- Reverend Leon H. Sullivan
OIC of America founder, the late Reverend, Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, was a firm believer in the importance of economic self-sufficiency. He believed that individuals needed the opportunity to help themselves through being equipped with the skills to work and earn a living wage. He also recognized the value and importance of entrepreneurship; that business ownership and the ability to build, own, train, hire and operate business is essential to community strengthening, as economic development and workforce development goes hand in hand.
Defining Social Enterprise:
A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders. Social enterprises can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit, and may take the form (depending in which country the entity exists and the legal forms available) of a co-operative, mutual organization, a disregarded entity, a social business, a benefit corporation, a community interest company or a charity organization. They can also take more conventional structures. What differentiates social enterprises is that their social mission is as core to their success as any potential profit. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social Enterprise is critical for nonprofit organizations. It provides a revenue stream that support the organization in realizing its mission and reduces the sole reliance on funding such as grants and supports the building of a more sustainable financial and operating infrastructure.
Some complementary definitions:
- Social enterprise applies an entrepreneurial approach to addressing social issues and creating positive community change.
- A social enterprise is a business that uses entrepreneurial methods to accomplish social goals and/or feed profits to a parent charity or non-profit to enable it to fulfill more of its own social mission.
- A social enterprise is a revenue-generating business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to deliver profit to shareholders and owners.
An equally noble goal of social enterprise (aside from generating revenues to pursue a mission) is the training and/or employment of people who are typically excluded from the mainstream economy, thus creating capacity and self-sufficiency for individuals, and impacting their communities and lessening reliance on the social safety net. This element alone can denote a social enterprise.