By Rachael Millson, African Partnerships Director, Social Enterprise Academy South Africa. (Social Enterprise Academy South Africa is the knowledge partner for the Social Enterprise topic on the Trialogue Knowledge Hub.) In this article, she looks at how corporates can support the rapidly growing social enterprise sector in South Africa.
What if I told you that there is an underused tool that can help your organisation stretch limited resources to better serve more individuals and increase your overall impact? You might be skeptical - but it's true! Through research conducted with South African social enterprises, I found that impact assessments can revolutionise the way that you do business and create change.
Measuring social impact, or impact assessment, is the process of understanding the changes achieved as a result of your organisation's work. It can be used to validate your impact, make better strategic decisions, gain credibility with stakeholders and secure future funding.
A social enterprise is an organization that generates the majority of its income through business activities and utilizes its profits to further its social (or environmental) purpose.
This article discusses the two types of legal forms available to social enterprises. It highlights some of the opportunities for either to earn income and attract investment, and dispelled some misconceptions. Social enterprises can be successful as long as they learn to exploit the full potential of their legal forms and setup effective governance systems.