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Resources for social entrepreneurs

Social enterprises:

"....cover a whole range of social, voluntary and community services, activities and initiatives and can include the provision of training, advice and support to individuals and organisations, self-help groups for community action and trading. Social entrepreneurs may be involved in enterprise development and trading activities but finance is a means to an end. Their core objective is to create social value"

(Hartigan, P. and Billimoria, J, Social Entrepreneurship: an overview,
Alliance, Vol 10, No.1, March 2005)

For the UK Government's definition of what they have also labelled the 'third sector' – see Communities and Local Government:

"... a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners."

Many charities operate social enterprises as part of their activities and many social enterprises operate in the commercial market place competing with traditional for profit businesses. Furthermore the competition amongst charities and social enterprises for funding is every bit as fierce as the competition for private and equity finance in the commercial sphere. Therefore, even if your core objective is to create social rather than economic value you will still need a well developed commercial awareness and many, if not all, of the enterprise skills associated with being a business entrepreneur.

Useful websites

Links to external sites

Some of the links on this page are imported from our Diigo social bookmarking account. You can view all our links directly on our Diigo site. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained on our website and to update it regularly, LSE cannot be held responsible for the content on external websites.