The end of the road for social enterprise?
<p>Recently I've found myself letting out an involuntary sigh whenever anyone says the words "social enterprise".<br /> <br /> The fact that I keep sighing is a bit of a problem, as I aim to make a living out of social enterprise. <br /> <br /> I like terms that say exactly what they do on the tin. The term social enterprise doesn't do that. I can't help but think that social enterprise is a term that has its roots in the days when we were all a bit uncomfortable with the idea of being in business, even if it was for a social purpose. <br /> <br /> Social enterprise always makes me think of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Enterprise">Starship Enterprise</a> - people with funny shaped ears boldly going where no man has gone before. Which, in many cases, probably isn't a bad description of a social entrepreneur (the funny-shaped ears come from too many years of swimming against the tide). <br /> <br /> But having a weird name can give the impression that what we do is somehow weird. Try explaining social enterprise to someone who's never heard of it. Then try explaining social business. I promise, 9 times out 10, you'll have more success explaining social business to a novice than you will social enterprise. Because we all, to some extent or other, understand what business is. So social business is business that is social. <br /> <br /> So join with me and embrace social business. Stand proud as social business men and women. Mingle uncomfortably with a bacon sandwich in your hand at social business networking breakfasts. Write detailed social business plans and never look at them again. <br /> <br /> After all, if social business is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Creating-World-Without-Poverty-Capitalism/dp/15864... enough for Muhammad Yunus</a>, it's got to be good enough for the rest of us. </p>