July 13, 2014

Social Enterprise

UK Opposition Favors Public Service Delivery by Social Enterprises

PenIn its zeal to replace big government by creating a new Big Society, David Cameron’s Conservative coalition government took steps to wrest the provision of public services away from the public sector.

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The Endgame on the Hope and Hype of Hybrids—A System of Balanced Benefit

RisingThe presence or absence of cash—what all this comes down to—is a flawed, inadequate, and outmoded method of valuing the contributions of Enterprise.

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Social Enterprise: “What Kind of Monster Eats a Mental Health Magazine?”

GapThis ode to a failed social enterprise in the UK is well worth reading on many levels.

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Celebrating “Small Batch” Social Enterprise

BeesThis article compares two different stories of social enterprise— the heroic and the “small batch”—and outlines the different values that they represent.

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Are Nonprofits the Future of Work? Rifkin’s New Book Promotes a Redistributive Economy

RifkinJeremy Rifkin’s new book asserts that increased productivity coupled with advances in digital technology will fundamentally change the shape of labor in society, requiring the economy to shift dramatically. Rifkin writes that nonprofits will be at the center of the new world of work.

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Terminology Torture: What the Heck Qualifies as a Social Enterprise?

125Daniel Flynn of the Thankyou group, an Australian social enterprise, lodges a complaint about the vagueness embedded in the way some enthusiasts discuss social enterprise. In particular, he had quite a bit to say about a recent experience at the Skoll World Forum.

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Buffalo Press Promotes Local Social Enterprise

CTEThe withdrawal of a Department of Health transportation contract from a local provider isn’t necessarily a cause for local newspapers, but in this case, the contractor is a social enterprise division of a major corporation in Buffalo.

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All Enterprise Is Social!

RuthHave we in the nonprofit sector—those who care about injustice and inequality—been fiddling while Rome burns? Not exactly, but there is much more that we can do and be in this sector if we break out of some of our self-imposed mental bonds.

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Social Impact Bonds: Healthy Dialogue on a Young Sector

RootsWhat is the real “impact” of social impact bonds? A point/counterpoint.

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New (and Only) Accelerator for Tech-based Nonprofits Announces its First Class

Medic MobileA new start-up accelerator in San Francisco will focus solely on nonprofit-based technology enterprises.

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Social Enterprises for Entrepreneurial Veterans in UK and US

NewsIt’s great to see self-styled “social enterprises” assisting veterans in creating businesses, but don’t forget that nonprofits have been at that game for many years, and some, particularly IVMF at Syracuse University, do it really well.

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“Social Enterprise” Tackling Energy Poverty Should Acknowledge Gov’t Support

SolarEven in social enterprise, the successes of some important ventures, such as the clean energy programs of Off Grid Electric in Tanzania and Mera Gao Power in India, are due not just to the profit motivations and social missions of investors, but the subsidies and guarantees provided by government and philanthropy.

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Social Impact Bonds Not Well Received at Senate Budget Hearing

?Although Senator Mark Warner suggested that government was pretty incapable of understanding, finding, and funding programs that work, his solution—that the market discipline of private investors was needed—didn’t get borne out in a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee last week. The result was a trenchant critique of social impact bond and pay-for-success financing schemes.

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In Odd Evolution of a Social Enterprise, Businessman Transfers Ownership of Gym to Charity

weightsIt is, of course, very common for donors to give stock in lieu of cash, but this guy donated his entire business to be run as a social enterprise by two of his favorite charities.

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Bumps and Slowdowns in UK Social Impact Bonds

WarningThe first social impact bond project in the world—the Peterborough prison project in the UK—is being restructured, supplanted by the British government planning to implement major prison reforms addressing recidivism across the nation. Perhaps the message is that policy change doing what works is preferable to individual SIB investment projects.

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Hybrids, Hybridity, and Hype

RuthNPQ is just going to press with the latest edition of its print magazine. Today, you can subscribe for a year at $10 below the usual price.

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Some Unanswered Questions About Benefit Corporations, L3Cs, and Social Enterprise More Generally

SocentAs the print version of the Nonprofit Quarterly prepares its upcoming issue on hybrid organizations, this edition of the Cohen Report looks at some questions raised by a few of the newer organizational forms of social enterprise.

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Social Enterprise Plans to Clean Up in Queens

QueensCooperatives are much under-recognized in the U.S. as social enterprises, but this story about a cleaning cooperative owned by 15 low-income women makes it clear why we should pay a lot more attention.

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Can Philanthropic Oligarchy Nurture Economic Justice?

MoneyAdmirable for his social justice ideals, Mike Edwards’ ideas go against the flow of today’s NGOs and funders. Despite their rhetoric of social justice, too many funders are devoted to business principles embedded in a structure of “social enterprise.”

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Trend Report: Sector-Switching

Rabbit turtleWith all of the discussion of sector blurring, what questions are raised? NPQ’s Jennifer Amanda Jones provides a summary of some of the last year’s trend tracking through our newswire writers and others.

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Every Business a Social Enterprise?

RippleWriting for the Guardian, Margaret Heffernan asks for a richer discussion about the relationship between business and society. She says she thinks that “every business should be a social enterprise.”

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UK Budget Increases Flexibility for Pensioners, Caps Social Welfare Spending

Social enterprises find good things in Chancellor George Osborne’s budget announcement, but charities are concerned with its impact on poor families, especially poor children.

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Nonprofits the New Destination of Choice for Young Tech Innovators

techies-jumpFor increasing numbers of young, world-class tech innovators, the siren song of changing the world for social good drowns out the call of beaucoup cash.

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All Enterprise Is Social: Measuring the Impact of Endeavors across the Profit Boundary

OrangesThere is exciting, innovative activity at the intersection of investment and philanthropy, but, the author maintains, the innovations are constrained by old-fashioned thinking. 

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Hybrids, Hybridity, and Hype

Animal BoatThe new nonprofit-business hybrids that have been cropping up lately assert that they are a distinct form. But are they? 

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Is Social Enterprise the “Child Star” of the Sector?

StarThis op-ed questions the degree to which social enterprises are given a pass on substance metrics. How much of what is out there is as much hype as substance?

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Proof that Social Enterprise Can Succeed as It Fails

BikesThe Montreal-based nonprofit that helped established many big-city bike-sharing programs has declared bankruptcy. What are the takeaways?

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As the World Turns: NPQ’s 10 Trends and 10 Predictions

2013 to 14In 2013, issues of economic instability and abridgements of freedom both in the United States and overseas vied with small but substantial gains in the progressive sphere. For a look at the past year and the one to come from the perspective of the Nonprofit Quarterly, read on.

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What will Toms Shoes’ Leader Bring to Lululemon?

LulemonOne potential benefit of running a successful social enterprise is a personal brand with a higher social consciousness. Did that weigh on the scales of Lululemon’s new choice for CEO?

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Three Tips from 3 Established Social Enterprises

ThreeChoose your friends wisely, be honest and straightforward, and produce great quality—three suggestions for social entrepreneurs (and just about anyone else).

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