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What exactly is a social enterprise?

‘Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.’

Bill Drayton

What exactly is a social enterprise? It’s a model of business that works to improve the lives of people, the planet and ensure prosperity for all.  A Social Enterprise, is an organisation that provides services and products in their communities. It is an innovative, inclusive business model that trades as a viable enterprise while also impacting on our community. Social enterprise is about shifting our perception of what viable trade means to us as individuals and as a collective community, from the sole view of profit. Its about co-creation, co-operation, collaboration and in a way that influences and shapes our communities. Its about shared ownership, shared resources and shared assets. It’s about transparency, trust and protection.  It’s about creating connection, that inherent need and desire we all have to connect to ourselves, to others and to the community as a whole.  It’s about social responsibility, impacting in a positive way on our social economy. Creating opportunities to improve our social wealth, by coming together to further our mutual interests.  Social wealth increases when individuals, families and communities collaborate, cooperate and connect to create mutual benefit. This connection, support and protection in the community enhances wellbeing, creativity, innovation and generates platforms for self and community expression.  It’s also about environmental responsibility, basing decisions around the triple bottom line of people, planet, profit. Ensuring that practices throughout the enterprise are sustainable. All of these elements together create financial, social and environmental viability. They ensure the foundation for true sustainable development. This is what a social enterprise sells, and why customers buy. Connection is essential, support is critical, and without these resources the challenge facing traders may seem overwhelming perhaps even impossible. All of this is possible and we can let go of old mindsets that no longer serve us

and our needs. We must be the change we want to see in the world and the steps we take towards that change are what paves the way forward.

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