It’s time we got clear on this: A social enterprise is a business that positively impacts people and the planet. IT IS NOT A CHARITY.
Seriously, the amount of times I see and hear charities pretend they’re social enterprises is shocking.
And it’s really muddying the waters for socents, too.
Right, let me explain.
In fact, let me just repeat;
A social enterprise is a business that positively impacts people and the planet.
The key bit there being “business”.
If you rely completely on grants and donations, A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE YOU ARE NOT. You are a charity. Which is absolutely, unequivocally and totally fine. In fact, it’s great.
But, I’m absolutely fed up to the back teeth with organisations calling themselves social enterprises when they aren’t.
They’re doing a massive disservice to other social enterprises and muddying the water, which is why so many people don’t get what a social enterprise is.
It’s also why so many social enterprises struggle when they are talking to corporates, because they think you’re a charity – which isn’t always what they’re looking for – then you have to explain you’re not – and it’s all just a bit bleeeugh.
OK charities – if you’re watching – you might feel a bit hard done by here, and you might be expecting me to go all soft on you, but honestly, I refuse to.
If you’re a charity and you’re calling yourself a social enterprise, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice too.
If you’re relying on grants and donations, you’re much better off calling yourself one and being one through an appropriate legal structure, as you’ll have access to more funding options, obtain gift donations and not pay tax on surpluses etc.
So, firstly, do yourself a MASSIVE favour and be loud and proud OWNING your title as charity, and leave social enterprises out of it.
Glad we got that sorted!