What is social enterprise?
Driven by a need to tackle social and/or environmental issues in new and creative ways, social enterprises are organisations that trade goods and services to create social change rather than personal financial return.
Not only can ‘social enterprise’ be used to define an organisation, it can describe an activity; e.g. a charity can carry out social enterprise activity as part of the funding mix, but the charity would not necessarily be defined as a social enterprise itself.
There is more information on social enterprise in the Social Enterprise FAQs.
Why is social enterprise important?
The easy answer for much of the traditional charity, community and voluntary sectors is to widen the funding mix and provide cash, activities and/or services to meet needs that are difficult to get funding for.
This is not the only reason though. We operate in an increasingly dynamic environment. Needs change, funding bodies find new interests, new opportunities arise and competition is increasing. You cannot control any of these but using enterprise skills you can evaluate and react to opportunities effectively. Proper information gathering and analysis will drive up the quality of decision making and reduce risk.
Where can I get help?
For help on any aspect of social enterprise, contact Sue Dovey or Liz Donegan at
Community Action Hampshire. Beaconsfield House