This 1-page Strategy Brief shares 8 strategies that businesses can use to integrate elements of a social enterprise into their thinking and operations. This also shows how it is possible to adapt one’s legal form to introduce social enterprise elements.
How a business can become a social enterprise
How a lean cost structure can improve financial sustainability
Like most commercial organizations, non-profit organizations and social enterprises should strive to keep their fixed costs as lean as possible. Those that do this properly will be more likely to survive financial shocks and stresses, and create dynamic and sustainable organizations.
While many of these organizations have already achieved this state, this article targets those social entrepreneurs who believe their organizations have become too expensive to maintain on an ongoing basis, or are about to enter a risky and uncertain financial territory.
This article shares some important lessons I’ve learned through assisting these organizations to develop budgets, build financial models and review their financial structure.
End-of-year reflection for 2017
The end of the year is approaching once again. Time seems to be “accelerating” recently.
I strongly believe in the value of debriefs at the end of a calendar year, and at the end of a difficult project which did not go as expected.
Formal reflection or debriefs also provide value to non-profit organizations and social enterprises. They help to accelerate learning. I’ve recently facilitated several end-of-year reviews for my clients, and the sessions have proven insightful. I encourage you to schedule time to reflect before this year ends.
Here are some extracts from my review before I took leave on 15 December 2017 for a much-needed break. It sheds some insights into my work with non-profit organizations and social enterprises in South Africa.
How to become a sustainable non-profit organization
This presentation investigates the meaning of “financial sustainability” and why non-profit organizations are feeling the pressure to become “sustainable”. It also highlights the importance of getting stakeholders to embrace these changes that are sweeping through South Africa’s non-profit sector, and the risks of not doing this properly.
The presentation shares 12 practical shifts or tactics that I’ve seen non-profit organizations use to improve their financial sustainability. The presentation ends with an outline of how you can develop your own sustainability strategy.
I developed this presentation for a “masterclass” on financial sustainability that I facilitated on 1 December 2017. This formed part of the Drivers of Change Awards, which were hosted by the Southern Africa Trust.
Ten characteristics of a social enterprise mindset
This one-page Strategy Brief identifies 10 characteristics of successful social enterprises, and demonstrates how all non-profit organizations and businesses can learn how to behave and think in this way. This brief also differentiates between the mindset and business model of a social enterprise.
The many facets of social enterprise
I see “social enterprise” as a multi-faceted concept, much like a gemstone will appear differently when examined from different perspectives. Social enterprise is a “concept space”, rather than just a “business space”.
This approach has served me well in my consulting work. It has given me a framework and language to explain things and support organizations on their journey. It has provided social entrepreneurs with increased strategic clarity.
This thought-piece unpacks the six principle facets of social enterprise as I see it.
Six income tactics that all social enterprises can pursue
This one-page Strategy Brief explains how versatile the legal forms of social enterprises in South Africa can be. It shows 6 tactics for generating income that all social enterprises can use, regardless of whether that form is for-profit or non-profit.
How does your personality determine the best legal form for your social enterprise?
This presentation explores how a social entrepreneur’s personality (and preferred business model) strongly influences the type of legal structure that best suits their social enterprise. It contains the types of challenges that social entrepreneurs bring to my consulting practice. It includes 14 personality questions that entrepreneurs need to answer in order to make the best choice for themselves.
This presentation was first given at the Pathways to Funding Do-ference on 28 September 2017. This event was organized by the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town.
Ten confusions about legal forms that will get in your way
This one-page Strategy Brief clears up 10 common confusions about legal forms for social enterprises in South Africa. These make it difficult for social enterprises and non-profit organizations to unlock the potential in their legal forms.
What do we mean by “organizational sustainability”?
Non-profit organizations and social enterprises in South Africa are desperately striving to become “sustainable”. I believe that organizations should have a broader view of “sustainability” and be precise when discussing it. This will make it much easier for these organizations to develop “sustainability strategies”.
This short article explores 10 facets of “organizational sustainability”.