Social enterprises apply business solutions to social problems. The ultimate goal is to achieve sustainability by enabling non-profits to support themselves financially in innovative ways instead of relying solely on grants and donations. Since there are no shareholders in a non-profit organization, the profits from the related social enterprise are completely re-invested in the work of the organization.
The emergence of revenue-generating activities for non-profits has created a new operating model where business principles, market characteristics and values (competition, diversification, entrepreneurship, innovation, and a focus on the bottom line) co-exist and work with traditional public sector values like responsiveness to community and serving the public interest. Essential to the success of a social enterprise is an effective business model.
A business model includes two key elements:
1. An operating strategy that includes internal organizational structure and external partnerships that are crucial for creating the organization’s intended impact; and,
2. A resource strategy that defines where and on what terms the organization will acquire the resources (financial and human) it needs to do its work.
The business model for a social enterprise is the channel that the social entrepreneur converts inputs into outcomes; the generation of both social value (measurable impact) and economic value (revenue).
The Sector Inc's Business Modelling to Investment Readiness Program helps organizations catalyze community-led solutions by creating a social enterprise and planning scale and impact from ideation and modelling, through to maturity and investment. Applying the firm's multi-disciplinary approach, The Sector will develop a business model and plan for your organization or business to become investment ready. Your plan will then be translated into funding proposals for public and private granting organizations and impact investors, prospected by the firm, which fund capacity building toward investment readiness.
Early stage innovation (for example, social research and development)
Strategic impact focus (for example, growth ready; impact measurement)
Impact sustainability (for example, financial sustainability; accessing outcome-based funding)
Financial resilience (for example, revenue generating; capitalization structure)
Investor ready (for example, investee technical skills)
Ideation: Working with you, and your partner(s) or colleagues, to determine where your areas of strength and competitive advantage intersect with need in the markplace.
Organizational Readiness: (primarily for non-profits) Helping you to create an organizational understanding and full support of the needs, challenges, opportunities, risks and rewards of non profit run social enterprises. Helping you to “bring your Board on board.” We bring a social enterprise perspective to facilitation services for your strategic planning; non profits in today’s context need strong boards, strong vision, and earned revenue streams to ensure sustainability.
Market Research: Taking your initial idea(s) and doing the legwork to determine what other similar businesses operate locally or in other jurisdictions. Building a sound understanding of the marketplace in order to identify competitors, collaborators and to investigate other related opportunities.
Feasibility Study: Working closely with our clients to create an operational snapshot to determine both financial and social feasibility; will the business be able to sustain itself on earned revenues, and will the business actually create social value as anticipated?
Business Plan: Building on a successful feasibility study, The Sector Inc will create a dynamic, multi-year model describing operational expenses and investments, income projections, staffing needs, financing requirements, and social measurement indicators. The Sector Inc can also offer recommendations on the form of incorporation that would best suit your social enterprise objectives and design.
Marketing Strategy: Either as part of the business plan, and building on market research and other planning done, The Sector Inc will create a costed operational marketing strategy for your social enterprise that describes key messages, key target client groups, preferred media channels, and measurement indicators of marketing success. The Sector Inc will implement that strategy if your social enterprise doesn’t have the staff time or expertise to run effective marketing campaigns.
Partnerships Build: This is a unique service to work with adolescent social enterprises needing to refocus their efforts in order to maximize social outcomes. The Sector Inc uses a unique, proprietary technique to engage up to 12 key stakeholders of a social enterprise in a meaningful co-creation session to reallocate business assets–human resources, financial, material, physical–in order to get your social enterprise purring again.
Social Finance Strategy: Building upon a strong Business Plan, The Sector Inc can design and execute a strategy to acquire necessary funds to support your startup. From donations and crowdsourcing, to grants and benefactors, to debt or equity investments, The Sector Inc can recommend the right social financing strategy to help you plan, launch and grow your social enterprise.
The Sector Inc offers social enterprise focused consulting services to individuals, non-profits and charities, co-operatives and private sector (hybrid) companies. A sound business relies on expert planning, and The Sector Inc will bring decades of experience to you in the any of the following areas: