Ever considered creating a social enterprise business plan? Most people haven’t. The idea sounds like an inefficient, unsustainable business structure to many, but it is, in fact, quite the opposite.
Setting up a social enterprise business plan may be the solution you have been looking for. Social enterprise can transform a company to make it a leader in its industry. The guide below will cover the in’s and out’s of building a social enterprise business plan outline.
What Is a Social Enterprise?
The definition of a social enterprise varies by where you find it. Some definitions I found in my research include:
- For-profit businesses seeking social impact
- Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations
- Social entrepreneurs building an enterprise
- Individuals creating self-sustaining solutions
In the corporate sense, the definition of a social enterprise is somewhere between a nonprofit organization and a for-profit business. Think of it as a private business with a social mission.
Who can start a social enterprise?
Starting a social enterprise is similar to launching a business. The ideal candidates are a hard-working entrepreneur looking to influence social change or an existing business owner looking to expand or change its business model.
What is the purpose of a social enterprise?
A social enterprise has a mission to achieve. This mission typically involves solving a social, cultural, or environmental issue. The central focus of its business structure is to solve that mission while also generating a sustainable profit.
Nonprofits sacrifice some freedom in return for some legal benefits, such as tax exemption. Their mission must be focused on a charitable cause in order to be eligible for nonprofit status.
Traditional businesses, on the other hand, must pay taxes, but they have more freedom. Most businesses set out on a mission to build their brand and grow sales, though they can also be underlined by a greater cause.
A social enterprise is an undertaking that yields financial and social results. Think of it as a private business with a social mission.
How do social enterprises make a profit?
How a social enterprise makes a profit may depend on its business structure. For example, a nonprofit social enterprise may rely on donations from the community through fundraising events. A for-profit social enterprise may be more focused on generating sales.
Why should I start a social enterprise?
Some companies find more success in converting to a social enterprise business plan model. Often, social enterprises have more of a social connection and community impact than traditional businesses. So, this opens the door to greater branding opportunities and more exposure to a community.
Social enterprises can make an impact on a local and global level, so the scope of your company isn’t a huge factor. Furthermore, any size of company can undertake a social enterprise business plan.
However, you must have the right motives behind a building a social enterprise. Most companies already have a mission that is at least loosely focused on social, cultural, or environmental improvement. Transitioning to a social enterprise will only enhance or expand your existing mission.
You should not change your business plan if you are only interested in making money. A social enterprise may require some sacrifice to get off the ground. You must genuinely care about your cause to generate profits in the long run.
Developing a Social Enterprise Business Plan
Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) is an organization that is building a network of successful social enterprises, big and small. At the core of its mission, SEUK seeks to transform the business atmosphere by supporting burgeoning social enterprises.
In a recent press release, CEO of SEUK Peter Holbrook announced:
“Today we’re calling on all social enterprises to join our movement. The country’s current economic model is broken but together we can use our collective voice and mandate to bring about the change that is so desperately needed.
“Increasingly more and more people recognise that social enterprise must be the future of business, we are seeing more and more CICs, community businesses, mutuals and co-ops emerge. Our message is that together we are much more powerful than we can ever be alone—our country and our world is crying out for economic models that nourish and support our communities rather than extract wealth and exploit. We are building a powerful movement and we need more of you involved.”
This powerful statement just might push you to the edge. If you are contemplating starting a social enterprise, then take action today. SEUK’s stance on social enterprises proves that there is a future for these types of businesses.
Developing Your Plan
To develop a social enterprise business plan, you must first have a cause, of course. Hence, do some research in your industry to find what problems need to be solved. Also, you can expand your existing mission.
For example, your business may have a mission to deliver the most rapid roadside assistance across Germany. You could develop this objective into a social and environmental cause to make old and new cars more reliable or to educate the public about auto care.
After researching and establishing your cause, create a detailed plan to fulfill this purpose. Come up with creative yet effective ways to meet your ends. How will you generate profit? What type of business is your enterprise—for-profit or nonprofit?
Also, outline how this business structure will help your brand. Make your plan realistic. Dive into every small detail or challenge that you might face.
Marketing Your Social Enterprise
As you launch your social enterprise, marketing is essential to get the word out! So, develop a marketing strategy to accompany your business plan. Your marketing strategy should, of course, focus on the impact you plan to make in your community.
Who is your target market? What outlets will you use to reach your target audience? Then, implement your plan and hold your enterprise accountable. If you do not reach your marketing goals, reevaluate your technique and adjust accordingly.
Event marketing is a smart option for social enterprises. Events are the best way to reach your community in a powerful way. Consider planning an event marketing campaign to bolster your social enterprise. Valoso is your go-to partner for all your event marketing and video production needs.