Empathic Urbanite

social business for urban development

How can a limited company be a co-operative or social enterprise?

social-enterprise-smallReally great article today in the Guardian (see link below) that accurately reflects what we at Three Sisters Care are doing; there’s also a very relevant case study of a social enterprise in the social care sector. I used to have lots of these types of discussion with Nick Temple when I was a student at the School for Social Entrepreneurs back in 2006. (A really insightful 10 month course which I highly recommend.) I always believed in the power of profit-making companies to create social change while many people were against making any kind of profit at all. It feels to me that the social enterprise sector is still very much against profit, so this article is very refreshing where it explores how profit-making companies do contribute to society. This is especially important in the start-up phase – in all the non-profit-making companies (mainly charities) where I’ve worked and in my public sector jobs, there are very few people who would be working if they weren’t being paid. Look at yourself, dear reader, how many jobs have you done where you weren’t paid? Myself, ofcourse I aspire to get a salary from one day job that will pay for my rent and bills, that would be an immensely reassuring thing! But in the meantime, if I don’t take a salary (which I’ve had to forfeit in February and maybe March, we’ll see), I increase the chance of the company surviving and my getting my financial due later on. So if you’re earning a salary regardless of how you perform each month (which is the public and voluntary sector in its entirety), how can you possibly criticise the private sector, of which 99.9% are SMEs and mainly made up of people who made financial sacrifices, often to create a legacy for their children. Now more and more are doing so to create a legacy for their community. 63% of SMEs, which is about 3 million business, are owned by sole proprietors. Are you buying your milk and shoes and holidays from them, or are you buying your milk and shoes and holidays from a charity? This article shows how agile the private sector is and how it contributes to society. People who have only ever earned salaries need to have a proper think about what profit is before passing judgements on the private sector.

From limited company to co-operative or social enterprise | Guardian Social Enterprise Network.

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This entry was posted on March 11, 2013 by in Community, Corporate responsibility, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise, Social impact.
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