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Donated hotel bed linen creates over 300 school shirts for Cape Town learners

Marriott International and non-profit organisation Royal Kidz have collaborated to provide around 320 children at Klipheuwel Primary school in Durbanville with school shirts, jackets, shoes and socks made from repurposed hotel bed sheets. The donation of R1.2 million by Marriott enabled the start-up of social enterprise Restore SA, which employs local seamstresses and dedicates 40% of its profits to the Royal Kidz uniform project.

Social Enterprise Meets Nonprofit Social Services: Caution Advised

Social-impact businesses—enterprises that combine a social cause in either a for-profit or nonprofit structure—are becoming a new vehicle for philanthropy in the US. According to Nigel Sharp, they also represent a $310 billion US industry sector that is expected to grow to $500 billion over the next 10 years.

While we are largely beyond the “pink cloud” phase of social enterprises as cash cows for nonprofits, one still sees experiments where one type of organization begins an effort that calls for a different sort of business planning and capitalization altogether. Underestimating the capital needs of the newer entity in a startup can sometimes cause one or both efforts to fail.

Can Ford Foundation’s $1 Billion Impact Investing Commitment Alter the Field?

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, made headlines in April 2017 when he announced that Ford would commit up to $1 billion from its $12 billion endowment over the next decade to support mission-related investments that offer both social and environmental returns. So far, out of that billion-dollar commitment, Ford has made a $30-million investment in affordable housing in the US. Ford has indicated that its next investment is likely to support financial services for the poor in developing nations by “backing creative ways to provide savings, insurance, and payment options.”

Not only would this new initiative impact Ford and influence other foundations, but, “this moment,” wrote Walker, “offers us an opportunity to help capital markets become accelerators of justice.”

Barloworld Mbewu to bridge the gap with R30m fund for social entrepreneurs

"Selected social entrepreneurs will provide financial and non-financial support to promising social enterprises in a three-year initiative. Barloworld Limited said on Thursday that it wants to bridge the gap for start-up social enterprises across South Africa and do things differently with a R30 million fund for most innovative business ideas that actively solve local challenges. The industrial conglomerate on Wednesday launched Barloworld Mbewu, a next generation approach to corporate social development geared towards scaling up social enterprises. Mbewu means seed."

Read more in The Citizen


Non-profit or Social Enterprise: Why it Matters

Social entrepreneurship is rising as a solution to the challenges nonprofit organizations (NPOs) face, while also inspiring traditional for-profit entrepreneurs to utilize their products and services as a means to both impact community social issues and satisfy profit goals without needing to become a nonprofit organization.

But, how does an entrepreneur decide if their idea should be structured as a nonprofit or as a for-profit with a social enterprise focus?

Ramaphosa wants entrepreneurship to be a school subject

"Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa this week called for entrepreneurship to be included in the basic education school curriculum in order to create greater prosperity. Delivering the opening address of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress at Sandton Convention Centre, Ramaphosa, who made a fortune as a businessman, said the inclusion into the curriculum would ensure success stories such as Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba."

Read more on News24

This platform empowers social entrepreneurs working on the ground

Set up in 2012, ArtyPlantz has incubated social enterprises working in the urban ecology and sustainability sector.

ArtyPlantz is currently incubating six social enterprises at a time, and is looking forward to onboard many more in coming days. Apart from devising appropriate business models, Radha and Murali aid these startups with finding clients, marketing and sales, strategy and finance, and social media promotions.

Read more on Your Story

Viewpoint - Social enterprise: Converging social and profit missions

The objective of a social enterprise is to address social problems through a financially sustainable business where surpluses (if any) are reinvested for that purpose. Marcus Coetzee, a management consultant who specialises in social impact organisations, provides insight on how non-profit organisations (NPOs) and companies can support social enterprising in South Africa.

Read more: Viewpoint - Social enterprise: Converging social and profit missions

Is Social Enterprise the New Face of Business?

What makes a social enterprise different? Put simply, social enterprises have a central social or environmental aim at the core; they trade (sell goods and services) in order to generate income; and perhaps most crucially, they use their profits to further their social purpose. 

Intentionality sets social enterprise aside from CSI or corporate social responsibility. The core purpose of the business is social/environmental value, embedded deeply into the business model, rather than being “on the side”

The Competitive Advantage of Social Enterprises

Social enterprises face a number of challenges, and perhaps one of the most daunting to overcome is the stigma around the concept of a “double-bottom line,” as a company purses both profit and impact. Simply put, investors are skeptical. “I’ve certainly been in rooms where investors shut off the second your vision incorporates your mission,” Wong says. What is the competitive advantage of a founder calling their business a social enterprise? 

Huge untapped potential for impact investing in South Africa

Impact investment is to a large extent still fairly unknown and under-used in South Africa, despite the vast opportunities in a country with a massive scarcity of resources, says Vanessa Jacklin-Levin, Of Counsel at law firm Dentons.

Impact investing aims to generate specific beneficial social or environmental effects in addition to financial gain. It aims to reduce the negative impact of business activity on the social environment.
Jacklin-Levin says renewable energy is one sector that allows for easier participating in terms of impact investing. “The objective of impact investing is to back ventures and projects which intrinsically have a positive social and environmental outcome as part of the company’s business model.”

CSI and social enterprise resources now available on the Trialogue Knowledge Hub

'Social enterprises' - organisations that blend social benefits with financial revenues - are currently a buzzword in corporate social investment (CSI) circles. In order to meet the demand for more information, CSI consultancy Trialogue has established a free, online body of knowledge on the subject.

Ground UP coffee trailer at St John’s church in Wynberg, with a vehicle sponsored by Barloworld Barons Tokai.
Ground UP coffee trailer at St John’s church in Wynberg, with a vehicle sponsored by Barloworld Barons Tokai.

Read more: CSI and social enterprise resources now available on the Trialogue Knowledge Hub

Meet 6 young social entrepreneurs who are helping to drive change

In true millennial style, there are young entrepreneurs who are about more than just making a profit but instead are combining a social mission with business and successfully making a real impact and helping to bring about change.

This is a generation that a Deloitte survey, ‘Mind the gaps: The 2015 Deloitte Millennial survey’ revealed places great importance on “job creation,” “profit generation,” and “improving society,” as well as an expectation that a business should be good for individuals by offering employment, and to have a positive impact on the wider society.

This article profiles six young social entrepreneurs who are taking action and are combining profit with philanthropy.

Read more in SME South Africa

Introduction: The rise of the social enterprise - 2018 Global Human Capital Trends

The 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report showcases a profound shift facing business leaders worldwide: The rapid rise of what we call the social enterprise.This shift reflects the growing importance of social capital in shaping an organization’s purpose, guiding its relationships with stakeholders, and influencing its ultimate success or failure.

In 2018, we are witnessing seismic changes in the workforce, the workplace, and the technologies used in the world of work. Based on this year’s global survey of more than 11,000 business and HR leaders, as well as interviews with executives from some of today’s leading organizations, we believe that a fundamental change is underway. Organizations are no longer assessed based only on traditional metrics such as financial performance, or even the quality of their products or services. Rather, organizations today are increasingly judged on the basis of their relationships with their workers, their customers, and their communities, as well as their impact on society at large—transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises.

Read more in Deloitte Insights

Impact investing: Can it change the world?

Impact investing is a relatively new concept and its proponents are trying to create a movement that in some ways they believe would be a market solution to the world’s ills. It is extremely attractive to people who are not particularly altruistic, but know that social change is imperative for our survival. Included in this would be goods and services for the poor including micro-credit, investment in new energy technology so that we don’t warm up as fast as predicted, and of course creating jobs to alleviate poverty. The idea should be about dragging hard-nosed capitalists out of their sole focus on financial return into recognising that business has responsibilities because it affects the planet.

Since the invention of the internet, the public can see bad business practice such as deforestation, child labour and smokestacks. Corporate reputations can be ruined in minutes by social media.Hence the awareness of the need to build social capital and to appear to be good corporate citizens. Impact investing is, therefore, a way for business people who are really only interested in financial returns to grow their social capital while growing market capital.

Can impact investing then fall within the philanthropic sector as this is where the philanthro-capitalists are trying to position the concept?

The Big Debate: Whose Responsibility is it anyway?

Historically, social problems have been the domain of non-government organisations (NGO), but in post-democracy South Africa, the public sector took on a developmental role and put itself in the middle of addressing the issues confronting its citizens.

More recently, the social enterprise model has emerged. Entrepreneurs are creating businesses that both address these challenges, while also generating profit. Although the public, civil and private sectors are all involved, the prevailing expectation in our country is that the government should fix every social ill we face. This is impossible. Actually, we aren’t asking the right questions often enough. For example, who is responsible for what? Are they best suited to address the issue? Are there alternatives here or elsewhere? And, how do we collectively take the jump into the messy space of modelling, testing, and scaling the solutions that work?

A Social Entrepreneur’s Quandary: Nonprofit or For-Profit?

Saul Garlick’s social enterprise, ThinkImpact, was raising about $400,000 a year to support the cause. But along with running the enterprise, it had to raise funds, monitor and evaluate programs, and provide transparency. Its employees were paid below-market wages, the hours seemed endless and the organization would soon be missing payrolls.

“Nothing about that scenario was sustainable,” Mr. Garlick said. “And scale depended solely on fund-raising ability.” He was convinced there had to be a better way.

Read more in The New York Times

Paul Newman's Social Enterprise Now Provides Clean Water To Nearly 1 Million People

The current crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, which is counting down to “Day Zero” when fresh water is no longer available through traditional sources, has heightened the world’s attention to the problem.  But as World Water Day approaches on March 22, 2018, it is a good time to highlight the work done by a network of entrepreneurs that are dedicated to building water systems that are both scalable and impactful.  The Safe Water Network was founded in 2006 by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, along with a group of prominent civic and business leaders to address this significant global challenge.

Read more in Forbes.com