Nonprofits have clear social missions and are not profit-driven.
They have to meet specific legal requirements for their organizational structure, and demonstrate the transparency of their funding.
A Benefit Corporation is a legal structure for a business, as an L3C or LLC is. Currently this structure is available in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington D. The world is full of opportunities to make a positive impact.
Benefit Corporations do not need to be certified, but they are required to make publicly available their performance on their social missions as compared to a third party standard. Social enterprises are really defined by their mission and their accomplishments, rather than their legal structure, so realistically any business can choose to become socially-minded and transparent, and dedicate themselves toward working for the common good.
The Social Enterprise Alliance offers this definition: “In its early days, the social enterprise movement was identified mainly with nonprofits that used business models and earned income strategies to pursue their mission.
Today, it also encompasses for-profits whose driving purpose is social.
Once you’ve written your first business plan ask for feedback, then listen to the feedback you’ve receive.
Be open to constructive comments and willing to add detail where it is needed.
Because of this, the structure of a social enterprise can vary.
Nonprofits are certainly social enterprises, but many for-profit companies fall into this category by making the conscious decision to have their focus be an altruistic cause, rather than the maximization of profits.