Social enterprises are businesses with primarily social or environmental objectives.
The surpluses from these businesses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.
There are a number of useful online resources for those interested in finding out more about social enterprise, or starting their own:
Social Enterprise UK - represents social enterprises, regional and national support networks and other related organisations.
Social Enterprise Scotland - is the national collective lobbying and campaigns voice for social enterprise in Scotland.
SENSCOT - is an independent network for social enterprises and support organisations. It is useful for finding details of local jobs and events and has a good library of news, research, reports and articles.
Social Enterprise Magazine - is a monthly magazine devoted to social enterprise.
Cooperatives UK - provides a lot of information about cooperatives, which are one type of social enterprise.
School for Social Entrepreneurs - provides training and opportunities to enable people to use their creative and entrepreneurial abilities more fully for social benefit. Help with training costs available.
The Social Enterprise Ambassadors - are leaders of some of the UK’s most successful social enterprises.
Social Business - consultancy which helps people to develop social businesses. Links to two useful blogs.
Striding Out - helps students and careers changers find the right resources, networks and people to help them with their business.
This article was published on Feb 8, 2012