Community Builders International Network
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About Social Enterprise

Anhart Foundation

Community Builders supports the development of Social Enterprises. The benefit is a triple bottom line - people, place and profit.

Social enterprise is a growing segment of Canada’s diverse non-profit network and is rapidly expanding the role the business sector occupies in social service responsibility. As part of this growing emphasis in public-private partnerships, BC recently created a special, non-profit, hybrid corporation called a Community Contribution Company (C3). Businesses owned by registered charities and societies are joined by C3 corporations and for-profit businesses in creating a dynamic entrepreneurial and employment environment, rich in opportunity for social benefit.

The Community Builders Network has pioneered the concept of ‘charities acting like businesses and businesses acting like charities’ for many years. Since the beginning, the concept of ‘zero sum’ operations has enabled undertakings normally requiring significant public purse subsidy (such as supportive housing) to be self-sustaining. Projects, ranging from renovation to development to operations, have been financed through innovative partnerships focusing on private sector contributions. Patient capital, generous terms, gifts-in-kind and pro bono services combine with earned income and an eye for available public and private no-strings grant and contract opportunities. Community Builders has this win-win-win (public-private-consumer) business philosophy throughout its initiatives.

Over the last 8 years, many corporations, sole proprietorships and partnerships have evolved through the Community Builders Network, directly out of a desire to focus on social enterprises (sometime referred to as enterprising non-profits). Pest control, management and admin support services, land development, waste disposal, renovation contracting, janitorial services, social impact hiring and bookkeeping management are among the social enterprise start-ups which were incubated and expanded under the Community Builders umbrella of organizations. By utilizing a social procurement model and promoting social impact hiring, every member of the Community Builders Network finds their place on the team and every idea is valued and fostered. Join us, as we join the social enterprise revolution!

 

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Social Enterprise Explained



From the Centre for Social Enterprise website

Are you running a social enterprise?

One test for a non-profit or charity that believes it is operating a social enterprise: what are you selling? It could be that you are operating with an entrepreneurial mindset within your organization, but if you are not selling a good or service into the marketplace, you aren’t running a business: you may be running a social program, but not a social enterprise.

And a test for a traditional business that believes it is operating a social enterprise: to what degree do social / environmental goals steer your ship? If profit is paramount (and particularly if individual owners or shareholders are personally benefitting), you may be engaging in socially conscious purchasing or corporate social responsibility, rather than operating a social enterprise.

Another possible definition: A social economy enterprise operates like a business, produces goods and services for the market, but manages its operations and redirects its surpluses in pursuit of social and environmental goals. (from Western Economic Diversification).

 

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