The discussion has begun: How can we scale social enterprise


Summit Attendees discuss the issues

What an incredible day!

The Social Entrepreneurship Summit was a huge success and brought together an amazing array of ideas on how to scale social enterprise in Canada and beyond our borders. The interdisciplinary approach adopted by the summit’s organizers was precisely the collaborative model needed to develop a shared language to both explore the challenges, and celebrate the successes of those working in this space.

Having observed many pragmatic discussions over the 12-hour event, I will continue to bring you a selection of provocative excerpts; in the meantime, here are the three key themes that emerged from the discussion led by Bill Young of SCP:

  1. Keys to being a successful social enterprise:
  • Creating a spirit of innovation for all stakeholders
  • Selecting the right funding model that will enable, not constrain, the enterprise
  • Utilizing a holistic approach for blended returns
  • Winning on business ideas that improve the customer experience — not relying solely on a social mission
  • “Twisting” around policies rather than a cumbersome process of lobbying

There are a multitude of tactical levers to help scale social enterprises:

  • Seeking partnerships and striving for effective collaboration
  • Engaging government support at all levels as appropriate
  • Utilizing virtual structures to maintain agility
  • Developing a turn-key approach observed in other models

There are systemic issues that need to be addressed:

  • Redefining citizenship to encourage social engagement
  • Finding ways to quantify and monetize market externalities

Find out more about the Social Entrepreneurship Summit: