What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is a business which trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. Social enterprises will have a clear 'social mission' outlining what difference they are trying to make, who they aim to help, and how they plan to do it. Social enterprises also have clear rules about what they do with their profits, reinvesting these to further their 'social mission'.

Social enterprises come in many shapes and sizes from large national and international businesses to small community based enterprises. Regardless of their size all social enterprises:

  • Are businesses that aim to generate their income by selling goods and services, rather than through grants and donations
  • Are set up specifically to make a difference
  • Reinvest the profits they make into their social mission

If you are interested in setting up your own social enterprise but need some advice you can contact our Beyond Business team and find out more about the ways we help incubate social enterprise in east London here.