What is a Social Enterprise?

A Social Enterprise is ‘a business operating for a social purpose’* and will commonly have the following attributes:

  • Social Objectives are core to the purposes and focus of the enterprise
  • Limited distribution of profits and/or distribution of profits with the purpose of maximising social impact – the majority of profits are reinvested in the enterprise and/or an associated social entity and are used to maximise social impact.
  • Mixture of capital inputs – the enterprise is often supported through blending of earned income, grant income and philanthropic income.
  • Blended Value Creation: Generation of social/ecological/ cultural returns (or a combination of these) in addition to a financial return

*(Adapted from Ingrid Burket’s Typology – definition from the UK Social Enterprise Coalition)