Social Enterprise Models

Social Enterprise Models

There are four main models of social enterprise. Below you’ll find a table that compares the key differences between each.

Model Description Business Model Typical Impact Area Example Ventures Example Indicators
Work and training Provide training and employment opportunities to marginalised groups.
  • Nurturing workplaces
  • Social Firms
  • Disability
  • Disengaged Youth
  • Unemployed
  • Ex-offenders
  • Streat, AUS
  • ARCO, NZ, NZ
  • Te Whangai, NZ
  • # Employees
  • # Trainees
  • # Conversions
Equitable product or service Provide subsidised products or services to disadvantaged or marginalised groups to address market failure.
  • One for one
  • Commercial rates to mainstream customers to subsidise beneficiaries
  • Government Service providers
  • Payment for outcomes
  • Poverty
  • Health
  • Education
  • CareEd4, NZ
  • Thought
  • wired, NZ
  • Take My Hands, NZ
  • Mr 4 Eyes, NZ
  • Patu, NZ
  • # products provided to under –represented groups
  • Level of income to subsidise operations and impact
Income generators Generate profit to fund the social programmes of affiliated or parent charities.
  • Robin Hood
  • Any charitable purpose
  • Yellow Belle, NZ
  • YGAP Restaurant, AUS
  • Age UK enterprises, UK
  • $ for impact
Product/Service Impact Solve (or enable the solution of) a social or environmental problem through the market. The scale of business operations drives impact
  • Good Assets
  • Regenerative businesses
  • Impact support businesses
  • Waste to value
  • Fair share of profit
  • Community facilities
  • Community energy resilience
  • Local food systems
  • Fair Trade
  • Skypath, NZ
  • Blueskin, NZ
  • Wilding and Co., NZ
  • Ora, NZ
  • Curative, NZ
  • Wellbeing Game, NZ
  • # Products sold
  • # Waste diverted
  • $ into local economy

Sources: Social Traders Three buckets, Primer on Governance for Social Enterprise in Singapore 

What next?

To hear more about social enterprise models and examples, check out our Introduction to Starting a Social Enterprise webinar here.

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