Social Enterprise Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Social Enterprise Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their social enterprise businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a social enterprise business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
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What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your social enterprise business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a social enterprise business, or grow your existing social enterprise business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your social enterprise business in order to improve your chances of success. Your social enterprise business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Social Enterprise Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a social enterprise business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for social enterprise businesses.
How to Write a Business Plan for a Social Enterprise
If you want to start a social enterprise business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your social enterprise business plan template:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of social enterprise business you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a social enterprise business that you would like to grow, or are you operating social enterprise businesses in multiple markets?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the social enterprise industry. Discuss the type of social enterprise business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of social enterprise business you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types of social enterprise businesses:
- Trading social enterprise : this type of social enterprise refers to cooperatives, collectives, and other organizations that are worker or employee-owned. This type of ownership structure allows a higher degree of economic resiliency compared to a traditional organization.
- Financial social enterprise: this type of social enterprise includes credit unions, cooperative banks, and revolving loan funds, which are all membership-owned. In other words, the money deposited from a member is used to help other members who may need financial assistance.
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charity social enterprise: this type of social enterprise businesses are usually created to support a specific social, environmental, or political goal. The profits are used to further the social or environmental aims of the organization or to provide salaries for people who provide free services to specific groups of people.
In addition to explaining the type of social enterprise business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, number of positive reviews, reaching X amount of clients served, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the social enterprise industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the social enterprise industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your social enterprise business plan:
- How big is the social enterprise industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your social enterprise business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your social enterprise business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments:non-profits, individuals, social causes, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of social enterprise business you operate. Clearly, social causes would respond to different marketing promotions than individuals needing financial assistance, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other social enterprise companies.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes social enterprise companies such as brand awareness companies, community organizations, government programs, etc.
With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other social enterprises with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be social enterprise businesses located very close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What clients or causes do they serve?
- What type of social enterprise company are they?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide social enterprise services that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will your social enterprise business help more people in need?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a social enterprise business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of social enterprise company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to social enterprise services, will you provide access to funding, marketing, counseling, and/or brand awareness, and any other services?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your social enterprise company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your social enterprise business located near an office complex, a university, an urban setting, or a busy neighborhood, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.
Promotions : The final part of your social enterprise marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Website and SEO marketing
- Community events
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your social enterprise business, including communicating with clients, marketing, accounting, accounts payable, fundraising, and searching for grant opportunities.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to obtain your XXth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your social enterprise business to a new location.
To demonstrate your social enterprise business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing social enterprises. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a social enterprise business or are connected to a wide network of professional organizations that frequently tend to donate to various causes.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you take on one new service at a time or multiple services ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your social enterprise business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a social enterprise business:
- Cost of social enterprise services
- Cost of overhead, marketing, and outreach
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your social enterprise outline of services, types of customer and/or cause you will be targeting, and the areas your social enterprise business will serve.
Putting together a business plan for your social enterprise business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the social enterprise industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful social enterprise business.
Social Enterprise Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my social enterprise business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Social Enterprise Business Plan.
What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of social enterprise business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a social enterprise business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of social enterprise businesses?
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Social Enterprise Business Plan
- Social Enterprise
A social enterprise is an activity of a nonprofit that employs entrepreneurial, market-driven strategies for earned income in support of its mission. This outline for a social enterprise business plan is a guide for research, planning, and writing a business plan for nonprofit social enterprises.
A social enterprise is an activity of a nonprofit that employs entrepreneurial, market-driven strategies for earned income in support of their mission. Business plans are a common tool for entrepreneurs when starting or growing a business enterprise. For nonprofits that are starting or growing a social enterprise as a part of their program activities, developing a business plan is an essential step. While social enterprise business plans address all of the questions needed for any business, nonprofits also need to consider the alignment with mission, organizational background and structure, and evaluation of both financial and social impact.
This outline for a business plan is a guide for research, planning, and writing a business plan for nonprofit social enterprises. The sections below are provided as a roadmap for the plan. Most business plans include each of these sections, though the length and amount of detail will vary depending on the nature of the enterprise, the complexity of the organization, and the purpose and audience for the plan.
The Executive Summary provides the most important information for readers that need to understand and support the concept but not necessarily know the detailed plans. This is usually written last.
- Organizational description
- Business concept
- Market description
- Value proposition, or competitive advantage
- Key success factors
- Financial highlights and capital requirements
A social enterprise of a nonprofit organization may contribute directly to achieving mission; may be complementary or supportive of mission; or may be unrelated to mission (with primarily financial goals). The alignment to mission is a critical question.
- Organization mission and/or vision statement
- Relationship of social enterprise to organizational mission, or separate mission for the enterprise
Background and Structure
This section summarizes the organization’s history and programs and how the enterprise will fit in to the larger organization.
Most social enterprises operate as an activity or program within the nonprofit, though some are legally structured as a separate nonprofit, a for-profit subsidiary, or an independent organization.
Form should follow function and the legal structure should support the purpose and activities of the enterprise. Advice from an expert attorney may be needed.
- Brief description of the nonprofit, including context and programs
- How the business venture will be structured in the organization
- Legal structure and governance (Boards, advisory committees, reporting)
The market analysis is the heart of the business plan and is too often inadequately explored when planning a social enterprise. Solid research is necessary to understand the target customers and how the enterprise will meet a gap and demand in the market. No amount of mission or commitment will overcome a deficiency in market knowledge and a bona fide demand for the product or service.
- Summary of current market situation
- Target market and customers
- Customer characteristics, unmet demands and buying factors
This section describes the competitors, both nonprofit and for-profit, and the value proposition, or market advantage, of the proposed business.
- Primary competitors
- Competitive products/services
- Risks and opportunities in competitive market
- Recent or emerging changes in the industry
- Specific description of competitive advantage/value of proposed product or service
This section is a summary of the product or service that will meet the demand in the market. It does not need to include detailed descriptions, price lists or other materials.
- Product/service description
- Positioning of products/services
- Future products/services
Marketing and Sales
This section will describe how the organization will reach the target market and turn those prospects into paying customer.
- Marketing strategy
- Sales tactics
- Advertising, public relation, and promotions
- Summary of sales forecasts
This is the “how to” section, describing the creation and delivery of the business’ product or service.
- Management structure
- Staffing plan and key personnel – if this includes programmatic elements related to the mission, expand this section
- Production plan or service delivery, including summary of costs of materials and production
- Customer service/support strategy and plan
- Facilities required, including specialized equipment or improvements. If the business is retail, discuss location characteristics
Evaluation and Assessment
Most for-profit businesses measure their success by the financial results. Social enterprises have a double bottom line (or a triple bottom line.) This section describes the factors that will be evaluated to assess the success of each aspect of the enterprise.
- Quantifiable financial goals
- Quantifiable mission goals
- Monitoring and evaluation strategy
Financial Plan and Projections
The financial section includes projections for revenue and expenses for at least three years with a summary narrative of the key assumptions. This section also details the start up costs for capital equipment, inventory, initial marketing and staffing, and subsidy needed to cover losses during the start up period. These capital requirements may be funded from a combination of contribution from the nonprofit, grants for the enterprise, and/or debt financing.
- Start up costs and investments in equipment, technology, or one time costs
- Capital requirements and sources
- Income and expense projection
- Pro forma balance sheet for start up
- Cash flow summary or projection
- Assumptions and comments
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Good company » growth studio, 7 steps to becoming a successful social entrepreneur.
Making a difference is at the heart of being a social entrepreneur, and these steps will help you succeed in your endeavor.
Social entrepreneurs are a big-hearted breed. They care deeply about more than earning a profit. They’re also passionate about making a difference.
For some, such as Yoobi founder Ido Leffler and TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, that means donating a product to an individual in need for every product purchased. For others, such as Scholly co-founder Christopher Gray, that means helping low-income students find the scholarship money they need to make their college dreams come true.
To succeed as a social entrepreneur, as these inspiring change-makers have, you also need more than a great purpose-driven business idea. You need a step-by-step plan and the commitment to see it through, says C.J. Hayden, a San Francisco-based social entrepreneurship coach and founding board member of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance .
“If you feel called to make more of a difference in the world and want to make a living while doing it, you’ll need a clear roadmap for your journey,” Hayden, a social venture founder herself, said in an interview. “A specific set of directions to get your business from a flash of inspiration to off the ground is required.”
Here are seven practical, actionable steps that Hayden suggests carefully following to become a successful social entrepreneur — and to truly be the change you wish to see in the world:
Write a mission statement
“Start by deciding precisely who you want to serve and exactly where and how you want to serve them. Be equally clear about the problem you’d like to solve for this demographic through your business service or product.
Think about your natural talents, core competencies, professional skills and training, and access to needed resources. Ask yourself simple guiding questions like ‘What will I do?’ ‘How will I do it?’ ‘Who am I doing it for?’ and ‘What value will I provide?’ The answers to those questions will inform your mission statement.”
- How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas , by David Bornstein
- The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World , by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan
Research the field
“Learn more about the social business landscape you want to work in and see who the players are and how they’re changing the world. Don’t reinvent the wheel. If a social entrepreneur out there is already doing exactly what you want to do, use that as inspiration and fuel to come up with your own distinctly different purpose-driven offering.
Google is your friend here in finding those who you might consider competitors or collaborators. Also, if you were someone who wanted to engage with a business offering that you want to offer, what would he or she search the web for? What specific keyword search terms would he or she use? See yourself as your ideal customer or beneficiary and search online through that lens.
You’ll also want to research trade associations specific to social entrepreneurship. The Social Enterprise Alliance , which has 16 chapters throughout the U.S., is a great first resource to reach out to. See who the members of this group are and what types of social enterprises they’re operating.
Further honing in, research trade associations geared toward your particular potential offering. For example, if you aim to provide office supplies using the popular one-for-one donations model, you’ll want to reach out to the National Office Products Alliance . See what the people there are teaching their members and the topics they’re talking about at meetings and conferences. This will help you get the pulse of what’s going on in the field you hope to enter.”
- List of industry trade groups in the U.S.
Conceptualize your unique offering
“How can you offer something different than what others are already offering? The more grounding and granularity you have in what you want to do and how you will do it — ideally in ways that have not been done before — the more unique your social enterprise will be.
A helpful exercise here is to grab a pad of Post-It notes and to put on each note a word that is directly related to what you’re trying to accomplish with your social enterprise. Then stick the notes on walls or windows where you can easily see them and move them around in different combinations.
Over several days or weeks, continue to adjust your sticky notes, keeping in mind what you want to achieve and who you want to help, plus how you can do all of that uniquely, as only you can within your own specific social niche.
Or, if you can’t be entirely different from others already in the field you’re venturing into, think about ways you can add value to their efforts, perhaps collaboratively.”
- From Idea to Concept: The 3 Stage Business Plan for Aspiring Entrepreneurs , by John Endris
Reach out to team members for feedback and support
“What I mean by ‘team member’ is not necessarily someone who is going to work with you and for you, either as a business partner or an employee. Rather, it's someone who will be a steadfast supporter of what you’re trying to accomplish through your purpose-driven venture. Someone who is on your team, rooting for you.
To gather outside support, look to people already in your life and career who you consider to be trusted mentors and advisors. Or, they may be some of the competitors and collaborators you came across when researching the field, or members of relevant trade associations that you looked into. They could also simply be like-minded souls who want to make a difference, too, or already have.
Team members are people you can freely, openly bounce ideas off of and seek feedback and advice from. People who have been in your shoes before who can help guide you to success, ideally opening up their networks and resource pools along the way to propel you forward.
Present your supporters and mentors with your mission statement, and simply see what they think about it. You’ll have to have a thick skin when doing this because some may provide very strong corrective criticism. Remember that your team members likely have good intentions and want to see you succeed.”
- SCORE free small business mentorship services
- Social Impact International's mentorship network
Develop your business model
“A business model is a roadmap for how your enterprise is going to make money. Think about just how far you want your services and/or products to reach. Are you going to be satisfied with serving and assisting just the number of customers that you yourself can serve locally as one person? Or are you going to need to expand and hire in order to make a bigger impact?
Decide and document exactly how much money you want or need for this social enterprise to bring in order to support your mission, pay for itself, pay you, and anyone you might hire, and to perhaps eventually expand. What specific type of business model will lead to the earnings you require and desire?
Also ask yourself if the beneficiaries of your enterprise’s goals will pay for your enterprise themselves, or are you going to have one group of people pay for your products and then have another group of people be beneficiaries? For example, the one-for-one model of TOMS Shoes has one group of people — consumers — paying for the shoes and individuals in need are the beneficiaries, which is a very common social business model.
An example of a social enterprise where the beneficiaries themselves pay for products or services is micro-lending ventures . These increasingly popular business model structures involve making microfinance loans to people who pay interest. The interest collected from them funds the repayment of the loans and provides profits, as well as funding for additional loans to be made.
Once you settle on which type of social enterprise business model fits your business concept best — and there are many to choose from — consider putting your chosen model forth in a local social entrepreneurship pitch competition, with the goal of refining it as much as possible.”
- Business Model Generation: A Handbook For Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers , by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
- Power to the People: How to Create a Profitable Social Enterprise , article by bplans.com
- Global Social Venture Competition
Identify initial funding sources
“This is where you’ll want to do your homework to find out where you’ll source seed funding from. Where will you obtain the funding you need to launch and what will be required to get it?
Will you seek a traditional business loan or can you afford to self-finance? Will you look to friends and family for loans or reach out to angel investors and venture capitalists?
What about perhaps crowdfunding your social enterprise through Indiegogo [as Lisa Curtis did to get her global poverty-fighting superfood startup Kuli Kuli, Inc. off the ground]? Crowdfunding is a particularly wise move if you already enjoy some early success as a startup social venture, and have a large mailing list or e-newsletter subscriber base you can broadcast your crowdfunding campaigns to. If you don’t have broad target demographic reach or a significant social following, crowdfunding might only produce very small amounts of funding and may not be worth the time investment on your part.
One of the best funding options specifically for social enterprises are impact investing groups, which exclusively fund purpose-driven companies. The aforementioned Social Venture Network is a great place to connect with investors that fall in this growing category.
As with any kind of outside investing, you’ll want to be cautious that the investors you work with are 100 percent behind your social mission, and not just investing in order to get the highest return possible.”
- The Art of Startup Fundraising: Pitching Investors, Negotiating the Deal, and Everything Else Entrepreneurs Need to Know , by Alejandro Cremades and Barbara Corcoran
- The Global Impact Investing Network
- Investopedia’s Top 5 Impact Investing Firms
- RSF Social Finance
Write an action plan (and stick to it)
“An action plan — not to be confused with a business plan — very specifically lays out the to-do tasks and action items you need to commit to and by when. It will include the exact date you want to launch your social venture and how long it will take you to get there, working backward from that date.
Your action plan is your master to-do list, it’s your schedule, it’s your calendar. Build it around your annual, monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly entrepreneurial goals.
Particularly when you’re starting up from scratch and you don’t have outside accountability to anyone, carefully creating an action plan — and meticulously following it — is absolutely essential to staying on track. When you do, you can transform your dreams of changing the world into reality.”
- C.J. Hayden’s Life In a Notebook Planning System
- American Express’s 9 Essential Action Items For Every New Entrepreneur
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Social Entrepreneurship 101: Business Models and Examples To Inspire You
- by Braveen Kumar
- Find an Idea
- Sep 14, 2022
- 12 minute read
The word “commerce” leaves a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, since it often gets lumped in with the ills of capitalism. But commerce is a natural feature of humanity, neither good nor bad.
When channeled through social entrepreneurship , commerce can become a force of good to build a business that helps create a better world.
Social entrepreneurship takes many forms, but if you’re interested in starting a business with a cause, here’s where to start.
What is social entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship is the organization of a business around specific social and environmental causes, and can include both nonprofit organizations and charities and for-profit social enterprises.
Social entrepreneurs differ from traditional entrepreneurs in that their main drive is to make a difference in the world or in their communities. They often have personal experience with the causes they support, which inspires their business’s mission.
While traditional businesses might measure success in terms of market share or year-over-year revenue growth, social entrepreneurs are more likely to focus on metrics like jobs created, trees planted, or donations made to a charitable arm that solves the problem they’ve invested in.
What’s a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is a business designed around a core altruistic mission, which in turn influences how it’s managed, from product development to branding, from supply chain management to financial planning.
Instead of a single bottom line focused on earnings, many social enterprises measure success based on a triple bottom line :
- People. The human impact of your business, and your ability to affect social change, improve lives, and develop a community in a sustainable way.
- Planet. Your environmental impact—how you contribute to a sustainable planet or reduce the carbon footprint (CO2 emissions) of your business and customers.
- Profit. Like traditional businesses, social enterprises need to make money in order to sustain themselves, pay workers, and grow as an enterprise.
Unlike a traditional business where profit is reinvested into the business for the sake of its own growth, a social enterprise allocates a large portion of its profits to create positive change in the world.
Social enterprises are not necessarily the same as companies with corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. “Doing good” isn’t a value-add for social enterprises. It’s the core value prop and the mission they organize themselves around.
While social enterprises can be for profit or not for profit, there are also hybrid organizations that combine elements of both models, such as Merit Goodness , a clothing brand that helps fund scholarships for underprivileged youth in Detroit, Michigan.
The traditional retail business model also has a registered charity arm called Give Merit , which runs a cohort-based program to nurture leadership and career skills in ambitious youth.
What are the different types of social entrepreneurship
Just as there are near-infinite expressions of entrepreneurship, there are countless forms social entrepreneurship can take. You could start a nonprofit that provides funding for underserved entrepreneurs. Or you could launch a for-profit business that manufactures eco-friendly products.
No matter what type of social entrepreneurship you choose, you’ll need to be passionate about your cause and have a strong commitment to making a difference. With hard work and dedication, you can make a real impact on the world.
The different models you can adopt as a social entrepreneur include:
- Nonprofit. A tax-exempt, non-business entity that invests excess funds back into the mission.
- Co-operative. A business organized by and for its members. Credit unions and community grocery stores are some examples of co-ops.
- Social purpose business. These businesses start on the foundation of addressing a social mission.
- Social firm. Social firms employ those in the community who need jobs, such as at-risk youth.
- Socially responsible business . These companies support social missions as a part of their day-to-day business operations.
- For-profit. Perhaps the vaguest category, these businesses are profit-first but donate funds, raise awareness, or otherwise support causes.
Arguably the most common social enterprise model is donating a portion of profits to a charity, but that’s not all there is to building an effective social enterprise.
"It’s not just saying, ‘Hey, we have a social mission as an organization, and X percent of our sales goes to nonprofit X, Y, and Z.’ I think it needs to be deeper and more authentic than that.” Stephan Jacob, co-founder of Cotopaxi
- Creating jobs within the communities they care about, such as hiring local ex-convicts or ethically outsourcing production to communities in need of fair work and career development opportunities
- Reducing their carbon footprint by planting trees or offsetting carbon emissions throughout their entire supply chain and educating customers about the topic
- Hosting workshops and people-development initiatives to teach skills and empower others to build better lives for themselves and their communities
- Advocating for diversity and inclusion on behalf of underrepresented groups and becoming an engine of inspiration, such as GoldieBlox does by making content and toys that expose young girls to the joys of engineering
Do social entrepreneurs make money?
Social entrepreneurs do indeed make money.
While most social entrepreneurs start out with modest goals to prioritize their mission first, many are eventually able to achieve financial success similar to traditional entrepreneurs. Even founders of nonprofit organizations can eventually pay themselves a salary with certain limitations.
The pursuit of profit and purpose are not mutually exclusive in business, but for the social entrepreneur, it’s important that the former never cannibalizes the latter.
Shiza Shahid is one example of a financially successful serial social entrepreneur who co-founded the Malala Fund , which works toward a world where girls can have greater access to education in communities where they might be excluded from it, as well as Our Place , an ethical kitchenware company.
The benefits of building a social enterprise
A social enterprise’s mission is a competitive advantage that can help it stand out in a crowded market—if they can communicate their motivation and impact.
Building a social enterprise comes with its own unique benefits for the entrepreneur that are worth getting excited about if you plan to start your own:
- Alignment between your business’s mission and your personal one , fuelling you to show up every day and push through any obstacles
- Mission-based branding with a cause at its core that makes consumers feel good about every purchase they make.
- Access to more partnership opportunities as an altruistic business, such as other nonprofit organizations, influencers, and for-profit companies to leverage existing audiences and established reputations to create a presence in their market.
- More press coverage —publications and journalists love to cover social innovation and change-makers and share the stories of their impact to help social enterprises evangelize their efforts.
- “In kind” resources, sponsorships, and vendor discounts are often available to social enterprises, especially nonprofit charities, which may also be considered for tax-exempt status. NPOs can also access great rates and special features on the Shopify for nonprofits plan.
- Certifications and support systems. Social enterprises can be eligible for grants, “impact investing” opportunities that focus on job creation and sustainability, and special certifications such as a B Corporation status that make it easier to establish credibility, commit to transparency, and attract customers , employees, volunteers, and investors.
Transparency and sustainable impact are essential for a successful social enterprise. And these things are easier to achieve if your cause is close to your heart with impact you can measure.
David Meritt, founder of Give Merit , shares annual reports about the performance of the students who enroll in the FATE program for nurturing leadership skills among the youth in his community.
Depending on your mission, you can directly implement your plans for change as a social entrepreneur and expand your contributions as you grow. But if you choose to partner with nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to help execute the “social” part of your social enterprise (as many do), be sure to do your homework before you reach out. Ask questions like:
- What am I ultimately giving back to?
- How will my contributions actually be used and what are the organization’s operating costs?
- How does the organization measure its success?
- Is its impact sustainable or will it only end up doing more harm in the long run?
- Does this organization have an ethical history as a nonprofit?
This is all part of your founding story—the tale of why you started your business—and will likely come up again and again in your elevator pitch , About page , PR efforts, and more. So refine your story with your mission and your action plan for creating change in mind and let it become your edge.
Social entrepreneurship examples that balance purpose and profit
Let’s take a closer look at some for-profit social enterprise examples and their missions that prove creating positive change and being profitable as a business don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Cotopaxi is a social enterprise that sells durable gear for the outdoor explorer, while also contributing to initiatives to fight global poverty. Sustainability is built into its product development and carbon neutral supply chain, which has earned the business its B Corp status as a social enterprise.
Mission: “Create sustainably designed outdoor gear that fuels both adventure and global change, by dedicating a percentage of our revenues to nonprofits working to improve the human condition.”
Impact : Aided 1,255,490 people directly through poverty alleviation programs, provided 67,000 malaria treatments benefitting 403,416 families, and more in 2021.
Blueland is a social enterprise that sells plastic-free alternatives to home essentials, such as cleaning sprays and paper towels. Sustainability is at the heart of its mission and is woven into its content marketing that educates readers about sustainability and single-use plastics.
Mission : “Make it easy to be eco with innovative products in reusable packaging that are convenient, effective and affordable.”
Impact : Its products helped eliminate one billion single-use plastic bottles from landfills and oceans since 2019.
LSTN Sound Co. sells premium wooden headphones and provides access to hearing aids to people in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation . It reflects the founders’ love for music and wanting to share that experience with others, especially those with hearing loss who cannot afford hearing aids.
Mission: “After seeing a viral video of someone hearing her own voice for the first time, co-founders Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff decided to focus their efforts on creating change through the power of sound & music, and make this incredible moment a reality for others around the globe.”
Impact : The company has helped provide hearing aids to more than 50,000 people who would not have had access to them otherwise.
Finding a product to sell and a mission to lead
The mission might come first for social entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t eclipse the importance of choosing the right things to make and sell . When all is said and done, a for-profit social enterprise needs to make money to survive, just like any other business idea.
You could start a social enterprise selling physical or digital products, even services.
The one caveat is your product development process must align with your mission. The common trait among successful social enterprises is a “product-cause fit” that aligns their mission with what they sell.
Start by asking yourself:
- What social or environmental problems do you see in the world that you’re passionate about solving? The world is no doubt filled with many problems, but pick one you truly care about.
- Is there a way you can uplift your local community? You don’t need to change the world. You can change someone’s world in your own city.
- Is there a specific market you can sell to authentically? Authenticity is at the heart of social enterprises and that goes beyond the cause and applies to what you sell to customers too.
- Can you draw any connections between the causes and product categories you’re passionate about? You’ll likely be marketing the product first to your customer, not the cause, but it helps if customers can draw a clear line between the two.
From there, you can work backward to find specific product ideas you can develop.
Social enterprise ideas you can start today
If you’re looking for specific directions to go in for your own social enterprise, here are some creative ideas you can explore.
1. Upcycle a product that could easily be repurposed or repaired
One way to build sustainability into your business is taking an existing product that often goes to waste unnecessarily and upcycle it. You can intake what others may consider “garbage” and use that material in the production of your own products, such as food or clothing that would’ve gone to waste.
Learn more : The Charitable Bike Brand That’s on Track to 7-Figure Sales
2. Find an existing product responsible for a lot of waste and create a sustainable alternative
Think about the things we use daily that create the most waste—paper towels, cotton swabs, plastic straws, coffee pods—and consider how you might not just eliminate that waste with your own product, but potentially save consumers money too.
Learn more: 18 Sustainable Stores to Inspire Your Business
3. Start a homemade goods business, and hire and train people from your community who have trouble securing employment
Homemade goods, as the name implies, whether food, accessories, or skin care products, are something you can easily teach others how to produce. That can allow you to hire people who have difficulty securing employment for whatever reason and help them develop new skills in the process.
Learn more : 10 Crafts to Make and Sell
Create positive change through social entrepreneurship
Our connected world has brought about a new era of awareness, where we can find problems to solve and lives to improve across the street or across the world if we choose.
People from all over are deciding to make change in whatever way they can, whether it’s by being more conscious of what they buy as consumers or building an engine for social and environmental good by becoming entrepreneurs.
With a single website, you can reach a world of consumers who want to help you make a difference. Shopify is a flexible platform to build your site, share your mission, and generate sales to fund that mission . It’s all about figuring out your cause and what to sell to support it
Social entrepreneurship FAQ
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How to create a business that does good with a social enterprise.
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A social enterprise is an enterprise where at least 50% of the profits are invested back into a charitable cause. The aim is to have a social mission and to make a social impact.
Well known examples in the UK include The Big Issue , Divine Chocolate and the Eden Project but there are over 80,000 social enterprises throughout the country contributing £24 billion to the economy and employing nearly a million people in diverse fields such as arts, mental health and well-being , housing, education and sports. The State of Social Enterprise survey carried out in 2015 shows that it is a dynamic movement with almost half (49%) of all social enterprises in the UK less that five years old. Most encouragingly it also showed an inclusive and diverse leadership: 40% of social enterprises are led by women; 31% have Black Asian Minority Ethnic directors; 40% have a director with a disability.The Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2018 showed a rise in social enterprises in 2018.
There is no single legal definition of a social enterprise and hence can cause confusion both in the the organisation as well as for the consumers and clients.
The UK Government definition of social enterprise is that these are “Businesses 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.”
This model of doing business is rapidly growing in the USA too but the lines between non-profit and business are still blurry, with the following basic working definition : " Organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social problem through a market-driven approach."
Why is it not a charity? Because it relies on selling products or services to make money, and not on volunteering, grants or donations.
Is it ethical? Most social enterprises are ethical businesses, but not all ethical businesses might be social enterprises. A ethical businesses aims to reduce and minimise the harmful impact on people and planet, while a social enterprise actively benefit people and planet.
Here are 5 essential questions to ask before you set up a social enterprise, and things I have learnt from my own experience of setting up a social enterprise:
1.Why do I want to set up a social enterprise?
This has to be the first and most important question. Either the business emerges from a need to serve the society in some way, and have a positive impact on the society, or there is a business idea that can be developed into a social enterprise by bringing in a ethical and positive dimension to it. Either way, the will to do good and help the community has to be the ethos that the venture is grounded in. Usually it stems from a personal story, a passion or a cause very close to the heart.
2. Who will benefit and how?
It is important to have a clear sense of mission. Who it will benefit, what different it will make, and how the business is going to go about it. It helps to determine the level of social impact in the short and long term, and how it will be measured and evaluated. This will also help in reaching the right audience, and identifying the marketing and networking strategies.
3. How do I fund my social enterprise?
It is important to write a business plan, however brief it might be. It is also important to be clear on how social responsibility is built into the business plan. There are self-funded initiatives, community participation schemes, crowdfunding and loans. Plans should be in place to recover the initial funding but also earn running costs without relying on donations.
There are a number of organisations offering grants such as Arts Council and Big Lottery Fund in the UK. Social investment providers such as Big Issue Invest expect to see a clear social impact and also expect to recover their grant with interest. Good Funding is a useful website to understand social investment, and School for Social Entrepreneurs is a good place to look for a range of funding options.
Ashoka and Echoing Green are two of the largest social entrepreneurship support organisations in the USA, both providing essential support and guidance. The Social Enterprise Alliance is a movement of over 1000 leading social entrepreneurs and social enterprises spanning 16 chapters across the U.S. and provides networking opportunities and support to new entrepreneurs.
4.Which model is right for my social enterprise ?
This will depend on the size and the scope of the mission and the impact, both in the short and long term. The legal structure has to fit the business, the potential customers, activities and source of money.
A Community-interest Company (CIC) is a limited company and, compared to an ordinary company, has more checks built in through the CIC legislation and has transparency of Directors' remunerations and assets.
A Co-operative is the most common, more participative and democratic not run by individuals but by a community of members.
A registered charity has a board of voluntary trustees, is more heavily regulated by the charities commission, and has greater access to tax relief. Most small businesses set up initially as sole traders, and can then convert to other models as they grow.
The SEA proposes three basic models of social enterprises : those that employ people who face barriers to mainstream employment such as Greyston Bakery ; organizations that create impact through innovative products or services such as Growing Sound ; and, finally those that donate back to non-profits to create social change and impact such as The Art Tiffin .
5.How will I evaluate impact?
The social enterprise can have a social or environmental impact, and it is essential to build evaluation process in the business plan, as well as indicators and parameters for impact assessment. It is also important to identify how the social enterprise will handle scaling up with growth. A social enterprise is transparent, and in assessing social change, the qualitative measures are often as, if not more, useful as quantitative statistics. In the impact strategy, the challenges as well as areas of improvement should also be clearly identified. The key thing is to start questioning, measuring and testing from day one, as like anything else, the impact model might need to redefined with the growth of the social enterprise.
The Social Enterprise model is a great way of doing business and doing good, but it also has some unique challenges. The key thing is to not just follow the trends but be very clear on the mission statement, values and ethos.
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Apr 16, 2019
Your Social Enterprise Startup Guide: Social Impact Business Plans and Startup Budgets
If you hope to make a positive social impact with your business idea, startup, or service offering and be financially sustainable, you my friend may too be a social entrepreneur!
You’re in the right place to learn how to create a social impact business if you:
- Are a values-driven person with a new business idea (or a business you want to uplevel),
- Are thinking of creating a project, offering, or startup to address a social issue,
- Want to incorporate support for an issue you care about into your work.
In this article we explore social impact entrepreneurship and you’ll learn from the startup world how to do three crucial activities that will help you focus in on creating a sustainable business.
SOCIAL IMPACT ENTERPRISE
Social Impact businesses can donate a section of profits like REI or goods like Toms , help get fair trade wages for makers , or be lead by workers like co-ops in the household , tech , and many other industries.
Social entrepreneurship is on the rise, with rising stars lists , networks , programs , and brand-name school certificate programs all on offer. Large companies can now be mission-driven B-Corps , and big businesses are slowly normalizing reporting a “ triple bottom line ” — on profits, environmental impact, and social impact. Meanwhile small shops, co-ops, and one-person projects have been leading the way for years by combining values with sustainable business practices and innovative ideas.
As a small business or startup, you may be starting a socially-motivated project for the reasons most people do it: you see a problem and you believe you can solve it, if you can be sustained in the process. Not only is social entrepreneurship a huge plus for values-driven innovators, it’s also smart to wave your flag from a business (that is, financial) standpoint. Forbes notes , “ research shows that many customers choose to buy from the companies whose values they most align with.” No wonder the big guys are latching on.
But, launching a startup is NO joke. Take it from someone who’s launched several and works with startup founders weekly — this is not for the faint of heart, though it can be done sustainably and without martyrdom. You will experience lows, rejection, and failure and need to take it all as learning experiences in stride. You’ll have an idea that you love which doesn’t work out and need to come up with a more workable one. You’ll need to talk to actual people who you want to give you money, to see if you’re on a good track.
And, as a social impact entrepreneur you’ll be doing it all with a burning desire in your heart to improve the experiences and environment of people, often all over the world, which is so #worthit.
Below, I share three key things you’ll want to do as you’re anywhere between toying with a business idea and in the middle of the grind of starting up a social impact business.
- First, learn about the problem you’re trying to solve and the issues, opportunities and market around it.
- Then, map out your business idea including where the money, customers, and impact come from.
- Finally create a startup budget to launch with.
From there, you’ll be in a great place to get started with your social entrepreneurship project. Get that vision and get your success on — it will help you do even more good after all.
FIRST, LEARN: CREATE A BUSINESS RESEARCH & TEST PLAN
A research and testing plan lays out your key questions, and then helps you decide how you’ll use prototypes, experiments, and research to answer them. Sounds basic BUT walking through it methodically will force you to get specific AND get out of your head and into the world where you’re hoping to make a positive impact. It’s crucial step because, in the words of the great innovators at IDEO , ”skipping the steps of getting to know your customer and market causes teams to fail 180% more often.” Increase your chances of success: do your homework.
Here’s six steps you want to go through to create a Research, Test and Learn Plan:
- What are the questions I have. What are the things I know I don’t know. What are the issues surrounding my issue (try a mind map for all of these).
For example, you might be passionate about sustainable fashion and how it saves water and gets people paid better. But, how do you get sustainable fashions to sell? Do you need to be certified? Is there already
2. What research do I need to do? Is there already someone doing what I’m doing? If so great, what are they doing well and what would I do differently? If not, why is no one doing this (hint: it’s probably not because no one has observed the problem you see)?
You might need some market research to see what sustainable fashions sell for, and see if you can talk to one other person who does the work.
3. From these, what are the critical questions I need to get answered to even think about MY business?
TEST: EXPERIMENT & TALK TO PEOPLE You have your questions to go answer — excellent.
4. Now, make a list of 1–3 ways you’re going to get those questions answered. This is your testing plan. These could include:
- Ask people specific questions related to what you need to learn. One of your tests needs to include “talk to someone” — even if that means a message to a stranger on LinkedIn, you need to get information from someone other than Google to be in business.
- Try something in real life — volunteer, see if you can buy something that someone else is selling that you want to get into. You will learn SO MUCH from doing your thing in real life, do not skip this part.
- Make and test out giving away a mini free/cheap version of the thing you want to do for a day. Something that takes you less than a day to make, please! Perhaps you want to table at an event, host a one-day webinar — whatever gets you out there with your idea so you see what you like, what works, and crucially what people respond to.
It bears mentioning: at all times please take an ethical approach in your creativity.
5. Now, go do your test. In your plan, you need to specify who, where, when, and how you’ll get out there and get your questions answered. Ideally, it’s something you can start and finish within a few days, as you’re just getting started. You want this to be achievable — and you can always go back and do more R&D later.
- Ask these people the questions. You can go deep, d.school bootleg interview style, or just email over 1–2 questions. Don’t forget to take notes on the answers!
- Do your volunteering / buying. Don’t forget to take notes on your experiences!
- Make your mini version (something you can make in one day or less) and test sharing it with the world. Don’t forget to take notes on your feedback!
6. Take a few hours with your notes, reflect on your experiences, and return to your key questions from #3. Write out answers, or note if you didn’t get the answers and still need to learn more. Look for surprising things you learned, patterns, or things you heard that seem to challenge or relate to your idea. What will you change, what will you not do that you were considering, and what will you definitely try now that you have more information.
Once you have some answers and experiental data, you have some additional perspective and ideas to bring into your next phase: organizing your business ideas and hopes into the beginning of plan.
DRAFT A BUSINESS MODEL
A business model is a standard tool for taking a snapshot of how your business will function. They are a early step towards creating a whole business plan because they force you to be succinct, clear, and think about the business as a whole system of ins and outs.
To start, use a one-page Business Model Canvas — the classic version has been updated to a Social Business Model Canvas to make it all the more useful for a social entrepreneur:
What’s this canvas thing? It’s a visual aid that you, and whoever else is on the project with you, should fill out together to get CRYSTAL CLEAR on your: problem you are working on, what you’re doing about it, for who, how, to what effect, at what cost and with what money.
While planning your business, the canvas is invaluable because it makes you step through KEY issues. If you are in the middle of a social impact project it is still immensely useful as it makes you pause and ask if you’re pointing a) in the right direction b) in a sustainable way.
I’ll be blunt: You need to be clear on all of the prompts in the canvas for your business to succeed sustainably, no matter the size. You don’t have to lock into a plan as written, but you have to be able to say how it all fits together. If you can’t, say, define how you’ll make money you might have an awesome volunteer project, and not a business. If you can’t define the impacts you might just have a business. Both of these are fine, but you’re better off knowing them ahead of time — right? Also if you’re trying to get a funder, client, or partnership going and you can’t answer these, you’re likely to be sent away.
Below are two more Social Impact Business Canvases, choose one of the three linked here (whichever makes the most sense to your business) and take a few hours to fill it in.
Carefully note the areas you don’t have answers to — they’re prompts to you to go get more information before proceeding.
BUDGET THAT BIZ
Finally, after you’ve experimented and learned, and put order to your thoughts with a filled out Social Business Model Canvas, you’ll be ready for the final step: a business BUDGET.
Cue scary music and you trapped at a laptop until next July.
Just kidding, it’s just a few lines in a spreadsheet — you’re making it up if it’s a startup! And you’re pulling from data you already have if you’ve been running your business for a few months! This is not hard, though you will have to apply your butt to your chair, in the words of my former art teacher, to get it done.
As you walk through making your budget, take information from your business model and learnings from your tests to inform what you think will go into getting your idea off the ground (startup) and keeping it going (sustainability).
Business Operations Budget
Project Budget (includes grants)
The hardest part of making a business budget, especially a new one, is forecasting income. From your research, tests, and questions you should already have SOME idea, however vague, on where money will come from and how. Product sales? Consulting? Event attendance?
If your goal is social impact, especially if it’s economic: donating to orgs or people, paying fair wages, being sustainable on a 30-hour work week — you owe it to the business and the impact to have a revenue plan.
If your business is creative, I’ve added some resources at the end of the article for you to consider your pricing and economic strategies as a maker.
Finally, use your budget a tool to ask questions like:
- Where will the money / time come from?
- Should I keep my dayjob and side hustle this until I can earn a certain amount of money with it? How much?
PLAN YOUR IMPACT, PLAN YOUR BIZ
Finally this whole process is something you can do in about a week if you focus in hard — I work with teams regularly who set aside a week and walk through this process to come out with a plan, and individuals who are side hustling can do it over 1–2 months of one weekend day working.
The point, people, is to set yourself up to succeed. To fail early if you’re going to fail. To get out into the real world and see if your hunch is right. You don’t have to do this alone, and you don’t have to dive into eighty-five pages of spreadsheets (yet) to have a business.
Resources for Social Impact Entrepreneurs:
- Impact Entrepreneur Network
- Impact Investing: Measurement and Business Outcome, Stanford
Resources for business owner artists & creatives:
- Making Your Life as an Artist
- Freelance pricing Guide from the Graphic Artists’ Guild :
- Pricing Guide for Objects
- Life as an artist workbook: http://www.artistsu.org/making#.XKd02yhKg2w
- NYFA’s The profitable artist : https://www.nyfa.org/Content/Show/The-Profitable-Artist
Hadassah Damien is a design thinking strategist and finance coach. This article was first published on Ride Free Fearless Money .
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- Business and self-employed
Setting up a social enterprise
You must choose a business structure if you’re starting a business that helps people or communities (a ‘social enterprise’).
If you want to set up a business that has social, charitable or community-based objectives, you can set up as a:
- limited company
- charity , or from 2013, a charitable incorporated organisation ( CIO )
- community interest company ( CIC )
- sole trader or business partnership
If you’re setting up a small organisation like a sports club or a voluntary group and do not plan to make a profit, you can form an ‘ unincorporated association ’ instead of starting a business.
Community interest companies ( CICs )
A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.
To set up a CIC , you’ll need:
- a ‘community interest statement’, explaining what your business plans to do
- an ‘asset lock’- a legal promise stating that the company’s assets will only be used for its social objectives, and setting limits to the money it can pay to shareholders
- a constitution - you can use the CIC regulator’s model constitutions
- to get your company approved by the community interest company regulator - your application will automatically be sent to them
The CIC regulator has guidance on setting up a CIC .
Set up a CIC online
Register your CIC online with Companies House.
It costs £27.
You’ll need to create a Government Gateway user ID and password for your company. You cannot use your personal Government Gateway ID.
Set up a CIC by post
Use the forms from the CIC regulator to register a CIC by post .
Get advice and case studies from Social Enterprise UK, Inspire2Enterprise and UnLtd or download guidance on business structures for social enterprises.
Find out about legal forms for social enterprise .
There are also opportunities to invest in local enterprise with community shares or to bid to run a local service .
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Home » Business Plans » Non-Profit Sector
How to Write a Social Enterprise Business Plan [Sample Template]
Do you want to start a social enterprise and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample social enterprise business plan template & feasibility report. A social enterprise is an organization that leverages on commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being. Social enterprises have both business and social goals. As a result, their social goals are embedded in their objective, which differentiates them from other organizations and corporations.
The major objectives of a social enterprise organization are to promote, encourage, and make social change. This goes to show that there are diverse areas where you can focus on with your social enterprise ideas. You can actually invest in the Community Housing & Homeless Shelters industry and interestingly, this industry is made up of businesses that offer temporary and emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing , construction and repairs and other.
A Sample Social Enterprise Business Plan Template
1. industry overview.
In the united states, the Social Enterprise Alliance defines a “social enterprise” as “Organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social or environmental problem through a market-driven approach.” Interestingly an entrepreneur can focus on starting a transitional housing as a social enterprise.
Transitional housing is temporary housing for certain segments of the homeless population, including working homeless people who are earning too little money to afford long-term housing. Transitional housing is set up to transition residents into permanent, transitional housing.
It is not in an emergency homeless shelter, but usually a room or apartment in a residence with support services. The transitional time can be short, for example one or two years, and in that time the person must file for and get permanent housing and usually some gainful employment or income, even if Social Security or assistance.
Sometimes, the transitional housing residence program charges a room and board fee, maybe 30 percent of an individual’s income, which is sometimes partially or fully refunded after the person procures a permanent place to live in. In the USA, federal funding for transitional housing programs was originally allocated in the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1986.
Transitional housing business is part of the community housing and homeless shelters industry and this industry provides a variety of community housing services, including short-term emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse; temporary residential shelter for the homeless , runaway youths and parents and families caught in medical crises; transitional housing and assisted living for low-income individuals and families; and volunteer construction or repair of low-cost housing.
The Community Housing & Homeless Shelters Industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in most developed countries of the world. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 12,323 registered and licensed community housing and homeless shelters companies responsible for directly employing about 132,874 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $12 billion annually.
The industry is projected to grow at – 0.7 percent annually within 2014 and 2019. It is important to state that no company can boast of having a major market share in the industry.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own transitional housing company as a social enterprise organization could be that the business is thriving and profitable, and an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully launch the business if they have a pool of cash.
If you are going into the construction of transitional housing as a social enterprise organization, it is very important to be creative, to be able to use your ideas to meet the rapidly changing needs of the society when it comes to housing and meeting related social needs of your target market.
2. Executive Summary
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing , Inc. is a social enterprise and not a charity organization. It is a profit-generating business that serves not just to make money but also to make an impact in the lives of the homeless in the city where we are going to be operating from. We will have our headquarters in Montgomery – Alabama and will major in the construction of transitional housing so as to provide a variety of community housing services, including short-term emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse; temporal residential shelter for the homeless, runaway youths and parents and families caught in medical crises; transitional housing and assisted living for low-income individuals and families; and volunteer construction or repair of low-cost housing.
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is going to be a self-administered and a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). We will engage in the construction of different transitional homes that will meet the needs of our clients. We will work towards becoming one of the largest transitional housing construction companies in the United States of America with active presence in major cities.
As part of our plans to make our customers our number one priority and to become one of the leading social enterprise in the United States of America, we have perfected plans to adopt international best practices that can favorably compete with the best in the industry. St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. has overtime perfected plans that will help us to become specialists in our area.
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a social enterprise organization, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable social enterprise practices wherever possible.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely. St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will be owned majorly by Peter McCain and his immediate family members. Peter McCain has a Degree in Civil Engineering.
He is a property guru that has worked with top community housing companies in the United States of America for many years prior to starting his own social enterprise. Other organizations and investors with same social enterprise ideology whose name cannot be mentioned here for obvious reasons are going to be part of the business.
3. Our Products and Services
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is going to offer varieties of services within the scope of the community housing and homeless shelters industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our social enterprise organization is to favorably compete with leading players in the transitional housing cum social enterprise market space in the United States of America.
We will be involved in providing;
- Short-term emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse
- Temporary residential shelter for homeless, runaway youths and families caught in medical crises
- Transitional and assisted housing for low-income individuals and families
- Volunteer construction or repair of low-cost housing
- Repair of homes for elderly or disabled homeowners as a support service
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
Our vision as a social enterprise is to become the leading operator in the social economy of Alabama whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for our owners and shareholders.
Our mission of starting a social enterprise cum transitional housing construction business is to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse, the homeless, runaway youths, families caught in medical issues and average low – income earning families, own their own transitional housing in and around Montgomery – Alabama.
Our Business Structure
Our organization’s structure is not entirely different from what is obtainable in the community housing and homeless shelters industry. As a matter of priority, we have decided to create a structure that will allow for easy growth for our employees and also, we have created platforms that will enable us attract some of the best hands in the industry.
We are quite aware that the success of any social enterprise lies in the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our transitional housing construction company on the right business foundation.
We will ensure that we only hire people that are qualified, honest, hardworking, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more depending how fast we meet our set target.
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is fully aware of the modus operandi in the community housing and homeless shelters industry, hence adequate provision and competitive packages has been prepared for independent real estate brokers.
Our marketing department will be responsible for managing this aspect of our business structure. Below is the business structure we will build St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. on;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Company’s Lawyer / Secretary
Admin and HR Manager
- Business Developer / Sales and Marketing
Transitional Housing Officer
- Customer Service Executive / Front Desk Officer
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer – CEO (President):
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results.
- Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Reports to the board
Company’s Lawyer/Secretary/Legal Counsel
- Responsible for drawing up contracts and other legal documents for the company
- Consult and handle all corporate legal processes (e.g. intellectual property, mergers & acquisitions, financial / securities offerings, compliance issues, transactions, agreements, lawsuits and patents et al)
- Develop company policy and position on legal issues
- Research, anticipate and guard company against legal risks
- Represent company in legal proceedings (administrative boards, court trials et al)
- Play a part in business deals negotiation and take minutes of meetings
- Responsible for analyzing legal documents on behalf of the company
- Prepares annual reports for the company
- Responsible for the planning, management and coordinating all projects on behalf of the company
- Supervise projects
- Ensure compliance during project executions
- Providing advice on the management of projects
- Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
- Using IT systems and software to keep track of people and progress of ongoing projects
- Responsible for overseeing the accounting, costing and billing of every project
- Represent the organization’s interest at various stakeholders’ meetings
- Ensures that project desired result is achieved, the most efficient resources are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied.
- Responsible for preparing bids for tenders, and reporting to clients, public agencies and planning bodies
- Ensures that sites meet legal guidelines, and health and safety requirements
- Assessing the environment impact and risks connected to projects
- Responsible for judging whether projects are workable by assessing materials, costs and time requirements
- Drawing up blueprints, using Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages
- Discussing requirements with the client and other professionals (e.g. architects and project managers et al)
- Responsible for managing, directing and monitoring progress during each phase of a project
- Responsible for creating building designs and highly detailed drawings
- Working around constraining factors such as town planning legislation, environmental impact and project budget
- Writing and presenting reports, proposals, applications and contracts
- Adapting plans according to circumstances and resolving any problems that may arise during construction
- Work with project team and management to achieve a common goal
- Responsible for applying for planning permission and advice from governmental new building and legal department.
- Responsible for undertaking land surveys/measurements
- Responsible for presenting data to clients
- Responsible for producing and advising about construction plans and drawings
- Responsible for advising about technical matters and whether the construction plans are viable
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Design job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carrying out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversee the smooth running of the daily office activities.
- In charge of inspecting and reporting on the structural attributes of a building
- Responsible for handling reporting on and evaluating the component systems of a building (electrical, fire, roofing and plumbing)
- Assessing compliance with building, electrical, plumbing and fire codes
- Evaluating building plans and permits
- Studying and assessing the soil composition and attributes of where the building is located
- Reviewing and approving plans that meet building codes, local ordinances and zoning regulations
- Issuing violation notices and stop-work orders until building in violation is compliant
- Keeping daily logs, including photographs taken during inspection
- Handle real estate consultancy and advisory services
Marketing and Sales Executive/Business Developer
- Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s need s, and communicate with clients
- Finds and qualifies land for development based on company’s land requirements; maintains a land search database; initiates discussions with property owners about the possible sale of property
- Develop, execute and evaluate new plans for expanding increase sales
- Document all customer contact and information
- Represent the company in strategic meetings
- Help increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managers with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Front Desk/Customer’s Service Officer
- Receives Visitors/clients on behalf of the organization
- Receives parcels/documents for the company
- Handles enquiries via e-mail and phone calls for the organization
- Distribute mails in the organization
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the line manager in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s properties that are put – up for sale, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
6. SWOT Analysis
The fact that transitional housing construction business is a very rewarding business does not mean that there are no challenges in the industry. In order to compete favorably in the community housing and homeless shelters industry as a social enterprise organization we have been able to hire the services of tested and trusted business and HR consultants to help us conduct critical SWOT analysis.
We intend maximizing our strengths, explore all opportunities we will come across, properly manage our weakness and confront our threats. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc.;
Some of the strengths that we will be bringing to the table in the industry is our robust relations with properties investment moguls in the whole of the United States of America. Also, our access to pools of low-income earning families and the homeless who are willing to own their own transitional housing.
Again, we have a team of experts who have cut their teeth in the social enterprise market. Our commission structure and relationship with freelance real estate agents in Montgomery – Alabama and other state in the US will also count towards our advantage.
As a newbie in the transitional housing line of business, we might have some challenges competing with big time social enterprise organizations and other transitional housing construction companies that have been in the industry for many years; that perhaps is part of our weakness.
Unemployment usually leads to a decline in income, which makes housing less affordable. A rise in the national unemployment rate will increase demand for community housing services. Conversely, a decrease in the unemployment rate will reduce the number of individuals seeking the services provided by the industry.
The national unemployment rate is expected to decrease in 2019. However, potential economic uncertainty in the near future could contribute to higher unemployment, presenting an opportunity for the industry.
The majority of industry revenue comes from the federal, state and local government-funded homeless and housing assistance programs. Any changes in funding or government policy will drastically affect industry revenue. Federal funding for social services is expected to decrease in 2019, posing a potential threat to the industry.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
Housing choice is a response to an extremely complex set of economic, social, and psychological impulses. For example, some households may choose to spend more on housing because they feel they can afford to, while others may not have a choice but to stick to transitional housing via as a way of escaping being homeless.
Market forces, policy decisions, and demographic changes have converged, making it more difficult to increase transitional housing for renters. The US affordable-housing crisis shows no signs of going away anytime soon, and it’s having the unadulterated effects on people with the lowest
So also, with the high rate of people migrating to the United States, it is the norm for them to contract transitional housing construction companies to help them with transitional housing that they intend leasing or renting on a short time basis. In essence, most transitional housing construction companies are targeting migrants and the vulnerable in the society who are likely going to need such properties.
Another obvious trend that is common with transitional housing construction companies in the United States of America is that most of them are improvising on more means of making money in the industry and as matter of fact, they are also acting as property developers and home staging agents.
One thing is certain for every transitional housing construction company; if they are hardworking, creative and proactive, they will always generate enough income to meet all their overhead and operational cost, keep their business going without struggle and make reasonable profits.
8. Our Target Market
As a social enterprise operating in transitional housing market space, our target market cuts across homeless and vulnerable families who are classified as low-income earners. We are coming into the community housing and homeless shelters industry with a business concept that will enable us work with a wide range of clients and make positive social impact in their lives.
Our target market are vulnerable and low – income earning families in the whole of the United States of America and we have put plans in place to recruit freelance agents (brokers) nationally to represent our interest wherever they are located in the United States of America.
Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically designed our services for;
- Victims of domestic violence
- Sexual assault or child abuse victims
- The homeless, runaway youths and parents and families caught in medical crises
- Low-income individuals and families
- Families who are interested in acquiring/renting a decent and well renovated transitional apartment
Our Competitive Advantage
The availability of competent and reliable real estate professionals under our payroll, our business process, pricing model and social impact packages et al are part of our competitive advantages.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning our competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base, and ensure that our transitional homes designs are top notch and trendy. Our organization is well positioned, key members of our team are highly reliable and competent and can favorably compete with the some of the best in the industry.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives. We will also engage freelance real estate brokers/agents on a commission level to help us market our services.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is established with the aim of making maximum social impact and of course profits. Although we are a social enterprise in the transitional housing market space, but part of our work force are also licensed real estate agents hence we intend generating additional income from diverse means in the real estate agency.
We have successfully built a vibrant real estate network that covers the whole of the United States of America so as to help us build a profitable social enterprise organization. Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc.;
- Repair of homes for elderly or disabled homeowners as part of our give back to the community.
10. Sales Forecast
It is a known fact that as long as there are vulnerable people and low – income earning families in the United States of America, there will always be need to for transitional housing construction companies from time to time.
We are well positioned to take on the challenges that are synonymous with social enterprises that operate in the transitional housing market space in the United States, we are quite optimistic that we will meet out set target of generating enough income/profits from the first month or operations and grow the influence of our social enterprise beyond Montgomery – Alabama to other states within record time.
We have been able to examine the social enterprise market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions peculiar to similar start – ups in Montgomery – Alabama;
Below are the sales projections for St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. it is based on the location of our social enterprise and the services we will be offering;
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $1 million
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $2.5 million
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $3.5 million
N.B: This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and any major competitor offering same services and social impacts as we do within the locations where we have a strong business presence. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher since some factors are beyond our control.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We quite mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions in the transitional housing market in the United States of America, hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. The training is not restricted to only our full – time employees but it will also get to our freelance brokers. St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies;
- Introduce our social enterprise cum transitional housing construction company by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to low income earning families, vulnerable families, individuals and other key stake holders throughout the city where our social enterprise organization is located.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for our business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market our services
- Join local social enterprise organization associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing our services
- Advertise our social enterprise organization in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List our social enterprise on yellow pages’ ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the transitional housing cum real estate industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our social enterprise organization.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise our social enterprise organization;
- Place adverts on both print and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant TV shows so as to be able to communicate our brand and what we do
- Maximize our company’s website to promote our business
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other platforms (real estate online forums) to promote our business and list our properties for sale and for lease.
- Install our Billboards in strategic locations in and around Montgomery – Alabama
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in targeted areas from time to time
- Attend landlord and residence association meetings with the aim of networking and introducing our business.
- Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles and ambulances are well branded with our company’s logo et al.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
The fact that a social enterprise is not a charity organization but a profit-generating business that serves not just to make money but also to make a social impact, means that we will charge far less than what people in main stream industry will be charging.
We will ensure that we don’t know run at a loss but at the same make relative profits that we can easily leverage on to make maximum impact in our city.
- Payment Options
At St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will not accept payment by cash because of the volume of cash that will be involved in most of our transactions.
Real estate deals usually involve huge amount of money. Here are the payment options that St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will make available to her clients;
- Payment by via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans without any itches and we will also pay our freelance sales agents (real estate brokers) with same platforms.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
From our market survey and feasibility studies, we have been able to come up with a detailed budget on achieving our aim of establishing a standard and highly competitive social enterprise cum transitional housing construction company in Montgomery – Alabama and here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;
- The total fee for incorporating the business in The United States of America – $750.
- The budget for permits and license – $2,000
- The cost for hiring business consultant – $2,500.
- The cost for computer software apps (Accounting Software, Payroll Software, CRM Software, real estate software, and QuickBooks Pro et al) – $7,000
- The budget for insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $5,400.
- The cost for acquiring suitable Office facility with enough space in Montgomery – Alabama – $1.5 million.
- The cost for equipping the office (computers, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $150,000
- Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $100,000
- The cost of launching our official Website – $600
- Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $5,000
Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need approximately 2.5 million dollars to successfully set up a small scale but standard social enterprise in the transitional housing market space in the United States of America.
Please note that the salaries of all our staff members for the first month is included in the expenditure and the pool cash needed for the construction of the first set of affordable houses is not part of this financial projection. We will contact our partners to pool cash together when the time comes.
Generating Funds/Startup Capital for St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc.
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is a social enterprise that will be owned and managed by Peter McCain, his immediate family members and other business partners. They decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the social enterprise to just three major sources.
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
- Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
- Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).
N.B: We have been able to generate about $1 million (Personal savings $800,000 and soft loan from family members $200,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $1.5 million from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to rent / lease / sell our transitional housing services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Acquiring of Office Facility and remodeling the facility in Montgomery – Alabama: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from the CEO/President and Business Partners: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Marketing/Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry (networking and membership of relevant real estate bodies): In Progress
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Business plans for social enterprises (SE) and social businesses
Writing a business plan helps to ensure you focus on the core of your business. You must concentrate on key deliverables in a resource-constrained organization and communicate effectively with your stakeholders, including your funders or investors, customers, community, board, employees and volunteers.
The value of social enterprise business planning
Business planning will help any social enterprise (SE) or social purpose business (SPB) to:
- Attract investment
- Identify risks
- Measure social or environmental outcomes
- Demonstrate that you are using a business approach
- Showcase the management team
- Build alliances
- Check thinking
- Determine feasibility
In a business plan, you must clearly articulate:
- The mission of your social enterprise
- The outline of specific actions to achieve your goals and objectives
- Establish targets for planning, measuring and improving performance
- Project the necessary resources, costs and revenues of your program
Sample business plan templates
Many business plan templates exist in the public domain, including this one .
The elements are best used as prompts by social entrepreneurs to build their own plan, assessing along the way whether or not the question (or element) is relevant for the Social Enterprise or the social business.
Social enterprise business plans versus non-profit plans
Description of the business/mission statement.
The social mission and the importance of meeting both the financial and social goals should be discussed in this section.
Management and organization
Financing the capacity of the organization is as important as supporting the programs. Include an assessment of the current organization, planned additions and/or changes as well as the cost of building the team’s capacity in order to achieve the projected growth. Demonstrate that the staff has both programmatic and business skills.
Market assessment and marketing plan
The plan should focus on delivering market-driven products or services as opposed to program-driven products or services to the target customer .
You will also need to articulate how to promote your social objectives along with the product and service. Partnerships and collaborations extend the reach of the social venture. Highlight your partnership strategy in this section.
Your marketing plan includes the strategies and tactics to reach your customers, partners and the community. Outline the public relations, media relations, and advertising that will be required to meet your objectives. The marketing plan should be linked in with your financial plan and your overall strategy.
A solid financial position will allow you to pursue your mission with flexibility and high-quality service, beyond mere stability. Investors must feel confident their investment will be used effectively to achieve both the social mission and financial results that will enable your organization to thrive and achieve continued growth.
The financial plan provides the framework for social entrepreneurs to forecast the resources they need to create and sustain social and economic value. Commercial entrepreneurs prepare business plans to show why they need money and how they will use it. Social entrepreneurs should use the same approach and not worry about the limited resources currently available.
Social Enterprise Investors
Investors and funders alike want to know the cost to develop, start up, offer and deliver services or products, whether or not any one user or payer is willing to cover it. When interacting with potential funders or investors, you need a detailed budget and projection of required outside investment tied in with a plan to reach the desired market position.
Investors want returns, typically a blend of financial and social. Your plan must describe the potential “return” on investment for investors and the desired social outcomes, and provide a framework for assessing social performance .
Remember that a social purpose business is similar to any other for-profit business, but the organization will likely raise financing from investors who are interested in a double bottom line. Social enterprises in the non-profit environment will typically raise funding from traditional fundraising, loans and other forms of social finance.
Dees, J.G., Emerson, J., & Economy, P. (2001). Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs . Toronto: John Wiley & Sons.
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This course is part of the Social Entrepreneurship Specialization
Social Business Model and Planning for Social Innovation
Financial aid available
About this Course
In this course we will take the social business opportunity that you have identified in the first course to a higher level. Specifically, you will develop a business model using the Business Model Canvas. Gradually you will also start writing your business plan. Moreover, you will be able to assess different organizational forms and select the one that is appropriate for your developed business model. By the end of the course you will be able to compare different social impact investment methods and choose the right funding strategy for your social venture.
Note: It is highly recommended to have completed Course 1: 'Identifying Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities' before you start with this Course!
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Centrally located in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is one of the largest business schools in Europe with close to 23,000 students. CBS offers world-class research-based degree programs at undergraduate, graduate, and PhD levels as well as executive and other post experience programs.
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Syllabus - What you will learn from this course
Introduction of the business model canvas.
Welcome to Course 2 of this Specialization! In this first Module we will introduce you to the Business Model Canvas - a useful tool that will guide you through the business plan process. You will be able to categorize the elements in the Canvas and start to use it in order to create your business model.
Applying the Business Model Canvas
In Module 2 you will gain more experience using the Business Model Canvas as a tool to conceptualize your business ideas and will be also introduced to the Social Business Model Canvas. Moreover you will receive advice about cooperating with your team members and coordinating in the iteration process. The Module will conclude with initial insight to writing a business plan - What are important elements of a business plan?
The Purpose of a Business Plan
Welcome to Module 3! At this point you will start to dive deeper into creating your business plan. After analyzing a real-world business plan of a social enterprise you will listen to guest speaker giving advice about important issues to consider when writing your business plan. You will be encouraged to think through different organizational forms a specific social enterprise may implement and start to outline your own business plan.
Selecting an Organizational Form
In Module 4 you will intensify your knowledge about various organizational forms. In particular new organizational forms, tailor-made for social enterprises, in the US and the UK will be presented and you will be encouraged to scan the legal framework in your own country. Once you have identified a form that matches your expectations you will continue your business plan process by starting to think about funding options in the next Module of this Course.
Attracting Startup Funding
Welcome to the final Module of Course 2. By concluding this Module your social venture will have reached an important milestone in the development process. This session will introduce you to the broad landscape of options you will face when designing the funding strategy for your social business. You will be encouraged to think about the financial needs of your venture and asked to create a plan of how to address those. Guided by insights from a social impact investor and researcher you will develop an elevator video pitch. This will be an important tool to attract startup funding. The final section of this module includes a special on the Impact Investing World Forum held in London in 2017, where Kai spoke to some practitioners who have some insights and good advice!
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- 4 stars 19.29%
- 3 stars 3.50%
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TOP REVIEWS FROM SOCIAL BUSINESS MODEL AND PLANNING FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION
Practical oriented course. I really enjoyed every bit of it. Already, I am equipped to go out there and execute my project.
Already finishing the course, only one peer left to review . Also Seeking anybody to review my video pitch .in week one,I did social entrepreneurship and finished.
I think that the grading for the courses can be a combination of peer review and some quizzes instead of only peer reviewing.
About the Social Entrepreneurship Specialization
In this specialization you will learn how to create societal impact through Social Entrepreneurship. Social Entrepreneurship describes the discovery and sustainable exploitation of opportunities to create social change. We will introduce you to examples of Social Entrepreneurship and guide you through the process of establishing a venture to address a social or environment problem. You will form of team and study a problematic issue to learn more about the source of the problem. We will equip you with frameworks identifying opportunities, support your team, and outlining your idea. You will develop your idea and iterate on your business model throughout the Specialization, and conclude with completing a business plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?
Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:
The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.
The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.
What will I get if I subscribe to this Specialization?
When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. In select learning programs, you can apply for financial aid or a scholarship if you can’t afford the enrollment fee. If fin aid or scholarship is available for your learning program selection, you’ll find a link to apply on the description page.
More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center .
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tools4dev Practical tools for international development
Social Enterprise Business Plan Template
A social enterprise is a business that aims to achieve a particular public or community mission (social, environmental, cultural or economic), and reinvests the majority of its profits into achieving that mission. This template can be used to write a business plan for a social enterprise that describes both the positive impact of the social enterprise and the plan to make it a viable business.
Download the Social Enterprise Business Plan template
This template is appropriate when:
- You are writing a business plan for a social enterprise (if you aren’t sure whether you are running a social enterprise have a look at this article ).
This template is NOT appropriate when:
- You are writing a plan for a non-profit that gets most of its revenue through donations or grants.
- You are writing a plan for a for-profit business. However, in this case you could just use the business section of the template.
The Stakeholder Analysis Matrix Template by tools4dev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License . All other content is © tools4dev .
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- 11.4 The Business Plan
- 1.1 Entrepreneurship Today
- 1.2 Entrepreneurial Vision and Goals
- 1.3 The Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Review Questions
- Discussion Questions
- Case Questions
- Suggested Resources
- 2.1 Overview of the Entrepreneurial Journey
- 2.2 The Process of Becoming an Entrepreneur
- 2.3 Entrepreneurial Pathways
- 2.4 Frameworks to Inform Your Entrepreneurial Path
- 3.1 Ethical and Legal Issues in Entrepreneurship
- 3.2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship
- 3.3 Developing a Workplace Culture of Ethical Excellence and Accountability
- 4.1 Tools for Creativity and Innovation
- 4.2 Creativity, Innovation, and Invention: How They Differ
- 4.3 Developing Ideas, Innovations, and Inventions
- 5.1 Entrepreneurial Opportunity
- 5.2 Researching Potential Business Opportunities
- 5.3 Competitive Analysis
- 6.1 Problem Solving to Find Entrepreneurial Solutions
- 6.2 Creative Problem-Solving Process
- 6.3 Design Thinking
- 6.4 Lean Processes
- 7.1 Clarifying Your Vision, Mission, and Goals
- 7.2 Sharing Your Entrepreneurial Story
- 7.3 Developing Pitches for Various Audiences and Goals
- 7.4 Protecting Your Idea and Polishing the Pitch through Feedback
- 7.5 Reality Check: Contests and Competitions
- 8.1 Entrepreneurial Marketing and the Marketing Mix
- 8.2 Market Research, Market Opportunity Recognition, and Target Market
- 8.3 Marketing Techniques and Tools for Entrepreneurs
- 8.4 Entrepreneurial Branding
- 8.5 Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan
- 8.6 Sales and Customer Service
- 9.1 Overview of Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting Strategies
- 9.2 Special Funding Strategies
- 9.3 Accounting Basics for Entrepreneurs
- 9.4 Developing Startup Financial Statements and Projections
- 10.1 Launching the Imperfect Business: Lean Startup
- 10.2 Why Early Failure Can Lead to Success Later
- 10.3 The Challenging Truth about Business Ownership
- 10.4 Managing, Following, and Adjusting the Initial Plan
- 10.5 Growth: Signs, Pains, and Cautions
- 11.1 Avoiding the “Field of Dreams” Approach
- 11.2 Designing the Business Model
- 11.3 Conducting a Feasibility Analysis
- 12.1 Building and Connecting to Networks
- 12.2 Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team
- 12.3 Designing a Startup Operational Plan
- 13.1 Business Structures: Overview of Legal and Tax Considerations
- 13.2 Corporations
- 13.3 Partnerships and Joint Ventures
- 13.4 Limited Liability Companies
- 13.5 Sole Proprietorships
- 13.6 Additional Considerations: Capital Acquisition, Business Domicile, and Technology
- 13.7 Mitigating and Managing Risks
- 14.1 Types of Resources
- 14.2 Using the PEST Framework to Assess Resource Needs
- 14.3 Managing Resources over the Venture Life Cycle
- 15.1 Launching Your Venture
- 15.2 Making Difficult Business Decisions in Response to Challenges
- 15.3 Seeking Help or Support
- 15.4 Now What? Serving as a Mentor, Consultant, or Champion
- 15.5 Reflections: Documenting the Journey
- A | Suggested Resources
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Describe the different purposes of a business plan
- Describe and develop the components of a brief business plan
- Describe and develop the components of a full business plan
Unlike the brief or lean formats introduced so far, the business plan is a formal document used for the long-range planning of a company’s operation. It typically includes background information, financial information, and a summary of the business. Investors nearly always request a formal business plan because it is an integral part of their evaluation of whether to invest in a company. Although nothing in business is permanent, a business plan typically has components that are more “set in stone” than a business model canvas , which is more commonly used as a first step in the planning process and throughout the early stages of a nascent business. A business plan is likely to describe the business and industry, market strategies, sales potential, and competitive analysis, as well as the company’s long-term goals and objectives. An in-depth formal business plan would follow at later stages after various iterations to business model canvases. The business plan usually projects financial data over a three-year period and is typically required by banks or other investors to secure funding. The business plan is a roadmap for the company to follow over multiple years.
Some entrepreneurs prefer to use the canvas process instead of the business plan, whereas others use a shorter version of the business plan, submitting it to investors after several iterations. There are also entrepreneurs who use the business plan earlier in the entrepreneurial process, either preceding or concurrently with a canvas. For instance, Chris Guillebeau has a one-page business plan template in his book The $100 Startup . 48 His version is basically an extension of a napkin sketch without the detail of a full business plan. As you progress, you can also consider a brief business plan (about two pages)—if you want to support a rapid business launch—and/or a standard business plan.
As with many aspects of entrepreneurship, there are no clear hard and fast rules to achieving entrepreneurial success. You may encounter different people who want different things (canvas, summary, full business plan), and you also have flexibility in following whatever tool works best for you. Like the canvas, the various versions of the business plan are tools that will aid you in your entrepreneurial endeavor.
Business Plan Overview
Most business plans have several distinct sections ( Figure 11.16 ). The business plan can range from a few pages to twenty-five pages or more, depending on the purpose and the intended audience. For our discussion, we’ll describe a brief business plan and a standard business plan. If you are able to successfully design a business model canvas, then you will have the structure for developing a clear business plan that you can submit for financial consideration.
Both types of business plans aim at providing a picture and roadmap to follow from conception to creation. If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept.
The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, dealing with the proverbial devil in the details. Developing a full business plan will assist those of you who need a more detailed and structured roadmap, or those of you with little to no background in business. The business planning process includes the business model, a feasibility analysis, and a full business plan, which we will discuss later in this section. Next, we explore how a business plan can meet several different needs.
Purposes of a Business Plan
A business plan can serve many different purposes—some internal, others external. As we discussed previously, you can use a business plan as an internal early planning device, an extension of a napkin sketch, and as a follow-up to one of the canvas tools. A business plan can be an organizational roadmap , that is, an internal planning tool and working plan that you can apply to your business in order to reach your desired goals over the course of several years. The business plan should be written by the owners of the venture, since it forces a firsthand examination of the business operations and allows them to focus on areas that need improvement.
Refer to the business venture throughout the document. Generally speaking, a business plan should not be written in the first person.
A major external purpose for the business plan is as an investment tool that outlines financial projections, becoming a document designed to attract investors. In many instances, a business plan can complement a formal investor’s pitch. In this context, the business plan is a presentation plan, intended for an outside audience that may or may not be familiar with your industry, your business, and your competitors.
You can also use your business plan as a contingency plan by outlining some “what-if” scenarios and exploring how you might respond if these scenarios unfold. Pretty Young Professional launched in November 2010 as an online resource to guide an emerging generation of female leaders. The site focused on recent female college graduates and current students searching for professional roles and those in their first professional roles. It was founded by four friends who were coworkers at the global consultancy firm McKinsey. But after positions and equity were decided among them, fundamental differences of opinion about the direction of the business emerged between two factions, according to the cofounder and former CEO Kathryn Minshew . “I think, naively, we assumed that if we kicked the can down the road on some of those things, we’d be able to sort them out,” Minshew said. Minshew went on to found a different professional site, The Muse , and took much of the editorial team of Pretty Young Professional with her. 49 Whereas greater planning potentially could have prevented the early demise of Pretty Young Professional, a change in planning led to overnight success for Joshua Esnard and The Cut Buddy team. Esnard invented and patented the plastic hair template that he was selling online out of his Fort Lauderdale garage while working a full-time job at Broward College and running a side business. Esnard had hundreds of boxes of Cut Buddies sitting in his home when he changed his marketing plan to enlist companies specializing in making videos go viral. It worked so well that a promotional video for the product garnered 8 million views in hours. The Cut Buddy sold over 4,000 products in a few hours when Esnard only had hundreds remaining. Demand greatly exceeded his supply, so Esnard had to scramble to increase manufacturing and offered customers two-for-one deals to make up for delays. This led to selling 55,000 units, generating $700,000 in sales in 2017. 50 After appearing on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Daymond John that gave the “shark” a 20-percent equity stake in return for $300,000, The Cut Buddy has added new distribution channels to include retail sales along with online commerce. Changing one aspect of a business plan—the marketing plan—yielded success for The Cut Buddy.
Link to Learning
Watch this video of Cut Buddy’s founder, Joshua Esnard, telling his company’s story to learn more.
If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept. This version is used to interest potential investors, employees, and other stakeholders, and will include a financial summary “box,” but it must have a disclaimer, and the founder/entrepreneur may need to have the people who receive it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) . The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, providing supporting details, and would be required by financial institutions and others as they formally become stakeholders in the venture. Both are aimed at providing a picture and roadmap to go from conception to creation.
Types of Business Plans
The brief business plan is similar to an extended executive summary from the full business plan. This concise document provides a broad overview of your entrepreneurial concept, your team members, how and why you will execute on your plans, and why you are the ones to do so. You can think of a brief business plan as a scene setter or—since we began this chapter with a film reference—as a trailer to the full movie. The brief business plan is the commercial equivalent to a trailer for Field of Dreams , whereas the full plan is the full-length movie equivalent.
Brief Business Plan or Executive Summary
As the name implies, the brief business plan or executive summary summarizes key elements of the entire business plan, such as the business concept, financial features, and current business position. The executive summary version of the business plan is your opportunity to broadly articulate the overall concept and vision of the company for yourself, for prospective investors, and for current and future employees.
A typical executive summary is generally no longer than a page, but because the brief business plan is essentially an extended executive summary, the executive summary section is vital. This is the “ask” to an investor. You should begin by clearly stating what you are asking for in the summary.
In the business concept phase, you’ll describe the business, its product, and its markets. Describe the customer segment it serves and why your company will hold a competitive advantage. This section may align roughly with the customer segments and value-proposition segments of a canvas.
Next, highlight the important financial features, including sales, profits, cash flows, and return on investment. Like the financial portion of a feasibility analysis, the financial analysis component of a business plan may typically include items like a twelve-month profit and loss projection, a three- or four-year profit and loss projection, a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a breakeven calculation. You can explore a feasibility study and financial projections in more depth in the formal business plan. Here, you want to focus on the big picture of your numbers and what they mean.
The current business position section can furnish relevant information about you and your team members and the company at large. This is your opportunity to tell the story of how you formed the company, to describe its legal status (form of operation), and to list the principal players. In one part of the extended executive summary, you can cover your reasons for starting the business: Here is an opportunity to clearly define the needs you think you can meet and perhaps get into the pains and gains of customers. You also can provide a summary of the overall strategic direction in which you intend to take the company. Describe the company’s mission, vision, goals and objectives, overall business model, and value proposition.
Rice University’s Student Business Plan Competition, one of the largest and overall best-regarded graduate school business-plan competitions (see Telling Your Entrepreneurial Story and Pitching the Idea ), requires an executive summary of up to five pages to apply. 51 , 52 Its suggested sections are shown in Table 11.2 .
Are You Ready?
Create a brief business plan.
Fill out a canvas of your choosing for a well-known startup: Uber, Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Airbnb, Bird/Lime, Warby Parker, or any of the companies featured throughout this chapter or one of your choice. Then create a brief business plan for that business. See if you can find a version of the company’s actual executive summary, business plan, or canvas. Compare and contrast your vision with what the company has articulated.
- These companies are well established but is there a component of what you charted that you would advise the company to change to ensure future viability?
- Map out a contingency plan for a “what-if” scenario if one key aspect of the company or the environment it operates in were drastically is altered?
Full Business Plan
Even full business plans can vary in length, scale, and scope. Rice University sets a ten-page cap on business plans submitted for the full competition. The IndUS Entrepreneurs , one of the largest global networks of entrepreneurs, also holds business plan competitions for students through its Tie Young Entrepreneurs program. In contrast, business plans submitted for that competition can usually be up to twenty-five pages. These are just two examples. Some components may differ slightly; common elements are typically found in a formal business plan outline. The next section will provide sample components of a full business plan for a fictional business.
The executive summary should provide an overview of your business with key points and issues. Because the summary is intended to summarize the entire document, it is most helpful to write this section last, even though it comes first in sequence. The writing in this section should be especially concise. Readers should be able to understand your needs and capabilities at first glance. The section should tell the reader what you want and your “ask” should be explicitly stated in the summary.
Describe your business, its product or service, and the intended customers. Explain what will be sold, who it will be sold to, and what competitive advantages the business has. Table 11.3 shows a sample executive summary for the fictional company La Vida Lola.
This section describes the industry, your product, and the business and success factors. It should provide a current outlook as well as future trends and developments. You also should address your company’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Summarize your overall strategic direction, your reasons for starting the business, a description of your products and services, your business model, and your company’s value proposition. Consider including the Standard Industrial Classification/North American Industry Classification System (SIC/NAICS) code to specify the industry and insure correct identification. The industry extends beyond where the business is located and operates, and should include national and global dynamics. Table 11.4 shows a sample business description for La Vida Lola.
Industry Analysis and Market Strategies
Here you should define your market in terms of size, structure, growth prospects, trends, and sales potential. You’ll want to include your TAM and forecast the SAM . (Both these terms are discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis .) This is a place to address market segmentation strategies by geography, customer attributes, or product orientation. Describe your positioning relative to your competitors’ in terms of pricing, distribution, promotion plan, and sales potential. Table 11.5 shows an example industry analysis and market strategy for La Vida Lola.
The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy as it relates to the competition. You want to be able to identify who are your major competitors and assess what are their market shares, markets served, strategies employed, and expected response to entry? You likely want to conduct a classic SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) and complete a competitive-strength grid or competitive matrix. Outline your company’s competitive strengths relative to those of the competition in regard to product, distribution, pricing, promotion, and advertising. What are your company’s competitive advantages and their likely impacts on its success? The key is to construct it properly for the relevant features/benefits (by weight, according to customers) and how the startup compares to incumbents. The competitive matrix should show clearly how and why the startup has a clear (if not currently measurable) competitive advantage. Some common features in the example include price, benefits, quality, type of features, locations, and distribution/sales. Sample templates are shown in Figure 11.17 and Figure 11.18 . A competitive analysis helps you create a marketing strategy that will identify assets or skills that your competitors are lacking so you can plan to fill those gaps, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. When creating a competitor analysis, it is important to focus on the key features and elements that matter to customers, rather than focusing too heavily on the entrepreneur’s idea and desires.
Operations and Management Plan
In this section, outline how you will manage your company. Describe its organizational structure. Here you can address the form of ownership and, if warranted, include an organizational chart/structure. Highlight the backgrounds, experiences, qualifications, areas of expertise, and roles of members of the management team. This is also the place to mention any other stakeholders, such as a board of directors or advisory board(s), and their relevant relationship to the founder, experience and value to help make the venture successful, and professional service firms providing management support, such as accounting services and legal counsel.
Table 11.6 shows a sample operations and management plan for La Vida Lola.
Here you should outline and describe an effective overall marketing strategy for your venture, providing details regarding pricing, promotion, advertising, distribution, media usage, public relations, and a digital presence. Fully describe your sales management plan and the composition of your sales force, along with a comprehensive and detailed budget for the marketing plan. Table 11.7 shows a sample marketing plan for La Vida Lola.
A financial plan seeks to forecast revenue and expenses; project a financial narrative; and estimate project costs, valuations, and cash flow projections. This section should present an accurate, realistic, and achievable financial plan for your venture (see Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for detailed discussions about conducting these projections). Include sales forecasts and income projections, pro forma financial statements ( Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team , a breakeven analysis, and a capital budget. Identify your possible sources of financing (discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis ). Figure 11.19 shows a template of cash-flow needs for La Vida Lola.
Entrepreneur In Action
Laughing man coffee.
Hugh Jackman ( Figure 11.20 ) may best be known for portraying a comic-book superhero who used his mutant abilities to protect the world from villains. But the Wolverine actor is also working to make the planet a better place for real, not through adamantium claws but through social entrepreneurship.
A love of java jolted Jackman into action in 2009, when he traveled to Ethiopia with a Christian humanitarian group to shoot a documentary about the impact of fair-trade certification on coffee growers there. He decided to launch a business and follow in the footsteps of the late Paul Newman, another famous actor turned philanthropist via food ventures.
Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee two years later; he sold the line to Keurig in 2015. One Laughing Man Coffee café in New York continues to operate independently, investing its proceeds into charitable programs that support better housing, health, and educational initiatives within fair-trade farming communities. 55 Although the New York location is the only café, the coffee brand is still distributed, with Keurig donating an undisclosed portion of Laughing Man proceeds to those causes (whereas Jackman donates all his profits). The company initially donated its profits to World Vision, the Christian humanitarian group Jackman accompanied in 2009. In 2017, it created the Laughing Man Foundation to be more active with its money management and distribution.
- You be the entrepreneur. If you were Jackman, would you have sold the company to Keurig? Why or why not?
- Would you have started the Laughing Man Foundation?
- What else can Jackman do to aid fair-trade practices for coffee growers?
What Can You Do?
Textbooks for change.
Founded in 2014, Textbooks for Change uses a cross-compensation model, in which one customer segment pays for a product or service, and the profit from that revenue is used to provide the same product or service to another, underserved segment. Textbooks for Change partners with student organizations to collect used college textbooks, some of which are re-sold while others are donated to students in need at underserved universities across the globe. The organization has reused or recycled 250,000 textbooks, providing 220,000 students with access through seven campus partners in East Africa. This B-corp social enterprise tackles a problem and offers a solution that is directly relevant to college students like yourself. Have you observed a problem on your college campus or other campuses that is not being served properly? Could it result in a social enterprise?
Work It Out
Franchisee set out.
A franchisee of East Coast Wings, a chain with dozens of restaurants in the United States, has decided to part ways with the chain. The new store will feature the same basic sports-bar-and-restaurant concept and serve the same basic foods: chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and the like. The new restaurant can’t rely on the same distributors and suppliers. A new business plan is needed.
- What steps should the new restaurant take to create a new business plan?
- Should it attempt to serve the same customers? Why or why not?
This New York Times video, “An Unlikely Business Plan,” describes entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit, Michigan.
- 48 Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future . New York: Crown Business/Random House, 2012.
- 49 Jonathan Chan. “What These 4 Startup Case Studies Can Teach You about Failure.” Foundr.com . July 12, 2015. https://foundr.com/4-startup-case-studies-failure/
- 50 Amy Feldman. “Inventor of the Cut Buddy Paid YouTubers to Spark Sales. He Wasn’t Ready for a Video to Go Viral.” Forbes. February 15, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestreptalks/2017/02/15/inventor-of-the-cut-buddy-paid-youtubers-to-spark-sales-he-wasnt-ready-for-a-video-to-go-viral/#3eb540ce798a
- 51 Jennifer Post. “National Business Plan Competitions for Entrepreneurs.” Business News Daily . August 30, 2018. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6902-business-plan-competitions-entrepreneurs.html
- 52 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition . March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf
- 53 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition. March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf; Based on 2019 RBPC Competition Rules and Format April 4–6, 2019. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2019-RBPC-Competition-Rules%20-Format.pdf
- 54 Foodstart. http://foodstart.com
- 55 “Hugh Jackman Journey to Starting a Social Enterprise Coffee Company.” Giving Compass. April 8, 2018. https://givingcompass.org/article/hugh-jackman-journey-to-starting-a-social-enterprise-coffee-company/
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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 9 Easy Steps (Free Template)
Creating your social media marketing strategy doesn’t need to be painful. Create an effective plan for your business in 9 simple steps.
A social media marketing strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing.
The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be. Keep it concise. Don’t make it so lofty and broad that it’s unattainable or impossible to measure.
In this post, we’ll walk you through a nine-step plan to create a winning social media strategy of your own. We’ve even got expert insights from Amanda Wood, Hootsuite’s Senior Manager of Social Marketing.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media channels to sell or promote a brand, product or service.
Social media marketing helps businesses:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build engaged communities
- Sell products and services
- Measure brand sentiment
- Provide social customer service
- Advertise products and services to target audiences
- Track performance and adjust larger marketing strategies accordingly
What is a social media marketing strategy?
A social media strategy is a document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.
Your social media marketing strategy should also list all of your existing and planned social media accounts along with goals specific to each platform you’re active on. These goals should align with your business’s larger digital marketing strategy.
Finally, a good social media plan should define the roles and responsibilities within your team and outline your reporting cadence.
Creating your own social media marketing strategy (video guide)
No time to read the whole article? Let Amanda, Hootsuite’s own Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing, guide you through our free social media marketing strategy template in less than 10 minutes:
How to create a social media marketing strategy in 9 steps
Step 1. choose goals that align to business objectives, set s.m.a.r.t. goals.
The first step to creating a winning social media strategy is to establish clear objectives and goals. Without goals, you have no way to measure success and return on investment (ROI) .
Each of your social media marketing goals should be SMART : s pecific, m easurable, a ttainable, r elevant and t ime-bound.
Psst: If you need examples of smart social media goals , we’ve got you covered.
Track meaningful metrics
Vanity metrics like number of followers and likes are easy to track, but it’s hard to prove their real value. Instead, focus on things like engagement, click-through, and conversion rates.
For inspiration, take a look at these 19 essential social media metrics .
You may want to track different goals for different social media networks, or even different uses for each network.
For example, if you use LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website, you would measure click-throughs. If Instagram is for brand awareness, you might track the number of Instagram Story views. And if you advertise on Facebook, cost-per-click (CPC) is a common success metric.
Social media goals should align with your overall marketing objectives. This makes it easier to show the value of your work and secure buy-in from your boss.
Start developing a successful social media marketing plan by writing down at least three goals for social media.
“ It’s easy to get overwhelmed by deciding what to post and which metrics to track, but you need to focus on what you want to get out of social media to begin with,” says Amanda Wood, Hootsuite’s Senior Manager of Social Marketing. “Don’t just start posting and tracking everything: match your goals to your business, and your metrics to your goals.”
Create. Schedule. Publish. Engage. Measure. Win.
Step 2. Learn everything you can about your audience
Get to know your fans, followers, and customers as real people with real wants and needs, and you will know how to target and engage them on social media.
When it comes to your ideal customer, you should know things like:
- Average income
- Typical job title or industry
Here’s a simple guide and template for creating audience/buyer personas .
Social media analytics can also provide a ton of valuable information about who your followers are, where they live, and how they interact with your brand on social media. These insights allow you to refine your strategy and better target your audience.
Jugnoo, an Uber-like service for auto-rickshaws in India, used Facebook Analytics to learn that 90% of their users who referred other customers were between 18- and 34-years-old, and 65% of that group was using Android. They used that information to target their ads, resulting in a 40% lower cost per referral.
Check out our guide to using social media analytics and the tools you need to track them .
Step 3. Get to know your competition
Odds are your competitors are already using social media, and that means you can learn from what they’re doing.
Conduct a competitive analysis
A competitive analysis allows you to understand who the competition is and what they’re doing well (and not so well). You’ll get a good sense of what’s expected in your industry, which will help you set social media targets of your own.
It will also help you spot opportunities.
Maybe one of your competitors is dominant on Facebook, for example, but has put little effort into Twitter or Instagram. You might want to focus on the social media platforms where your audience is underserved, rather than trying to win fans away from a dominant player.
Use social media listening
Social listening is another way to keep an eye on your competitors.
Do searches of the competition’s company name, account handles, and other relevant keywords on social media. Find out what they’re sharing and what other people are saying about them. If they’re using influencer marketing, how much engagement do those campaigns earn them?
Pro tip : Use Hootsuite Streams to monitor relevant keywords, hashtags and accounts in real-time.
Try Hootsuite for free. You can cancel anytime.
As you track, you may notice shifts in how your competitors and industry leaders are using social media. You may come across new, exciting trends. You might even spot specific social content or a campaign that really hits the mark—or totally bombs.
Use this kind of intel to optimize and inform your own social media marketing strategy.
Just don’t go overboard on the spy tactics, Amanda advises. “ Make sure you aren’t ALWAYS comparing yourself to the competition — it can be a distraction. I’d say checking in on a monthly basis is healthy. Otherwise, focus on your own strategy and results.”
Step 4. Do a social media audit
If you’re already using social media, take stock of your efforts so far. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s working, and what’s not?
- Who is engaging with you?
- What are your most valuable partnerships?
- Which networks does your target audience use?
- How does your social media presence compare to the competition?
Once you collect that information, you’ll be ready to start thinking about ways to improve.
We’ve created an easy-to-follow social media audit guide and template to walk you through each step of this process.
Your audit should give you a clear picture of what purpose each of your social accounts serves. If the purpose of an account isn’t clear, think about whether it’s worth keeping.
To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my audience here?
- If so, how are they using this platform?
- Can I use this account to help achieve my goals?
Asking these tough questions will keep your social media strategy focused.
Look for impostor accounts
During the audit, you may discover fake accounts using your business name or the names of your products.
These imposters can be harmful to your brand—never mind that they’re capturing followers that should be yours.
You may want to get your accounts verified too to ensure your fans know they are dealing with the real you.
Here’s how to get verified on:
Step 5. Set up accounts and improve profiles
Decide which networks to use.
As you decide which social networks to use, you will also need to define your strategy for each.
Benefit Cosmetics’ social media manager, Angela Purcaro, told eMarketer : “For our makeup tutorials … we’re all about Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Twitter, on the other hand, is designated for customer service.”
Hootsuite’s own social team even designates different purposes for formats within networks. On Instagram, for example, they use the feed to post high-quality educational infographics and product announcements and Stories to cover live events or quick social media updates.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite)
Pro tip : Write out a mission statement for each network. A one-sentence declaration to keep you focused on a specific goal.
Example: “We will use Twitter for customer support to keep email and call volumes down.”
Or: “We will use LinkedIn for promoting and sharing our company culture to help with recruitment and employee advocacy.”
One more: “We will use Instagram to highlight new products and repost quality content from influencers.”
If you can’t create a solid mission statement for a particular social media channel, you may want to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Note : While larger businesses can and do tackle every platform, small businesses may not be able to — and that’s ok! Prioritize social platforms that will have the most impact on your business and make sure your marketing team has the resources to handle content for those networks. If you need help focusing your efforts, check out our 18-minute social media plan .
Set up your profiles
Once you’ve decided which networks to focus on, it’s time to create your profiles. Or improve existing ones so they align with your strategy.
- Make sure you fill out all profile fields
- Include keywords people would use to search for your business
- Use consistent branding (logos, images, etc.) across networks so your profiles are easily recognizable
Pro tip : Use high-quality images that follow the recommended dimensions for each network. Check out our always-up-to-date social media image size cheat sheet for quick reference.
We’ve also got step-by-step guides for each network to walk you through the process:
- Create a Facebook business page
- Create an Instagram business account
- Create a TikTok account
- Create a Twitter business account
- Create a Snapchat account
- Create a LinkedIn Company Page
- Create a Pinterest business account
- Create a YouTube channel
Don’t let this list overwhelm you. Remember, it’s better to use fewer channels well than to stretch yourself thin trying to maintain a presence on every network.
Step 6. Find inspiration
While it’s important that your brand be unique, you can still draw inspiration from other businesses that are great on social.
“ I consider it my job to stay active on social: to know what’s trending, which campaigns are winning, what’s new with the platforms, who’s going above and beyond,” says Amanda. “This might be the most fun step for you, or the hardest one, but it’s just as crucial as the rest of them.”
Social media success stories
You can usually find these on the business section of the social network’s website. ( Here’s Facebook’s , for example.)
Case studies can offer valuable insights that you can apply to your own social media plan.
Award-winning accounts and campaigns
You could also check out the winners of The Facebook Awards or The Shorty Awards for examples of brands that are at the top of their social media game.
For learning and a laugh, check out Fridge-Worthy, Hootsuite’s bi-weekly awards show highlighting brands doing smart and clever things on social media.
Your favorite brands on social media
Who do you enjoy following on social media? What do they do that compels people to engage and share their content?
National Geographic, for example, is one of the best on Instagram, combining stunning visuals with compelling captions.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo)
Then there’s Shopify. The ecommerce brand uses Facebook to sell themselves by showcasing customer stories and case studies.
And Lush Cosmetics is a great example of superior customer service on Twitter. They use their 280 characters to answer questions and solve problems in an extremely charming and on-brand way.
Hey lovely! 💕 We are sorry to hear how much you are missing Scrub Scrub Scrub. We will make sure our team knows you'd love to see it back on the shelves. In the meantime, check out Magic Crystals for a similar scrubtastic feel 😍💜 — Lush North America (@lushcosmetics) October 15, 2021
Notice that each of these accounts has a consistent voice, tone, and style. That’s key to letting people know what to expect from your feed. That is, why should they follow you? What’s in it for them?
Consistency also helps keep your content on-brand even if you have multiple people on your social media team.
For more on this, read our guide on establishing a compelling brand voice on social media .
Ask your followers
Consumers can also offer social media inspiration.
What are your target customers talking about online? What can you learn about their wants and needs?
If you have existing social channels, you could also ask your followers what they want from you. Just make sure that you follow through and deliver what they ask for.
Step 7. Create a social media content calendar
Sharing great content is essential, of course, but it’s equally important to have a plan in place for when you’ll share content to get the maximum impact.
Your social media content calendar also needs to account for the time you spend interacting with the audience (although you need to allow for some spontaneous engagement as well).
Set your posting schedule
Your social media content calendar lists the dates and times at which you will publish types of content on each channel. It’s the perfect place to plan all of your social media activities—from images, link sharing, and re-shares of user-generated content to blog posts and videos. It includes both your day-to-day posting and content for social media campaigns.
Your calendar also ensures your posts are spaced out appropriately and published at the best times to post .
Pro tip: You can plan your whole content calendar and get recommended best times to post on every network based on your past engagement rate, impressions, or link click data in Hootsuite.
Determine the right content mix
Make sure your content strategy and calendar reflect the mission statement you’ve assigned to each social profile, so that everything you post is working to support your business goals.
(We know, it’s tempting to jump on every meme, but there should always be a strategy behind your social media marketing efforts!)
You might decide that:
- 50% of content will drive traffic back to your website
- 25% of content will be curated from other sources
- 20% of content will support lead-generation goals (newsletter sign-ups, ebook downloads, etc.)
- 5% of content will be about your company culture
Placing these different post types in your content calendar will ensure you maintain the right mix.
If you’re starting from scratch and you’re not sure what types of content to post, try the 80-20 rule :
- 80% of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience
- 20% can directly promote your brand.
You could also try the social media content marketing rule of thirds :
- One-third of your content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
- One-third of your content shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
- One-third of your content is personal interactions with your audience
Don’t post too much or too little
If you’re starting a social media marketing strategy from scratch, you may not have figured out how often to post to each network for maximum engagement yet.
Post too frequently and you risk annoying your audience. But, if you post too little, you risk looking like you’re not worth following.
Start with these posting frequency recommendations:
- Instagram (feed): 3-7 times per week
- Facebook: 1-2 times per day
- Twitter: 1-5 times per day
- LinkedIn: 1-5 times per day
Pro tip : Once you have your social media content calendar planned out, use a scheduling tool to prepare messages in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day.
We might be biased, but we think Hootsuite is the best social media management tool. You can schedule social media posts to every network and the intuitive calendar view gives you a full picture of all your social activity each week.
Here’s a quick video overview of how scheduling works in Hootsuite’s post composing tool.
Try It Free
Step 8. Create compelling content
Remember those mission statements you created for each channel in Step 5? Well, it’s time to go a bit deeper, a.k.a. provide some examples of the type of content you’ll post to fulfill your mission on each network.
If you’re not sure what to post, here’s a long list of social media content ideas to get you started.
The idea here is to:
- Keep your content aligned with the purpose of each network;
- Show other stakeholders (if applicable) what kind of content they can expect to see on each network.
This last point especially will help you avoid any tension when your colleagues want to know why you haven’t posted their case study/whitepaper/blog post to TikTok yet. It’s not in the strategy, Linda!
Ideally, you will generate content types that are both suited to the network and the purpose you’ve set out for that network.
For example, you wouldn’t want to waste time posting brand awareness tweets if you’ve designated Twitter for primarily customer support. And you wouldn’t want to post super polished corporate video ads to TikTok, as users expect to see short, unpolished videos on that platform.
It might take some testing over time to figure out which type of content works best on which type of network, so prepare to update this section frequently.
We won’t lie: content creation isn’t as easy as everyone not on the social team seems to think. But if you’re struggling, Amanda suggests going back to basics.
The first question to ask is: is there cohesion between your content types? Is your content providing value? Do you have a good mix of entertaining, or educational content? What does it offer that makes a person stop and spend time? Creating a few different content pillars or categories that encompass different aspects of storytelling for your brand, and what you can offer your audience is a good start.
This brings us to Step 9.
Step 9. Track performance and make adjustments
Your social media marketing strategy is a hugely important document for your business, and you can’t assume you’ll get it exactly right on the first try. As you start to implement your plan and track your results, you may find that some strategies don’t work as well as you’d anticipated, while others are working even better than expected.
Look at performance metrics
In addition to the analytics within each social network (see Step 2), you can use UTM parameters to track social visitors as they move through your website, so you can see exactly which social posts drive the most traffic to your website.
Re-evaluate, test, and do it all again
Once this data starts coming in, use it to re-evaluate your strategy regularly. You can also use this information to test different posts, social marketing campaigns, and strategies against one another. Constant testing allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t, so you can refine your social media marketing strategy in real time.
You’ll want to check the performance of all your channels at least once a week and get to know the basics of social media reporting so you can track your growth over time.
Pro tip: If you use Hootsuite, you can review the performance of all your posts on every network in one place. Once you get the hang of checking your analytics, you may even want to customize different reports to show specific metrics over a variety of different time periods.
Surveys can also be a great way to find out how well your social media strategy is working. Ask your followers, email list, and website visitors whether you’re meeting their needs and expectations, and what they’d like to see more of. Then make sure to deliver on what they tell you.
Finalizing your social media strategy
Spoiler alert: nothing is final.
Social media moves fast. New networks emerge, others go through demographic shifts.
Your business will go through periods of change as well.
All of this means that your social media marketing strategy should be a living document that you review and adjust as needed. Refer to it often to stay on track, but don’t be afraid to make changes so that it better reflects new goals, tools, or plans.
When you update your social strategy, make sure to watch our 5-step video on how to updating your social media strategy for 2023:
Social media strategy template
What’s next? When you’re ready to put your plan into action, we’re here to help…
Save time managing your social media marketing strategy with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can easily:
- Plan, create, and schedule posts to every network
- Track relevant keywords, topics, and accounts
- Stay on top of engagement with a universal inbox
- Get easy-to-understand performance reports and improve your strategy as needed
Try Hootsuite for Free
With files from Shannon Tien .
Do it better with Hootsuite , the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.
How to set and exceed social media goals [9 examples].
Struggling with structuring your efforts on social? Set yourself up for success with our guide to setting and achieving smarter social media goals.
How to Run the Easiest Social Media Audit [FREE TEMPLATE]
A social media audit is the best way to review and improve any social marketing strategy. Check in on your efforts with this free template.
How To Create a Social Media Calendar [2023 Guide]
Social media content calendars are the best way to plan and organize your content. Build one in 4 easy steps or use our free template.
Social Media Marketing Tools: The Complete 2023 Guide
Automate your work, save time, and build better relationships with your audience by using the right social media marketing tools.
Well this is awkward.
We could have SWORN you were someone who wanted to grow on social media and beat your competitors. Our bad. We’ll just leave this 60-day free trial here for someone else then…
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Why do we need Meaningful Profit enterprises?
After studying motivation and the essence of the drive, we have to conclude that people are not made to ‘just take’, nor are they made to ‘just give’. Both qualities drive human beings. Historically these qualities are separated. That's why we work in either the world of profit or the world of non-profit.
We take for our benefit, or we give for the benefit of others . However, these qualities are psychologically two sides of the same coin. The separation of these two deep-seated needs creates many problems and (inter) personal conflict. We believe and have been able to conclude that lack of motivation , stress , burnout , depressions are symptoms of this artificial dichotomy. These are just a few problems that frustrate many business owners.
A Meaningful Profit enterprise differs from a mere profit or non-profit organization by aiming to bring the essence of ‘human nature’ back to how the business organizes as well as how the business creates the business vision and commercial outcomes. Profit organizations in practice aim to fulfill daily needs while (sometimes fearfully) anticipating tomorrow and beyond.
The Meaningful Profit enterprise focuses on the difficulties of tomorrow and beyond while anticipating on the needs of today in the best possible way to contribute to the future. Understanding of ‘Human Nature’ and implementing that knowledge into the enterprise is key to understanding the Meaningful Profit enterprise.
This article contains the following subjects:
- How to create a Meaningful Profit enterprise and write a Meaningful Profit Business plan
- Pitfalls, Tips and Tricks about how to create and maintain a Meaningful Profit enterprise
- The psychology behind Meaningful Profit
Who invented Meaningful Profit?
The new business model Meaningful Profit is a result of the book Wassili Zafiris and Ben Steenstra published in 2011 called " Ik Ben niet alleen op de wereld ".
Whats makes a Meaningful Profit enterprise different?
This synopsis of the key points of your entire business plan usually highlights a brief description of your business and your products or service. Within a Meaningful Profit enterprise, we start with our highest intention - The BIGGest WHY - and emphasize how our business, way of working and products or services contribute to this intention rationally before we tell the rest.
PITFALLS when writing a Meaningful Profit Business plan!
With a profit organization, readers primary care about your product and business model. The likability and desire of the product determine the size of the target group. Thus revenue and the business model determines the profit.
With a Meaningful Profit enterprise, the impact of the intention and size of the number of people who really care about it determines the willingness and amount of people to contribute and support. Both internally and externally.
Different readers have different interest, knowledge, and values. Investors and banks will look at it with different eyes than employees or partners. Watch out for:
- Fluffiness > Our company spreads a message of love because we have breakfast every morning together before we start selling our peppermints
- The ‘New Gandhi’ effect > Our company will bring peace and understanding and stops the wars all over the world...
- More tips can be shared by our Meaningful Profit experts at TheONE.
Step by Step creating a BIG WHY
Most Business Format Models are focussed on describing how to supply the customer in the best way, with the best product, preferably with the highest margin.
Within a Meaningful Profit enterprise, the product, service, strategy, internal organization, and even the marketing approach all are a logical result of the highest intention. The BIG WHY .
A BIG WHY can only have meaning within a context of a vision. A vision is what we see in the future and without a future, who cares about the BIG WHY ? That’s why we always start with our vision.
STEP 1 - LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE
Define the scope (in maximum 5 bullets).
Question : In what area the MP will be operating? This could change during the process. For example: Retail, e-commerce, Food industry, etc.
Define future standards (in maximum 5 bullets).
Question : What trends an undeniable within this market? During the process, the bullets can change in priority or be added with new once.
Define the biggest opportunities and threats. (a much as possible)
Question : Looking ten years in the future, What is your biggest fear or wish if you look at global trends that are direct and indirect related to:
- Your market/business
- Your environment
- Society *The world
(Optional) Highlight the ones that really matter Question: What topics are more and less relevant, and what is a result of what?
STEP 2 - VISION
Define the mutual vision (of all owners / directors 1 sentence)
Question : What is something we really care about and want to see as a positive outcome in 10 years from now.
- Tip 1: Start the sentence with: We see a world where...
- Tip 2: Don’t compromise in words. Be specific and concrete.
- Tip 3: Make sure to define a compelling and stakeholding vision with an audience
- Tip 4: Make sure it’s something you want to fight for.
Make a slogan (Maximum 6 words): Question: What is this vision precisely about?
STEP 3 - PURPOSE
Define the mutual purpose of the company (1 sentence)
Question : What’s your purpose of contributing to your vision?
- Tip 1: Start the sentence with: Our purpose is to….
- Tip 2: Keep in mind what makes this vision so important, and what makes it fight worthy?
Step 4 - MISSION
Define your mission (1 sentence) Question : What specific role does your company need to take in this world to contribute to making the vision come true in the best way?
- Tip 1: To contribute is something different than to solve it…
Step 5 - ENTITY
Define your entity (1 sentence)
Question : If you are active in a world with your vision, your purpose, and your mission, who should you be to fulfill your mission in the best way?
Step 6 - PRODUCT
Define your product or service (only the description, not the specific product or service)
Question : What should you offer your clients as your entity, with your mission?
- Tip 1: Check if it does make sense to offer this product/service? Is there any logical connection?
- Tip 2: Stay close to your expertise or be willing to change radically.
Step 7 - STRATEGY
Define the core strategy (5 bullets max)
Question : What are the highlights of the steps that are needed to contribute in the best way to our vision in the role of our mission ?
- Tip: Avoid to define the goals or KPI’s, but the minimal step that needs to be taken that will make the Goals or KPI’s a logical outcome.
Step 8 - DEFINE THE RULES OF THE GAME
Define the rules of the game (5 bullets max)
Question : What are the minimum rules to keep in mind to make this strategy work?
Step 9 - DEFINE THE ATTITUDE
Define your companies attitude (5 bullets max) Question : With what attitude should your company and the people within show yourself to the world to contribute to your vision in the best way and honor your mission?
- Tip 1: An attitude (in)direct says something about the culture and is the guidance of how to work, do business, and achieve goals while contributing to the vision.
Step 10 - DEFINE THE VALUES
Define your company values (5 bullets max) Question : What values are never to be crossed and guide the company showing it has principles?
- Tip 1: One of the values of Google is “do no evil”.
Step 11 - Describing the BIG WHY
Define what you do (1 sentence)
Question : What is it what the target group sees what you offer
- Tip: Check if it’s giving value to people and people are willing to want it
Define how you do it (1 sentence) Question : How do you make it possible to offer your product or service in a competitive way?
- Tip: Check if you really are the one that is excellent in it
Define why you do it (1 sentence)
Question : Why is your product/service and the way how you do it needed and important in relation to your purpose and vision?
Define the BIG WHY (1 sentence)
The magic question : Based on the previous answer, why is it essential for the consumer, society and you that your company is alive?
An example of a Meaningful Profit Enterprise is, of course, CallTheONE as Ben Steenstra is Co-Founder of CallTheONE. Another example is Lots Of Lesvos founded by Aranka van der Pol who was a tremendous help by writing and shaping the book of Wassili and Ben.
- Ben Steenstra C o - f o u n d e r o f T h e O N E Free
- Luis Pimentel B u s i n e s s D e v e l o p m e n t € 1,60 pm
- Chudamani Guragain S a l e s a n d M e r k e t i n g € 0,26 pm
- Lex Ouburg S e r i a l e n t r e p r e n e u r € 0,50 pm
- Billie Christelle Igabe # G r o w t h M a r k e t i n g € 0,49 pm
- Yasmeen Tadia S E R I A L E N T R E P R E N E U R € 3,83 pm
- Français fr
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Start, build, and grow a social enterprise: start your social enterprise.
From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- Start your social enterprise
- Build your social enterprise
- Grow your social enterprise
A graph with an arrow from left to right that depicts the sequence questions on the webpage.
From far left to right, the questions include:
- What is a social enterprise? (far left)
Do you have what it takes?
- A social enterprise that reflects your project?
- The right corporate structure for your social enterprise
- How to grow your social enterprise?
- Become a Social Enterprise Success Story (far right)
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What is a social enterprise.
- A social enterprise that reflects your project
A social enterprise is a revenue-generating organization whose objective is to have a social impact. Definitions of "social enterprise" vary, but there is no unified definition in Canada. For our purposes, social enterprises fall into a wide spectrum of business models.
A social enterprise does not have a specific corporate form. Social enterprises include "non-profit organizations" or "registered charities" who operate revenue generating related businesses, and include organizations that operate as "for-profit" businesses with a social goal.
You can operate a social enterprise in the corporate form that suits you best, whether it is more socially or commercially focused. In the graph below, social enterprises fall anywhere between a "charity operating a related business" and a "business corporation with social purpose."
Spectrum of social enterprises in Canada
A graph demonstrating a spectrum of social enterprise models from charity (far left) to commercial corporation (far right). At the far left, there is an image depicting social purpose and at the far right there is an image depicting revenues.
The spectrum flows from left to right with the following sequence:
- Charity (far left)
- Charity operating a related business
- Enterprising non-profit organization
- Not-for-profit corporation with social purpose
- Co-op corporation with social purpose (middle)
- Business corporation with social purpose
- Socially responsible business corporation
- Business corporation donating to charity
- Commercial corporation (far right)
Source: Adapted from Spectrum of Organizations: From Charities to Traditional Businesses, Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good, Canadian Task Force on Social Finance (2010).
A social enterprise is a business. Before choosing what corporate form suits you best, there are a number of personal, business and financial factors to consider — having a good idea is not enough.
The Business Development Bank of Canada , the Futurpreneur platform (targeting socially minded business owners aged 18 to 39), and the Government of Canada offer guidelines to help entrepreneurs accomplish their goals of starting a business. For instance, it is important to know your client base, and if there is a need for the product or service you would be offering.
These guidelines apply equally to social entrepreneurs and can help with:
- Determining their entrepreneurial spirit;
- Business Planning;
- Financial Planning; and,
- Market Research.
A social enterprise that reflects your project Footnote 1
Social enterprises are not restricted to a corporate form. Therefore, like any business, you need to choose a corporate form that best reflects your project.
You can either establish an unincorporated entity or an incorporated entity. Unincorporated businesses are sole proprietorships and partnerships . Incorporated businesses are business corporations , not-for-profit corporations , and co-operative corporations .
Once you have chosen a corporate form, you could consider operating as a non-profit organization or applying to become a registered charity as defined under the Income Tax Act .
It is important to consult legal and tax professionals to make the best decision possible. For more information on the taxation of the various corporate structures discussed, please see Staying on top of your tax obligation .
Is incorporating right for you?
Your decision to incorporate or not will influence your social enterprise's ownership structure and governance structure, but also your ability to attract investments and scale your business. You can incorporate as a business corporation, a not-for-profit corporation, or as a co-operative. Please refer to Annex 1 for a comparison chart of federally incorporated entities.
At a basic level, incorporating creates a legal entity distinct from its owners/members which protects its owners/members from personal liability, and allows directors elected by shareholders/members to run the business.
In contrast, unincorporated entities like sole proprietorships and partnerships are not distinct from their owners, which means that the owners of sole proprietorships and partnerships are directly liable for the debts and obligations of their business.
While unincorporated entities are administratively less burdensome to operate, incorporated entities have many advantages . For instance, corporations are often better suited to attract investments, receive government funding, and scale their business.
Note that incorporating at the federal or provincial/territorial level has different implications. For instance, federally incorporated companies can use their business names across Canada and can do business in all provinces/territories — although you may need to register your business name in certain provinces.
What ownership structure best reflects your project?
As an unincorporated entity, you alone, or with your partners, own your social enterprise. This provides you with the ability to shape your social enterprise without many formalities.
As an incorporated entity, ownership is either shared between shareholders or collectively shared amongst members:
- A business corporation issues shares (that may increase in value) to raise capital, the shareholders own the entity and receive dividends. Shareholders have votes proportional to the type and number of shares they have purchased.
- A co-operative issues memberships, the members collectively own the entity and may or may not receive dividends. Each member has one vote regardless of his/her membership stake. Co-operatives can also issue non-voting "investment shares" to raise capital.
- A not-for-profit issues memberships, the members , who form the "membership" of the company, do not own the corporation and do not receive dividends. Typically, members have one vote.
Members and shareholders are the backbones of your social enterprise. Members and shareholders are your sources of financing, can be the community you are trying to help (especially in the case of cooperatives), and hold the organization accountable by electing and removing directors, requesting corporate records and passing resolutions.
Therefore, it is important to think about the type of ownership structure you want, whether it is shareholders who may be seeking returns on their investments or members who have no economic stake in your project.
Who will run your social enterprise?
As the owner of an unincorporated social enterprise, you alone, or with your partners, call the shots.
If your social enterprise is an incorporated entity, directors are the elected representative of your corporation. Federal not-for-profits and business corporations are required to have at least one director, and federal co-operatives are required to have at least three directors.
If you are a federal co-operative or for-profit corporation, at least 25% of the directors are required to be "resident Canadian"; there are no such restrictions for federal not-for-profit corporations.
If you are a federal not-for-profit or business corporation, directors are not required to be members or shareholders. In contrast, at least two-thirds of the directors of a federal co-operative, or a higher proportion set in the articles, must be members or shareholders.
What is the primary goal of your social enterprise?
All social enterprises have a social goal, but some are more social ventures and others are more commercial ventures.
Socially focused social enterprise
For social enterprises with a more focused social objective, incorporating as a co-operative or a not-for-profit are good options.
As a not-for-profit, members do not have a financial stake in the corporation and do not receive dividends. After incorporating, some not-for-profits seek "non-profit" status or apply to be "registered charities" under the Income Tax Act to benefit from income tax and/or property tax exemptions.
As a co-operative, there are legislative limits to the amount of dividends members can receive, and you can put additional conditions on the distribution of dividends in your by-laws.
Commercially focused social enterprise
For social enterprises with a more commercial objective, incorporating as a business corporation, a co-operative, or using a provincial social enterprise model are good options. As a commercial enterprise, you need to have flexibility in exploring various commercial and financing opportunities.
Business corporations and co-operatives are typically the ideal vehicles. Not-for-profit and unincorporated social enterprises are also "for-profit" structures, however, they cannot seek equity financing and may experience other barriers once the venture grows.
It is important to remember that regardless of its corporate form, your social enterprise needs to be profitable or its survival will be short. Revenues are essential to cover operational costs, pay employees and commit to a social cause.
Will you need outside financing?
Depending on the scope of your operations, you may or may not need access to outside capital.
If your social enterprise's goal is limited in scope, not too costly to operate, and you have the means, you could rely on your own capital or small institutional loans to finance your social enterprise. In this case, you may choose to use an unincorporated entity or you may incorporate as a federal not-for-profit to operate your social enterprise. Your need for financing may evolve as your social enterprise grows.
If your social enterprise's goal is more ambitious in scope and access to private and institutional investors is crucial for your social enterprise to achieve sustainability and growth, incorporating as a business corporation or as a cooperative may be more beneficial. In addition to the traditional financing means available, a business corporation can raise capital by issuing shares, and a co-operative can rely on members' shared capital and even issue non-voting investment shares to grow their business.
Do you want to operate as a tax-exempt entity?
If you plan on operating solely for social reasons, and revenues are a means for a greater goal, you may consider seeking a "non-profit organization" status or may apply to become a "registered charity" under the Income Tax Act .
Seeking these special statuses may alleviate some financial strain as you could be exempt from income tax and/or property tax. For more information on the criteria to be considered a "non-profit organization" or the process to become a registered charity, please see Registered charities and Non-profit organizations .
It is important to distinguish "not-for-profit corporations" from "non-profit organizations." A "not-for-profit corporation" or "society" is a corporate form that your business acquires upon incorporation — see Not-for-profit . In contrast, a "non-profit" is a legal status that any organization can acquire by fulfilling certain requirements under the Income Tax Act — see Non-profit organizations .
Because not-for-profit corporations and societies are entities without share capital, many of them operate as non-profit organizations or as registered charities.
The information provided is to assist you in understanding more about social enterprises. It is not intended to replace legal advice. Consider consulting a lawyer or another professional advisor to ensure that the specific needs of your corporation are met.
Today's top stories
SA social enterprises call for government plan
A group of South Australian social enterprise leaders, including InDaily 40 Under 40 alumnus Amy Orange, have joined forces to establish the South Australian Social Enterprise Strategy Expert Advisory Group to lobby the state government to develop a social enterprise strategy.
The advisory group of eight sector leaders was convened by the South Australian Social Enterprise Council (SASEC) and the national group Social Traders , which works towards integrating social enterprises into supply chains.
Co-chair of the advisory group, Amy Orange, said social enterprises are businesses like any other but make the world a better place by creating jobs for the most marginalised, providing services for underserved communities or protecting the environment.
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Orange, who works for Social Traders, is an InDaily 40 Under 40 alumnus from 2018 .
“A recent report released by Social Enterprise Australia estimates there are more than 800 social enterprises in South Australia, but there is yet to be any formal recognition or support for these innovative businesses from SA Government,” Orange said.
Theresa Brown, SASEC chair and co-chair of the advisory group said social enterprise strategies have been developed and implemented by state governments in Victoria and Queensland with incredible results.
“Victoria’s first strategy was introduced in 2016 and they now have over 3,500 social enterprises employing around 60,000 people, and generating $5.2 billion to the Victorian economy each year,” Brown said.
“It is time for the SA government to step up, recognise and invest in our state’s growing social enterprise sector to drive positive social and environmental outcomes through their innovative business models.”
The advisory group is rolling out a campaign in 2023 to increase awareness of social enterprise within SA Government, and to advocate for a co-designed SA Social Enterprise strategy to be developed, endorsed and implemented in partnership with the sector, with appropriate investment by SA Government.
Nominations for this year’s 40 Under 40 are now open and will close at the end of the month. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday 8 June and will join Amy Orange as an alumnus of the growing and influential network.
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Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts . Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.
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How do I write a business plan for a nonprofit organization?
Like for-profit business ventures, nonprofits can create a business plan to describe how they will turn their mission into reality.
The business planning process involves the following steps:
- Researching the market, using a resource such as GuideStar , to see who else might be doing what the nonprofit plans to offer
- Investigating the resources the nonprofit will need to provide the service
- Devising marketing and communication strategies
- Assessing risk
- Determining ways to evaluate success - IssueLab Results is a place for foundations and nonprofits to share funded evaluations and to access the lessons of their peers and colleagues.
You can also use a business plan for a specific project or venture for a nonprofit.
To help diversify their revenue sources, for example, many nonprofits explore ways to earn income by developing their own business ventures. A classic example is Girl Scout cookies. Each year Girl Scout troops sell cookies, and the money they earn goes toward Girl Scout programs. Providing goods or services for a fee can be an important way for a nonprofit to bring in revenue to supplement its fundraising activities.
Selected resources below can help you learn more about creating an overall business plan for a nonprofit organization or specifically for an earned income venture.
Still have questions about starting a nonprofit, finding grants or other fundraising and management queries? Chat with or email Candid's experts to get answers. Ask Us Now!
If you're thinking about starting a nonprofit, take Candid's course, Is Starting a Nonprofit Right for You? Take the course in person or watch the video.
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Explore resources curated by our staff for this topic:, staff-recommended websites, business planning (for nonprofits or for-profits).
This site provides an overview of business planning, with a special section focusing on nonprofits. Includes sample nonprofit business plans.
Business Planning for Nonprofits
Provides a listing of suggested resources on business and strategic planning for nonprofit organizations.
Business Planning Tools for Non-Profit Organizations
Offers advice on strategic plans, business plans & feasibility studies, as well as information on financial options, assessing funding sources. Extensive information on planning volunteer programs as well.
Free Nonprofit Sample Business Plans
Foundation Center does not endorse the business planning software sold on this site, but the sample nonprofit business plans provided are helpful and quite comprehensive.
How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan
This article provides a brief overview of the steps involved in creating a nonprofit business plan.
Nonprofit Business Plan Development: From Vision, Mission and Values to Implementation
This guide provides an overview of the steps in the planning process, (including SWOT analysis), vision and mission statement development, and goal setting.
This full-text article by Donald A. Griesman goes into detail on the process of starting a nonprofit organization. Beginning on page 10, he describes the elements of a business plan for a new nonprofit.
Nonprofit vs. Traditional Business Plans
Entrepreneur.com offers some information on the differences between a nonprofit and traditional business plan.
Sample Nonprofit Business Plans
Along with a link to its full-text article titled “Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters,” the Bridgespan Group gives links to 3 sample nonprofit business plans.
Social Enterprise Business Plan
This outline was developed for nonprofit organizations wishing to embark on earned income ventures with a business model.
Strategic and Business Planning
A resource guide with definitions of planning terms and examples of planning techniques.
Write Your Business Plan
Though not geared specifically to nonprofits, these resources from the SBA cover in detail the elements that should be included in any kind of business plan.
Business plans handbook: non-profit.
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Social purpose business.
- How to Start a Social Purpose Business
Take a look at our 10-step framework for starting up a Social Purpose Business.
If you’re an aspiring or established entrepreneur with a passion for a social or environmental issue, there are growing opportunities available. Starting up a Social Purpose Business allows you to leverage your entrepreneurial principles to organize, mobilize and manage a for-profit business that supports social change. Here’s a 10-step framework for starting up a Social Purpose Business.
1. Choose a social issue
Most social entrepreneurs are inspired by something. Christine Poirier of Montreal, Quebec designed her own nursing top to feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public. Her desire to help other women have positive breastfeeding experiences is what inspired Christine to co-found Momzelle , which makes quality, fashionable nursing apparel, sponsors breastfeeding events across North America and donates tops to women’s centres.
Like Christine Poirier, you might be drawn to a social issue through your own experience, but the cause you choose needs to be important to many others. For example, a recycling business that helps reduce the amount of plastic water bottles in landfills can resonate with a wide audience, in turn making a greater positive impact on the environment.
2. Research your issue
Even if you have personal experience with the social issue you’re hoping to solve, that doesn’t make you an expert. You need to have a full grasp on the nature of your endeavor, so take the time to do your research. What is your target market, and what assumptions are you making about it? Is there a real need for your Social Purpose Business? What is your competition and how will you stand out from it? What is the value you want to bring to your customers? Market research and analysis, feasibility studies, industry analysis and viewpoint forums can help you validate your assumptions and determine the potential of your idea.
3. Get a global viewpoint
Even if your cause is a local one, look beyond. There’s a world of resources available – international websites, online blogs and social networks, local and global social enterprise networks, events and meet-ups and traditional media. Take advantage to find out who the relevant innovators and innovations are worldwide, and to set up interviews with experts and potential customers. Also look beyond your industry, as valuable parallels can be drawn and trends understood from Social Purpose Businesses in other sectors.
4. Grasp legal structures
The legal structure of your business will impact its structure, governance, taxation, regulations and ability to attract investments and partners. 1 Structures currently available in Canada are charities, not-for-profits, co-operatives and for-profit corporations.
The challenge faced by social entrepreneurs in Canada is that they must choose between a not-for-profit and for-profit structure from the get-go, neither of which is entirely suited to a business striving to create blended value. Before you decide upon a legal structure for your business, be sure to do your research, speak to other entrepreneurs about their experience and make sure you understand the impact your decision will make on your business. Read more about choosing a legal structure for a Social Purpose Business .
5. Establish a solid business plan
It’s time to turn your research into a business plan. A business plan should have defined goals and tasks, effective strategies and measurements for success, such as:
- Clearly defining your product or service
- Clearly defining your social objectives
- Your plan for meeting your blended social and business goals
- Your plan for measuring success – both business and social
- Who your customers are and how you plan to reach them
- Marketing channels you plan to use
- Your plan for product development or service delivery
- Your business model (legal structure)
- Your operations plan (where it will be based, who is on your team, how it will work day to day)
- Your financial plan (start-up costs, projected incomes, expenses and cash flow)
- Skills required and staff needed
Remember, a Social Purpose Business is a for-profit endeavour that will be competing with commercial enterprises that are concerned only with financial returns. Your business plan needs to engage and convince stakeholders, investors and funders.
6. Investigate funding options
One of the greatest challenges for entrepreneurs is finding the resources and capital to start their venture – even more so for social entrepreneurs. It helps to first understand the different types of financing that are available, including various sources of private sector financing or financing from non-governmental organizations. Only then can you assess which financing options best suit your Social Purpose Business.
The struggle many social entrepreneurs have is engaging private and public investors who generally lack experience with the unique risks, business models and markets presented by social ventures. Investors consider Social Purpose Business a riskier investment because it tends to be relatively complex, takes longer to scale and often tackles uncharted areas. 1
7. Seek ongoing support from a mentor
Establishing a relationship with a mentor from the onset of your business is critical. A mentor is a business professional with the experience to provide sound business advice, support and encouragement, but it’s imperative to choose a mentor who understands the unique challenges and issues faced by socially-minded entrepreneurs. In the experience of the Futurpreneur Canada, the chances of success are much higher when a young entrepreneur has the support of a mentor, so all Futurpreneur Canada entrepreneurs are matched with a mentor, prior to receiving their loan. Read more about the value of mentorship .
8. Hire the right people
Choosing the right people for your Social Purpose Business follows the same principles as hiring for any type of business. Building a team with a mix of practical, entrepreneurial and business skills will serve your business well. Yet working for a business with a social mission may require more commitment, and any prospective employees need to understand just what’ s expected – whether that be flexibility, longer working hours or lifestyle changes. Ideally, those you hire will share the same concerns about the social issue you’re striving to change and experience with the community you’re planning to serve.
A Social Purpose Business can also benefit from a board of directors that provides specialized guidance, expertise and support. The board oversees the business and supervises management, and will make decisions that will impact all aspects of your business – employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and communities. Depending on your social and business goals, different skills might be required from your board members, such as a lawyer, accountant, marketing executive, fundraiser, IT expert, health care provider or social worker.
9. Build a company culture
A Social Purpose Business needs to develop its own company culture and not just a campaign. For a business striving for blended value, the culture should likewise be blended, combining the best of both the traditional not-for-profit mentality and the traditional for-profit mentality. The business needs to communicate to everyone involved – employees, board members, stakeholders – how it’s founded upon blended value, measures success based on the “triple bottom line” (people, planet and profit), and serves both clients (the people benefiting socially) and customers (the people buying).
10. Reach out globally
Once your Social Purpose Business has a solid foundation and its generating both economic and social value, it might be time to build awareness about both your business and the social issue it’s impacting. Establishing a global presence can bring many benefits. It can lead to further funding, opportunities to expand your positive impact, awareness about your social issue and interest in working for your company. Recent research has demonstrated the importance and positive results of successful social media campaigns, and it’s become imperative for all types of business to reach out to people around the world with a company website, blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
As powerful as social media can be for business, it comes with an element of risk. It should be assumed that anything shared on social networks lasts forever, so choose your words wisely. Also, while controversy gets people engaged – the ultimate goal of social media – you’ll want to avoid any topics (such as politics or religion) or strong views that jeopardize your business values or polarize your audience.
- Brace for (Social) Impact: The rise of social entrepreneurship in Canada. Rachel Shuttleworth, April 2012.
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Learn More →
- Choosing a Legal Structure for Social Purpose Business
- Measuring the Success of a Social Purpose Business
- Mentoring Social Purpose Business Entrepreneurs
- The Value of Mentorship
- What is Social Purpose Business?
- Infographic: What is Social Purpose Business?
Business Plan Examples (2)
- Non-profit Business: Example Business Plan
- Social Purpose Business: Example Business Plan
Tips & Tools (1)
- Business Plan Writer
How To & Guides (1)
- Futurpreneur Canada Social Purpose Business Video Series
- Futurpreneur Canada Social Purpose Business: Deliver Good Video
- Futurpreneur Canada Social Purpose Business: Lean Machine Video
- Futurpreneur Canada Social Purpose Business: Twenty One Toys Video
For a social enterprise business plan, your marketing plan should include the following: Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of social enterprise company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering.
Developing a Social Enterprise Business Plan February 11, 2015 Margot Dushin, HBS Social Enterprise Initiative ... Developing your business plan . NAILING THE VISION The problem and the opportunity ... - Create a social movement - Organize collective action - Change government policy and practice
A social enterprise is an activity of a nonprofit that employs entrepreneurial, market-driven strategies for earned income in support of its mission. This outline for a social enterprise business plan is a guide for research, planning, and writing a business plan for nonprofit social enterprises.
Here are seven practical, actionable steps that Hayden suggests carefully following to become a successful social entrepreneur — and to truly be the change you wish to see in the world: Write a mission statement "Start by deciding precisely who you want to serve and exactly where and how you want to serve them.
A social enterprise is a business designed around a core altruistic mission, which in turn influences how it's managed, from product development to branding, from supply chain management to financial planning. Instead of a single bottom line focused on earnings, many social enterprises measure success based on a triple bottom line: People.
This section provides an overview of the different components that you need to include in your business plan. Component 1: Executive Summary. This section provides key guidelines that you need to take note of when writing the Executive Summary of your business plan. Component 2: Company Description.
The Social Enterprise model is a great way of doing business and doing good, but it also has some unique challenges. The key thing is to not just follow the trends but be very clear on the mission ...
Always include a description of your future strategic financial plans, like paying off debt or selling your business. Financial projections Supplement your funding request with financial projections. Your goal is to convince the reader that your business is stable and will be a financial success.
They are a early step towards creating a whole business plan because they force you to be succinct, clear, and think about the business as a whole system of ins and outs. To start, use a one-page Business Model Canvas — the classic version has been updated to a Social Business Model Canvas to make it all the more useful for a social entrepreneur:
Set up a CIC online Register your CIC online with Companies House. It costs £27. You'll need to create a Government Gateway user ID and password for your company. You cannot use your personal...
Creating a Social Enterprise Business Plan - Harvard Business School EN English Deutsch Français Español Português Italiano Român Nederlands Latina Dansk Svenska Norsk Magyar Bahasa Indonesia Türkçe Suomi Latvian Lithuanian český русский български العربية Unknown
Social enterprises have both business and social goals. As a result, their social goals are embedded in their objective, which differentiates them from other organizations and corporations. The major objectives of a social enterprise organization are to promote, encourage, and make social change.
Business planning will help any social enterprise (SE) or social purpose business (SPB) to: Attract investment Identify risks Measure social or environmental outcomes Demonstrate that you are using a business approach Showcase the management team Build alliances Check thinking Determine feasibility In a business plan, you must clearly articulate:
12,209 recent views. In this course we will take the social business opportunity that you have identified in the first course to a higher level. Specifically, you will develop a business model using the Business Model Canvas. Gradually you will also start writing your business plan. Moreover, you will be able to assess different organizational ...
Social Enterprise Business Plan Template A social enterprise is a business that aims to achieve a particular public or community mission (social, environmental, cultural or economic), and reinvests the majority of its profits into achieving that mission.
Create a Brief Business Plan. Fill out a canvas of your choosing for a well-known startup: Uber, Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Airbnb, Bird/Lime, Warby Parker, or any of the companies featured throughout this chapter or one of your choice. ... 55 "Hugh Jackman Journey to Starting a Social Enterprise Coffee Company." Giving Compass. April 8, 2018 ...
Step 7. Create a social media content calendar. Step 8. Create compelling content. Step 9. Track performance and make adjustments. Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
Free business plan template for a social enterprise Below you find questions for a free business plan template for a new kind of social enterprise. It is called a meaningful profit enterprise. Meaningful Profit is the enterprise model that connects the highest intention (s) of the entrepreneur or CEO to the output of the business.
A social enterprise that reflects your project 1 Social enterprises are not restricted to a corporate form. Therefore, like any business, you need to choose a corporate form that best reflects your project. You can either establish an unincorporated entity or an incorporated entity.
Orange, who works for Social Traders, is an InDaily 40 Under 40 alumnus from 2018. "A recent report released by Social Enterprise Australia estimates there are more than 800 social enterprises in South Australia, but there is yet to be any formal recognition or support for these innovative businesses from SA Government," Orange said. Theresa Brown, SASEC chair and co-chair of the advisory ...
How to create a business plan for a small business Here are four steps you can follow to create and write a business plan for a small business: 1. Conduct research Beginning a small business requires research to find information about the market and industry of your products or services.
and elements required to write a business plan for a new venture By organizing your thoughts on a possible business venture into a business plan, you begin the process of creating a successful enterprise. This publication addresses common questions about business plans and then discusses what is included in the major sections of a business plan.
The business planning process involves the following steps: Researching the market, using a resource such as GuideStar, to see who else might be doing what the nonprofit plans to offer. Investigating the resources the nonprofit will need to provide the service. Devising marketing and communication strategies. Assessing risk.
Here's a 10-step framework for starting up a Social Purpose Business. 1. Choose a social issue. Most social entrepreneurs are inspired by something. Christine Poirier of Montreal, Quebec designed her own nursing top to feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public.