Social enterprise: It takes a network

Comment [27]

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  • Networks are the glue that increasingly bind us together (rather than class or geography). I think this is important to note because it is a new type of glue for a new type of business.

    For those looking to complement networking with a physical place to meet people, try The Hub (a good chance there’s one near you!!!)

    Posted 2 June 2010, 06:37 by Jason Conner Link –>

  • Thanks Raj for an interesting perspective.

    I disagree that social enterprises are at a comparative disadvantage to business. I think this is an old-fashioned, 20th century view.

    My favourite definition of a social enterprise is that they are “more than profit” organisations.

    Recent experience has shown that social enterprises can choose what appears to be a disadvantageous market position but, because of their “more than” factor, generate increased sales by more than their so-called “business” competitors. I think the Fairtrade revolution is testament to this. My local supermarket only sells Fairtrade bananas now, a few years ago that would have been a small part of their stock. The difference is the market has created the demand for the social enterprise product because of its “more than” factor such that it is advantageous for my supermarket to sell the social enterprise product.

    Thanks again for a challenging blog post.

    Posted 28 May 2010, 17:31 by Garry Smith Link –>

  • Social Enterprise can be a much better success if the participating entities share the same pain, have same vision and vow to work together

    Posted 28 May 2010, 09:26 by Puneesh Link –>

  • Congratulation on the first note of good topic.

    The topic coin like MBA oversubscribed agreed.

    “must compete in the marketplace and create social impact is an even taller order.” yes indeed it tough.

    but somewhere I must tell you that there many points which we need to be though again. Just through light on this topic. Future would be a place where people identify your skill through some medium let say and avail your specialize service and this you need a very good social network. A new entrant could get into this by showing his skill in understand the various concept of enterprise and may offer the initial service at competitive rate to show some good work.

    Ankur Sen
    Aegis Info Systems

    Posted 26 May 2010, 15:02 by Ankur Sen Link –>

  • I found this fascinating from the perspective that for a business to have a social mission, it must be presumed to handicapped in some way that must be overcome.

    Any business run with the welfare of employees and customers as paramount has a social mission. This is particularly true for businesses in such areas as healthcare.

    Posted 24 May 2010, 13:02 by Joan McClusky Link –>

  • Hi Raj I disagree absolutely to first point that you made: Social enterprises are not a disadvantage to business, but should be looked as opportunity creators because they iron out the rough paths for businesses to run.
    I agree to your second point…
    Though I must mention, that social enterprises need not scale, because in most cases they are created to solve the needs for a particular marginal sector at the fringes, which will never be looked at by large companies(they scale because they keep doing a thing x number of times in a specific manner(read process))

    But yes, networks are important because they are capable of solving bigger problems through interdependence..(an area which so many in India need to understand)

    thanks for the post

    Posted 23 May 2010, 17:24 by ravi balgi Link –>

  • The article gives an excellent insight of challenges faced by social enterprise.

    Posted 1 May 2010, 16:48 by RAJAT SHUVRA SEN Link –>

  • Raj thank you for this really good blog highlighting the importance of taking network forms or organization seriously. The comments here are very helpful as well.

    I would like to point you to a good friend who has years of experience in global action social good networks and puts out a very nice blog. Check out Steve Waddell at a practice leader in taking a systematic approach to improving large scale networks. also frequently blogs on large scale networks generating social good, as well as regional development networks, which hold similar issues. We have worked with both types of networks as well as businesses moving into network ways of organizing. That blog is at

    Verna Allee

    Posted 26 April 2010, 21:09 by Verna Allee Link –>

  • Brilliant article. Very well conceived thought. This model will work wonders for emerging economies such as India and China, while reducing the impact of big corporations on social enterprises.

    Posted 26 April 2010, 11:26 by Vikas Reddy Link –>

  • Good article on the ways forward for social enterprises. However, It seems to me that networks will still not elude the big businesses from invading the frontiers of social enterprises. The fact is that the bigger business community are experts in mergers and joint ventures, and for that matter, could still submerge the potentials and benefits of social enterprises.
    I rather propose an increasing engagement in which corporations will recognize and appreciate the attributes of good citizenship and how it relates to their bottomline.That way, they may begin to undertake “social investment” and contribute to meeting the larger objectives set by social enterprises.

    Posted 26 April 2010, 11:09 by adam babatu Link –>



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