In the last article we read that there is a way for us all to prosper, to SEE a better world where SEE is to Social Enterprise Evolve. We also read that ideally social enterprises would be WINSOME, where everyone wins.
W is for Wider Community or World benefit
A social enterprise has three key factors as its base. One, the overall concept of the enterprise is to make a better world. Two, to be sustainable in the long-term so must be for profit. Three, there is the intention and resources to bless others such as a disadvantaged group for no cost or at a much reduced cost (which also does not impinge on the rights of others).
A social enterprise in this Imagineering 2 a Better World (IM2) context differs from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in that CSR can often be an add on or even a tick a box activity in an annual calendar. It is still important but not world changing. SEE is about fundamental change to the system. At its core people come to view money as a tool to be able to live a prosperous life by using some to bless others as well as run a profitable business and enjoy some for themselves and their loved ones. The foundational attitude is one of gratitude and through the process of unconditional giving also avoids poverty and greed. This differs from other models who manipulate the giving, for example favouritism in receiving government contracts in return for large speaking or access fees.
SEE is having a long-term approach of legacy. Where an organisation can become part of the solution to overcoming a social issue. There are some awesome examples of people making major sacrifices to help others by utilising their entrepreneurial skills to raise up people rather than just the benefit the shareholders. It is strategic and specific. There are many noteworthy models such as those featured in the movie, Prosperity. In Australia, a feel good eating experience is at Grill’d restaurants where each patron gets a token to vote on which community group will receive a donation for that period. My personal favourite is Kingdom Investors (KI). KI has as its core function teaching people how to prosper utilising Biblical principles of provision, overflow and multiplication, for the purpose of bringing about a preferred economy where all shall prosper. When we focus our energy onto one social cause there can be force multiplier effects to advance the plan. Currently I believe that if we concentrate 80% – 90% of our giving into one area it is more effective. This still leaves 10% – 20% for emotional and/or crisis giving.
The goal of a social enterprise I believe is to empower others to become self-sustainable. For IM2 this means inspiring, and equipping others to become their own social entrepreneurs. If we each are responsible for ourselves, plus those we are responsible for such as dependent children and family members with disabilities, and reach out to help a few others (both inside and outside our own families), we are part of the solution and together can reduce world poverty. When we come alongside a particular group of disadvantaged people rather than giving them some money which is quickly spent and encouraging a welfare mentality, let’s love and protect people in their crisis, help them to heal, then equip them to learn practical skills so they can look after themselves. Again, there are organisations already doing this multi-pronged approach to great effect. However, to date they often seem to be not-for-profits who themselves are struggling to continue to provide the services. This is why I believe the system needs an overhaul.
For the wider community and world to benefit we need a fresh perspective, reinvigorated attitude, and to be equipped to become sustainable ourselves then teach others to do the same. I believe the answer lies in Social Enterprise Evolving our communities.