According to most website definitions a social enterprise falls into one of these three categories.
- Employment-based: to meet an employment need in the community that is not being met through traditional business models.
- Mission-based: to advance or achieve a specific environmental, social, and/or cultural mission
- Profit-based: to contribute to the financial sustainability of a community organization.
What I tell people – a social enterprise Is created with the primary goal of achieving a social mission using revenue generating strategies.
While running my social enterprise Detailing Knights I came to realize that only Non-Profit organizations that had revenue generating activities were officially recognized as social enterprises.
There was no space to receive grants for companies that started out as for profit and wanted to have an impact in their community. Great organizations like B-Lab that helps to administer the B-Corp certification have pushed for the latter to be included.
This is slowly changing to allow for profit companies that have a sense of mission and we are seeing the language in the new Social Finance Fund that the Federal Government announced in June of 2019. Keep in the loop here www.irp-ppi.ca
It is yet to be seen if the funding organizations in charge of dispersing money to social enterprises are also changing their processes. Toronto Enterprise Fund and Canadian Women’s Foundation both have policies that only allow them to disperse funds to Charities and Non-Profits.
In addition to coaching Non-Profit organizations on how to create profitable social enterprises, I work with For-Profit businesses to educate them on why they qualify and help them access the funds.
Funding that you want to be aware of include:
· Federal Social Finance Fund
· Investment Readiness Program
· Canada Job Grant – http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/eopg/cojg/
· Toronto Enterprise Fund – http://torontoenterprisefund.ca/what-we-do/catalyze
I will do my best to keep you up to date so make sure you are on the newsletter, you have access to my living spreadsheet that I update with new information. In addition to keeping you in the loop with upcoming grants and how to apply for them I will share operational tips for running a social enterprise and how to make it profitable so you do not have to rely on grants.