What Is a Social Enterprise?


Quick Answer

A social enterprise is a business that operates to solve social problems and enhance the lives of people, communities or the environment. It can be established as either a for-profit or non-profit.

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Full Answer

A social enterprise makes money by selling goods and services on the open market, but the profits are reinvested back into the community or the business. A social enterprise should do the following: have a straightforward social mission in its governing documents, make a majority of its income through trade, be independent from the state, controlled by the interest of the social mission, be accountable and be transparent. In the United States, The Social Enterprise Alliance defines a social enterprise as an organization that uses business methods to advance its primary social or environmental mission.

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