Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Social enterprise" in a rut

The Financial Times can't even tell us how to define social enterprise. Last week's article, When the good struggle to be great just recycles what seems like the edge of the discussion - Interesting idea, hard to define and isn't is good people are being entrepreneurial. I personally think this confusion between social enterprise and social entrepreneur, re-told in the article, is unhelpful. One is a legal structure, the other is a person who may or may not work for a legal structure called a social enterprise. As much as I admire their ideals, Ashoka is only loosely related to social enterprise.

It would be nice to hear new ideas about how the concept of Community Interest Companies has progressed.


Nick Temple said...

Hi Paul. I've posted about the article as well here.

The definition debate is a tired one, and we need to move on to more productive areas: proving the value of what we do (whatever our structure), delivering on what can (at times) be a lot of hot air and rhetoric, and investing in scaling the opportunities for people to get involved.

As is obvious, I'm from the broad church, social entrepreneur side of things, but welcome all the social enterprise movements and advocacy. It's not an either/or. The more options and the more understanding people have the better. Which is why the FT article is a missed opportunity.

There's stuff on the blog about CICs here.

Pavlusha34 said...

Thanks and I appreciate your links, particularly your points about transparency about the profits of social enterprises. It just seems time that someone beside the advocates of this idea could advance a bit. Always nice to have a reminder of other blogs I should be following.