Business for Good: The New Market of Social Enterprise

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in ComLead, Integrated Marketing Communication, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations

Social enterprises are a new way of doing business – achieving social change through shopper’s dollars, not their votes. They capitalize on consumers’ growing interest in social activism through purchases. A 2009 report by the Fairtrade Labeling Organisations showed  three-quarters of surveyed shoppers believe businesses should actively work for social good. The survey found:

Consumers are calling for a new model in trade in which justice and equity are integral parts of the transaction. ‘Active ethical consumers’ make up more than half the population (55%) in the countries surveyed. These shoppers have higher expectations of companies’ social, economic and environmental responsibilities.

In the past decade, companies like Nike and Gap learned the hard way  that customers care about ethical impact. Since then, businesses have seen the power of promoting the ways they care for people and the environment while doing business.

Self-sustaining change: Social enterprises combine non-profit missions with the open market strategies

Social enterprises provide a new business model that elevates ethical concern from a marketing platform to a corporate mission. These businesses work primarily for the common good, achieving a social profit bottom line through an open market business strategy. Their industries range from retail and restaurants to employment services. Their missions target human rights, the environment, education and more.

U.S. legislators are getting behind the social good business model, offering tax incentives in some states to qualifying companies. This infographic by GOOD gives great details on how the social enterprise model pays off.

See local grocer Wegmans on the 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies report! And check out some social enterprises that are making a big difference: Ten Thousand Villages, Punjammies and Better World Books.

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