A social entrepreneur recently called me for some advice.
He had started a “social enterprise” with a for-profit legal form – a private company (“PTY”).
He had managed to secure the South African licence to sell a very promising product that serves the people at the “bottom-of-the-pyramid”.
He then approached some local foundations and corporate social investment (CSI) departments for funding. They said that he had to first create a non-profit company (NPC) and then use this vehicle to submit a funding proposal. In other words, these donors were suggesting that he create a hybrid social enterprise.
We had a short and productive discussion about where the best opportunities for his business were to be found. I explained that creating a hybrid model in this instance is most probably a bad idea.
Since I have this type of conversation quite regularly with social entrepreneurs, I decided to share and elaborate upon the six opportunities we discussed.