So, your organization is thinking about starting a social enterprise. That’s exciting! You may be at one of the first three stages on the Development Path shown below. This section provides some suggestions, resources, tools and links to help you move to the next stage.
Social Enterprise Development Path
Before going any further, we recommend you read a couple of publications that we helped produce:
- We published Doing Well While Doing Good in 2008 to share our insights as to why some organizations are more successful than others at developing viable social enterprises. We think the six key success factors are still true today.
- The Canadian Social Enterprise Guide, published by Enterprising Non-Profits in British Columbia, is an extensive and comprehensive resource, tool kit and collection of social enterprise stories. For more information, and to download a free electronic copy, click here.
In addition to the Guide, Enterprising Non-Profits has posted tools and resources on their web site that can help you assess your organizational readiness, and identify appropriate business opportunities.
Both Doing Well and the Guide point out that knowing your industry is one key to success. Extensive market research is required gain or improve your industry knowledge. Your research becomes the foundation for your feasibility study, which is a critical analysis of the organizational, business and social feasibility of your social enterprise idea. Click on the links for detailed information on each of these important steps.