CISED is a new organization whose objective is to create a continuum of support for social enterprise, including access to technical expertise, financing, learning communities, training, and cross-sector partnerships. You’ll find a wealth of resources and links on the CISED website at http://cised.ca/ciseds-community/about-cised/.
Recently, CISED delivered a one-day workshop on social enterprises. The workshop, prepared in partnership with enterprising non-profits (enp), gives a great overview of social enterprise and provides a wealth of information to help organizations and entrepreneurs interested in establishing or developing a social business. The workshop was delivered by Social Enterprise Sector Developer Jonathan Wade. You’ll find his blog at http://cised.ca/author/jonathan-wade/.
What is a social enterprise?
While the existence of businesses formed around social causes is not new, the use of the term “social enterprise” is a relatively recent label that serves to tie a bow around the various types of enterprises that exist to advance a social cause. These can include charities and not-for-profits as well as for-profit businesses.
Here are two definitions:
- Industry Canada defines these entities as enterprises that are run like businesses, producing goods and services, but which mange their operation on a not-for-profit basis. Instead, they direct any surpluses to the pursuit of social and community goals. (Taken from CISED/enp Build Your Social Enterprise workshop slide.)
- “A social enterprise is a business firm designed to remedy or alleviate certain unfavorable conditions of life in a community. Social enterprise is used as an umbrella term for any business with a social mission.” (Source: http://www.givetogetjobs.com/social-enterprise.shtml)
There’s a wealth of information online
In addition to the resources available on the CISED site, you’ll find more information to help you plan and develop your social enterprise, including the Canadian Social Enterprise Guide, on the enp website at http://www.enterprisingnonprofits.ca.