The social enterprise sector is growing rapidly . People are realizing its importance to take action on issues related to food ( has resulted in the rise of organic food industry), financial services, health services etc. Some of the matured social enterprises have started experimenting new ways on how quickly they can reach new beneficiaries , achieve larger impact and leverage efficiencies of scale without having to reinvent the wheel.
SCALE UP OR SCALE OUT
Turning everyday workings of a social enterprise into a systematic cooperation that can be easily replicated elsewhere can be tricky. Finding partners who are aligned to your values is challenging. We too are grappling with these issues. What kind of license do we grant, what training and support should we provide , and issues of branding and intellectual property.
CASE STUDY OF CONSERVE HRP
Conserve HRP grew rapidly in the last 12 years.. we made upcycled products and managed to get big and mainstream clients like @urbanoutfitters, @habitate , @adolfoDominique etc. We were also fully entrenched in the fair trade world. We went through several audits and were scaling up continually. But a watershed moment came and we realized as a social enterprise we would be making larger social impact if we scaled out rather than scaled up.
What do you think is the futrure of social enterprise? Scaling UP or Scaling OUT.
Some pointers based on my experience with working with rural and urban community members
The key purpose of the training program is always, “how do we enable increased access to livelihood opportunities for the community.” Mapping and exploring their outside environment, and their inner fears and insecurities. Understanding their skills and available resources as a group is key to a successful setting up and running of a social enterprise.
objectives of the training are:
Social brands are increasing globally. Number of companies are racing to get their brands associated with social enterprise. CSR funds are being are being used to create social brands. More and more Ngo’s are moving towards a social enterprise model. The social enterprise industry is getting bigger and gaining attention globally.
European Union is thinking of creating a label, just as there is a label for organic products, fair trade products. But do we really need a label for social enterprises?
A top down solution will not work
Labels are always expensive for small producer groups. Getting certified and due diligence process cost money and highly educated manpower. Most social enterprises are managed by cooperative members. A top down solution is being suggested by the western world. We must not let this label emerge. Lets not set legal boundaries or be fooled by vested interests. It’s a sunrise industry .More innovation and newer models in this sector have yet to happen.