Who are social enterprises?
Social enterprises are enterprises that carry out productive activities according to entrepreneurial criteria of continuity, stability and quality. Their mission is to solve a social problem, tied for example to education, health, the environment or the labour market.
Who are social enterprises?
Social enterprises are enterprises that carry out productive activities according to entrepreneurial criteria of continuity, stability and quality. Their mission is to solve a social problem, tied for example to education, health, the environment or the labour market. They can be for profit or not for profit and take on different legal forms according to their country - cooperatives, social enterprises, charities or limited companies. A social enterprise brings together social impact, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability.
There are different definitions of Social Enterprise, all of which have common key words: sustainability, business model, innovation, social and environmental impact, social mission, social and economic justice.
We believe that the necessary conditions for social enterprise are:
• A capable entrepreneur with an authentic social mission who is brave, passionate, charismatic and visionary
• A team that is just as motivated and that has a pragmatic spirit
• A clear entrepreneurial model with realistic, financially sustainable goals
• A clear and measurable social impact model
What do social enterprises do and why do they do it?
To better understand social enterprises, here are two examples from Tanzania.
Zanzibar, the largest island in Tanzania, produces 260 tonnes of solid waste every day only 30% of which is disposed of, the rest is dispersed into the environment and poses a great health risk to the local population. ZANREC is a social enterprise that offers sustainable waste disposal solutions with the direct involvement of the local community. It provides the island’s hotels with a waste collection and recycling service and also buys plastic waste from the island’s villages through a system of local agents. Finally, ZANREC re-sells the plastic and recyclable metal back to the mainland.
A to Z Textiles is another social enterprise in Tanzania. It produces mosquito nets to protect against malaria, which causes the highest number of deaths among children under the age of 5 in Africa. Mosquito nets are a good way of preventing malaria and A to Z Textiles not only has a certified production chain, it also has a distribution chain that reaches the most remote areas thanks to a “mobile warehouse” and UNICEF distribution channels. The entrepreneurial model is based on creating positive impact for its beneficiaries by making health solutions accessible and promotes sustainable development because the mosquito nets are produced in Africa and distributed globally.
Are you curious to meet other inspiring social enterprises? Would you like to talk face to face with visionary and charismatic entrepreneurs who create impact and change the world around them? Discover a new way of doing business, change the way you look at everyday challenges, listen to innovative ideas and solutions. Participate to the Social Enterprise World Forum!
What is the SEWF? The world’s most inclusive social enterprise event! Every year it brings together more than 1000 entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, supporters, foundations, philanthropists and government representatives working to promote the development of social economy. It is an incredible opportunity to meet the people, the ideas and the solutions involved in meeting the challenges we face today. In 2015 the SEWF will be in Milan, from the 1 st to the 3 rd of July. To participate and find out more, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and on www.sewf2015.org