Ever wondered how successful a social enterprise can get?
Is it possible to create a global business that’s as good at creating profit as it is at helping the community? The answer is a resounding yes. If you don’t believe us, take a look at these successful social enterprises that prove that a great business idea can indeed bring massive benefits to the community.
1. The Big Issue
Tokyo, Melbourne, Cape Town, Seoul… These are just some of the cities where you’ll find copies of the Big Issue magazine being sold.
Founded in 1991 by Gordon Roddick and A. John Bird as a response to the homelessness problem in London, the Big Issue quickly grew into one of the most recognised publishing brands in the UK and their impact can be felt all across the world.
As a social enterprise, the Big Issue’s aim is to help the homeless find economic empowerment by making them sell copies of the magazine as well as helping them reintegrate society by providing them with health care, housing, bank accounts and even passports. To date, the Big Issue has sold over 200 million copies and its vendors have earned about £115 million.
The Big Issue Website: https://www.bigissue.com/
TOMS is an apparel company with a simple but effective way of bringing change: buy one of their shoes and they’ll donate a pair to an impoverished child in a third-world country … and it works wonders!
Founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, TOMS is one of the pioneers of the one-for-one model mentioned above that other social entrepreneurship such as the Two Degrees Food Company and Warby Parker have adopted. In addition to this, they invest ⅓ of their profits to help support grassroots efforts to solve community issues. To date, they’ve donated 95 million pairs of shoes and dedicated $6.5 million in impact grants.
TOMS website: https://www.toms.com/
3. Grameen Bank
On paper, the Grameen Bank’s business model makes no sense: A bank that offers loans without requiring any collateral.
And yet, since it was established in 1983 the Grameen Bank is still going strong and regularly reports healthy net incomes worth 10 million dollars.
The brainchild of Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank was created with the purpose of providing basic banking services to the poor and it’s a resounding success. Yunus’ work has earned him a Nobel Prize, but we are sure that his true satisfaction comes from the knowledge that he has offered over 12,000,000 people the opportunity to live their dreams.
Grameen Bank Website: https://grameenbank.org/introduction/
If you too would like to create a successful social enterprise and would like some help to get there, we offer a tailor-made 9-month Impact Accelerator program that will teach you all the skills you need. And it’s 100% free. Click here to learn more about it.
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