Journey to social enterprise

Social enterprises do not magically appear. They are the result of many years of hard work. The good news is that thousands of South African organizations have set out on their journey to become social enterprises.

This presentation describes the Journey to Social Enterprise. It is based on 20 years of observation and consulting to aspiring social enterprises.

It describes how non-profit organizations and businesses can move towards a state of social enterprise. It unpacks and names the strategic transition points that organizations need to overcome when moving towards social enterprise. It also describes the specific skills that organizations need to master at each transition point.

How a business can become a social enterprise

This article was published in the June 2015 edition of the Small Business Connect newspaper. It is part 11 in a series of 11 articles that unpacks the mind-set of a social enterprise and discusses the principles from Think like a Social Enterprise.

This particular article discusses eight tactics that businesses can use to introduce social enterprise thinking into their business model. It also sheds light on how businesses can start the journey to become social enterprises.

Collaborate with businesses and give them real value

This article was published in the April 2015 edition of the Small Business Connect newspaper. It is part 9 in a series of 11 articles that unpacks the mind-set of a social enterprise and discusses the principles from Think like a Social Enterprise.

This particular article discusses the importance of seeing businesses as potential partners, rather than just a source of funding.

CapaCiti from the Cape Town IT Initiative is profiled in this edition, and its experience collaborating with IT companies to place train and place interns is discussed.

The true power of procurement: building a case for social enterprises

Even though South Africa’s social enterprise market is relatively young, the potential of using social enterprises to channel procurement spend to have a powerful social impact should act as a source of real hope for all of us. In this article I discuss how corporates can unlock this potential and overlay their existing procurement processes with a deeper sense of responsibility. I also discuss the value of committing to a more careful selection of suppliers.

This article was published in the Impact Magazine in October 2014 which was released at a conference on enterprise development.

Scaling CSI programmes

‘Scaling social impact’ is an increasingly popular concept, but what does it mean and is it achievable in CSI? How can CSI programmes balance tight budgets with achieving audacious outcomes? In this article I discuss when it is appropriate for a CSI department to consider scaling its social impact and provides some suggestions on how to achieve this.

This article was published in the Corporate Social Investment Handbook (2014) by Trialogue Publications.

How to apply social enterprise thinking to your business

Traditional businesses and non-profit organizations can both start the journey to become a social enterprise. This presentation discusses 10 things that businesses can do in order to embrace social enterprise thinking and expand their social impact.

It was first presented in June 2013 as part of the SAB Foundation’s enterprise development programme.

Business in society: let us talk the same language

The role of business in society is receiving increasing attention. There have recently been many articles on corporate social responsibility, corporate social investment and corporate philanthropy. However, there has been much confusion and inconsistency in the use of these terms. In response, Dr Roger Stewart and I propose some definitions that we hope will reduce the confusion.

Businesses Can Take the Lead in Setting up Social Enterprises in South Africa

We need to see more social enterprises in South Africa, particularly since they can help to strengthen our economy and fight poverty at the same time.

However, this is only likely to happen if businesses continue their involvement in social issues and work with non-profit organizations to establish social enterprises. This will also benefit the businesses themselves (as we will show), and provide an alternative approach to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Corporate Social Investment (CSI).

This article from May 2008 discusses how businesses can increase their involvement in society and use social enterprises to further their social agendas.

South African businesses amongst the most philanthropic in the world

This letter was published in the Business Day in April 2008 in response to Grant Thornton’s International Business Survey. It discusses how South African businesses are amongst the most philanthropic in the world. It also highlights how many are failing to derive any strategic value from their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programmes.

Corporate Social Investment: How to Turn Responsibility into Opportunity

Corporate social investment is entering a new era in South Africa as companies comply with legislation and respond to the expectations of society. The central question for many companies is whether their corporate social investments are simply a mandatory expense or a strategic opportunity.

I believe that companies can gain a strategic advantage through their social investments, provided they integrate their social-investment strategies with their business strategies. In other words, it is possible for companies to adapt to trends, comply with laws and win at the same time.

This article from February 2008 examines the different types of corporate social investment and discuss what companies need to do to get the most out of their social investments.

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