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Topical Issues

Social Enterprise

What is “social enterprise”?

  • There is no common definition of social enterprises. The U.K. definition is -
  • “A business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximize profit for shareholders and owners.”

    (Social Enterprise – A strategy for success, U.K. Department of Trade and Industry, 2002:7)

  • Background and mode of operation of social enterprises are very diverse. One key distinguishing feature of such enterprises is simultaneous pursuit of both a commercial and a social purpose.