Social entrepreneurship is a technique utilized by new businesses, entrepreneurs and startups to develop and launch solutions that address specific environmental, cultural, or social concerns. Examples of social business initiatives include poverty alleviation, economic or educational development within a community, or specific health and wellness targets.

Social entrepreneurship strategies can be used to create a variety organizations of varying sizes, goals, and beliefs.

Social entrepreneurs frequently establish a not-for-profit organization or, in the United States, a hybrid business such as a B Corporation (B Corp or Benefit Corporation) that has a business goal of generating positive benefits to society or the community they serve. While there are many different not-for-profit and for-profit models to choose from, those interested in launching a social enterprise should connect with their state’s or city’s department of economic and community development to learn which models are available for official registration.

Social entrepreneurship can also involve traditional, profit-making businesses that establish or underwrite a not-for-profit organization with comparable social or environmental goals. For example, a commercial bakery may collaborate with a non-profit youth job training program to offer financial stability and skills development while showing a commitment to the local community.

Groups focused on social entrepreneurship may call themselves by different names depending on their focus and mission: social business, socially responsible enterprises and socio-economic enterprises are a few. Regardless of the label put on the organization, businesses in this model will focus on creating sustainable initiatives that result in gains for the community or population being served.

Support for Social Entrepreneurs

There are many support organizations that empower social entrepreneurs – like rise. Often called “accelerators,” these enterprises help to connect entrepreneurs with mentors, provide access to necessary technical skills and business knowledge, access to business development funding.

Receiving this level of support enables social entrepreneurs to achieve their business and development goals despite limited capital or designated facilities. For example, social enterprise accelerators in the food and beverage industry my focus on providing access to commercial kitchen equipment, culinary tools and support with product packaging and distribution. This level of assistance can help a small, independent business or nonprofit establish themselves in a community and help to contribute to the local economic development and the creation of jobs.

How rise Supports Social Enterprises

Here at rise, we believe building a world where sustainable social business, created by social entrepreneurs in low-income countries, are provided with the resources, knowledge, and the professional community needed to be successful and transformational in their communities.

Through our professional network in the design and architecture industry, rise links aspiring social entrepreneurs to essential resources they may not have access to in their local community such as start-up funding, business skills, and mentorship. By working directly with individuals and their communities in a holistic manner, we aim to develop training and solutions that can address local needs and contribute to economic development.

rise is the social responsibility program of BOND Events. BOND Events hosts 1-to-1 meetings and forums for the world’s leading Principal Architects, Interior Designers and Specifiers. BOND underwrites rise’s operational costs so that 100% of donations are attributed directly to its social business and community development programs.