3 Social Enterprise Types & Examples
Social enterprises are founded to solve a range of social needs and often vary in their model. These are three common approaches along with some best in class examples of each model.
1) THE INNOVATION MODEL
Solar Sister is an example of a company that directly addresses a social need through innovative products. The company brings clean energy technology to even the most remote communities in rural Africa through a deliberately women-centered direct sales network. Other Social Enterprises that provide innovative products and services to solve a social issue: BioLite, Kiva, Drink Soma, FairPhone
2) THE EMPLOYMENT MODEL
Faire Collection is an example of a social enterprise that serves the common good by employing disadvantaged people at a fair wage. The company hires artisans in the developing world to create jewelry that is sold on international markets, providing dignified wages and holistic social programs that provide a path out of poverty to their artisans. Other Social Enterprises that employ disadvantaged people to break the cycle of poverty: Raven + Lily, Ten Thousand Villages, The Giving Keys, Krochet Kids, Divine Chocolate
3) THE GIVE BACK MODEL
Roma Boots is an example of a third type of a social enterprise that serves the common good by giving back for every purchase made. For every pair of Roma Boots sold, a brand new pair stuffed with educational supplies is donated to a child in need. This model gives consumers an inspiring and tangible measurement of their impact and as Roma likes to say, “Gives Poverty The Boot.” Other Social Enterprises that give back for every product purchased: Sackcloth And Ashes, TOMS, Skyline Socks, Project 7, Better World Books
More Perspectives On Social Impact
We reached out to a few people we respect for their thought leadership to get their take Social Enterprise. Below is a quote from our conversation with author Seth Godin on the topic.