Tuesday, January 19, 2010

10 Interesting Facts about Social Enterprise

1. Social enterprise has galvanized a sizable global movement!

2. The crux of Mohammad Yunus Nobel Laureate speech was about “social business” [social enterprise] not microfinance per se.

3. Social enterprise is attracting mega bucks from new break-out foundations (Clinton Foundation, Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, Skoll Foundation, etc.) and venture philanthropists (bamboo fund, Acumen Funder, LGT, etc) as well as (little by little) the usual development aid donors (World Bank, IFC, IADB, DFID, USAID missions, etc.)

4. Strong synergies, overlap, value ad, and duplication of components exist between social enterprise and microfinance, fair trade, base of the pyramid, enterprise development, and value chain approaches to economic development.

5. The British Government deemed social enterprise as an essential strategic tool for the social sector development and as a result created a special unit for social enterprise in the Department of Trade and Industry and a legal designation (Community Interest Company.

6. Barack Obama presidential campaign also mentions social enterprise as part of its platform.

7. Over 80 universities around the world teach social entrepreneurship and social enterprise, many of which have dedicated centers to further the study of social entrepreneurship (among them: Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, NYU, Columbia, UC Berkeley, INSEAD, etc.)

8. Social enterprise has broad applications across sectors and thus can be used as an integrated approach for economic development plus health, education, housing, water, etc.

9. In its relatively short history, social enterprise has been a regular featured in mainstream press including, PBS series, “New Heroes” hosted by Robert Redford, Fast Company annual Social Capitalist Awards, The Economist, The Guardian, etc.

10. Social enterprise methodology is premised on social sector organizations achieving financial sustainability, high performance, strategic social impact and engendering an entrepreneurial culture.