain a viable enterprise.
In certain places, like South Korea, a social enterprise is defined by the government. An organization (nonprofit or for-profit) must register with the government in order to use the term social enterprise. So depending on where you are incorporating, it’s a good idea to check local and federal laws to learn about any specific implications for using the term.
The benefits of embracing the term social enterprise include finding like-minded people and entrepreneurs who can help you achieve your goals and be a support system as you navigate through common questions such as legal formation, fundraising, impact measurement, and so on. It takes a village to impact a village—so everyone has a role to play. Additionally, identifying as a social enterprise may connect you with your target market: conscious and informed consumers who are looking to “vote” for companies they believe in with their purchases and patronage.
This is an abridged excerpt from the book, “51 Questions on Social Entrepreneurship” by Neetal Parekh. You can learn more and buy the entire book—which is told as a story of three aspiring social entrepreneurs and which dives into key aspects of social entrepreneurship including defining the space, legal structures, securing funding, and measuring impact at 51questions.com