I must caveat this blog with a mention that there are strong opinions in here…mainly mine, and if you disagree, I invite you to put your point across in the comments.
OK. Hands up. Hands up if you’ve ever thought social enterprise is “woo-woo” or “cuddly”?
Recently, I’ve heard and read a few people saying this garbage, and I’m sorry to dispel this myth, but it’s really not.
In fact, it’s that shallow-mindedness that makes it necessary for social enterprise to exist in the first place.
See, social enterprise, although not technically “new”, is, compared to traditional capitalist structures, a relatively new way of doing business – a genuine business model that has a social purpose as well as generating income.
It requires business skills AS WELL as passion to positively impact the world, yet unfortunately this altruistic element has caused people to think it’s somewhat soft.
And, it’s this kind of talk that perpetuates the myth that social enterprise is for people who can’t hack it in the ‘real’ business world, leading to the misogynistic mix-up that, that’s why more women set up social enterprises because it’s less cut-throat or profit driven.
Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but, in many cases, running a social enterprise is harder than a traditional business model because the two priorities (profit & purpose) are often in conflict!
Tough scrutiny, balancing opinions and real life social and economic issues are all part of a day’s work for the social entrepreneur, and that is no soft feat, let me tell you.
Yes, social enterprise is generally more collaborative than other sectors, but the numbers still need to stack up – I mean, do you think social enterprises are just handed money on a plate?
Nope, doesn’t work like that, my friend.
The woo-woo and woman-driven nonsense is just that. Nonsense.
In fact, I prefer to say that the 41% of social enterprises that were founded and are headed up by women is this way because women seem to be interested in more than just making money.
Oh yes, I’ve just gone there.
I believe women are interested in global issues to the point that they are leading a revolution that will result in capitalism evolving so much that ALL BUSINESSES will be social enterprises, because that’s literally what it’s going to take to keep our world afloat.
Let’s celebrate the fact that more social enterprises are making a difference, irrespective of who’s heading them up, rather than finding excuses to side-line social enterprise as “other”, woo-woo, or outside the norm.
I am very interested to hear your thoughts on this.
So, tell me – do you think social enterprises is woman-driven woo-woo?