Rise of the social enterprise

This article was published in the August 2014 edition of the Small Business Connect newspaper. It is part 1 in a series of 11 articles that unpacks the mind-set of a social enterprise and discusses the principles from Think like a Social Enterprise.

I strongly believe that this is the era of the social enterprise. Non-profit organizations and businesses have both started to mix a social or environmental agenda with business principles. This has led to more capable and relevant organizations. This article discusses the concept of a social enterprise and introduces the forthcoming series of 10 articles.

Shona McDonald from Shonaquip is profiled in this edition. This social enterprise provides mobility equipment for people with disabilities. It was started in 1992 and was clearly ahead of its time.

New life in South Africa’s nonprofit sector: a personal story

The non-profit sector in South Africa has changed beyond recognition over the past decade. This is as I both hoped and feared. It is as I had hoped because young people, new ideas and a fresh energy have entered this sector. It is as I had feared because a number of established organizations with rich histories have failed to adapt in time and have subsequently suffered severely – some have even been fatally wounded. Overall, it feels that springtime may have arisen after a long winter.

Here is my personal story from June 2012 to help illustrate this change in seasons.

The coming recession: What does this mean for South African nonprofit organizations?

The global economy is on the brink of a downturn, possibly a recession. Turbulence and opportunity lie ahead; our currency is under pressure and may continue to devalue. What does this mean for South African non-profit organizations? How should they respond?

This article from March 2008 provides several recommendations for non-profit organizations to consider.

Social enterprises: heralding a new era

This is the era of social enterprises – organizations that think of themselves as businesses with a social purpose. Social enterprises are happy to make a profit and do so with a smile on their face and conscience in hand. They also tread in the traditional turf of both businesses and non-profit organizations. They see themselves as organizations from a new paradigm, and the organizations of the future.

This article from November 2007 advocates for social enterprise and discusses eight reasons why we will be seeing more of them in the future.

Calling all Nonprofit Organizations: It’s time to Wake Up or Become Obsolete!

It is time for traditional non-profit organizations to wake up and rethink their paradigm. Those that don’t are likely to become either obsolete or irrelevant. Those non-profit organizations that are able to adapt accordingly are likely to remain or become successful.

This article from November 2007 discusses seven main reasons why non-profit organizations need to put some time aside to rethink their paradigm. I believe that it is time for the traditional mind-set of the non-profit organization to expire.

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In pursuit of strategic clarity

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