What do we mean by “organizational sustainability”?

Non-profit organizations and social enterprises in South Africa are desperately striving to become “sustainable”. I believe that organizations should have a broader view of “sustainability” and be precise when discussing it. This will make it much easier for these organizations to develop “sustainability strategies”.

This short article explores 10 facets of “organizational sustainability”.

Seven myths about income generation that undermine strategic clarity

Non-profit organizations that wish to design Sustainability Strategies may be sabotaged by these 7 myths. This Strategy Brief will help your organization to overcome these myths and preconceptions, and earn the income needed fulfill its mission.

Thinking about income generation and profit in a non-profit world

Non-profit organizations and social enterprises that wish to design sustainability strategies need to have clarity around the concepts of income generation and profit, and how to achieve them.

This article aims to debunk some misconceptions around income generation, equity investments, loan finance, and the profits or surpluses that these organizations may generate or receive.

It explains that income and profit emerges from how an organization transacts with its customers. This approach will require organizations to learn new skills, practice new habits and adopt a different mindset. Although embarking on this process may feel intimidating at first, the benefits of being in a stronger strategic and financial position should make it worthwhile.

Trends in social enterprise in South Africa

Here is a recording of an impromptu interview about social enterprises in South Africa. It was conducted live with Radio 702 and Cape Talk in South Africa on 29 December 2016. We discuss social enterprise in South Africa, some of the more interesting trends and reflect on the year in general.

Social enterprise in South Africa: reflection on trends in 2016

Every December I reflect on the trends among social enterprises in South Africa. I find this exercise very valuable. This year I’ve decided to share my reflection with you.

Here are the top 10 interesting issues or trends I’ve observed in 2016. Note that this is a personal reflection of my experiences; not an unbiased and objective analysis of the sector.

Social enterprises in South Africa: don’t let legal forms get in the way

Social enterprises are rapidly emerging in South Africa. However, many social entrepreneurs find themselves confused about which legal form to adopt and the flexibility of their current legal form. Too often, entrepreneurs receive bad advice and create unnecessary complexity for themselves.

This presentation clears up 10 common confusions about legal forms for social enterprises in South Africa. It also shares six income tactics that social enterprises can pursue, regardless of their legal form.

This presentation was first given on 16 September 2016 at the Pathways to Funding Do-ference by the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It is based upon the many requests I receive each week for clarity on this topic.

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.

Social enterprise – implications for South Africa’s non-profit sector

The South African Accounting Academy runs an annual conference for non-profit organizations (“NPO Conference”). I was invited to speak in the May 2016 conference on one of my favorite topics. Here is the presentation I gave.

This presentation explores the pros and cons of the traditional charity model versus the social enterprise model. It explains why the golden age of non-profit funding is over. It emphasizes the importance of adopting either the business model or mindset of a social enterprise. The presentation also reveals some of the challenges that non-profit organizations will experience on their Journey to Social Enterprise.

Introduction to social enterprises in South Africa

The Graduate School of Business at UCT runs a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management Practice. It contains a module on Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I gave a series of lectures in May 2016 to students, including this short Introduction to Social Enterprises in South Africa.

This short presentation explores a definition of “social enterprise” and examines some of the challenges they experience in South Africa.

Choosing the right legal form for your social enterprise: insights from a strategy consultant

Many social entrepreneurs are starting out on their journey to change the world, and considering registering an organization. However, there is a drastic shortage of practical information on the type of legal form they should choose for their social enterprise.

This article from February 2016 aims to clear up some of this confusion.

It discusses the pros and cons of the various legal forms available to social enterprises in South Africa. It shows how much opportunity there is and helps to dispel some misconceptions. It encourages social entrepreneurs to launch a brand and immerse themselves in their work. The best legal form for their social enterprise will emerge; in cannot always be determined upfront.

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