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Increase in Social Enterprises in US

A recent report by Community Wealth Ventures and the Social Enterprise Alliance in the U.S. has shown a big increase in social enterprise activity by social sector organisations. In this first of a kind survey, 54% reported that they operate a social enterprise, of which 60% plan to launch another one in the next year. Even more encouraging is that the 57%  of those that don’t currently operate a social enterprise are considering setting one up. There is no doubt that funding is one of the issues, although respondents say that this is equal in importance to that of extending their mission. This is a positive sign as often social enterprise creation by current non-profits can be viewed as potential mission drift.

Even more interesting is that more than half of those that do have a social enterprise sitting alongside their social operations have more than one going at this time. Not only does this mean more revenue potential but it increases the sustainability and lowers the risk of the whole house of cards falling down if that particular social venture has issues.  Even in the US where social venture philanthropy is widespread (compared to Europe) when asked what would ‘stimulate social enterprise’ the highest rate of response was improved access to capital (not grants!). 15% identified additional training.

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