Thursday, July 22, 2004

Fee For Service, Not Charity

Last week, the Vancouver Social Enterprise Forum (VSEF) looked at funding, and the role foundations play beyond grant-making. In 'Putting Venture Capital Ideas to Work for Foundations and Nonprofits', Allen Grossman, Christine Letts, William Ryan indicate that grant-seeking entities need to communicate clear and compelling strategies for building their organizations. At the same time foundations need to invest in those clearly articulated strategies.

Perhaps 'Social Enterprise' would be better served by consistent terminology ... but taking a cue from a rant against neologism ... we'll stay with it. So if you're a Public-Private-Partnership, a Co-OP, a Collective, a For-Profit, or Non-Profit, you too can be a 'Social Enterprise'. I think Kris Herbst's article will help the on-going naming dilemma.

Herbst's November 2003 article, Business-Social Ventures: Reaching for Impact, offers an overview of the Grameen Dialogue meetings. The item covers a broad swath of activities supported by Grameen and social entrepreneurs around the world.

What do you think?

The last link pulls the above together. Mirjam Schoening of the Schwab Foundation observes the growing interest in social enterprise pacing North American socio-economic policy shifts. While benchmarks are helpful, the clear message is to create local solutions for local priorities. SchoeningÂ’s 'Global Trends in Financing the Social Sector', offers a concise document that presents models for expanding and leveraging ideas without large sums of money.

What do you consider to be a local 'social enterprise'? What are the areas of opportunity?


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