What is a social enterpirse?

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.

Using the power of the marketplace to solve the most pressing societal problems, social enterprises are commercially viable businesses existing to benefit the public and the community, rather than shareholders and owners.

What is a social enterprises motivation?

Social enterprises can broadly be categorised into three principle motivations.


Businesses that provide employment, training and support for  disadvantaged groups.

Community Need

Businesses that create or maintain products and/or services in response to social or economic needs in the community, not met by the market.

Profit Redistribution

Businesses that exist to generate profits which are redistributed to social programs or charitable activities.

Social enterprise spectrum?

  • Are driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic.

  • Derive most of their income from trade, not donations or grants.

  • Use the majority (at least 50%) of their profits to work towards their social mission.