Declaring your intention as an organization is the first step in becoming a social enterprise. This is straightforward for the nonprofit – it’s your mission statement. But if you’re operating a commercial enterprise like we do, your mission statement will focus on the products or services that you sell. Underlying the traditional business model is the unspoken (it goes without saying right?) goal of maximizing profits. So if you’re bottom line isn’t the traditional bottom line then you need to say so. It might look something like this:
We are in business to make a positive difference in the world. Our profits are a means to this end not our primary goal and so will not be used as justification for harming people or planet. We are proud to be a social enterprise committed to:
• Participative Governance
• Equitable Pay
• Social Responsibility
• Community Service
• Equal division distributed profits between employees, community and common shareholders.
By putting it out there you are taking a stand and demonstrating by example that there is another game in town. That it shouldn’t go without saying that business is all about the profits. That business can be built around any number of goals, and you are measuring the success of your business by metrics that resonate with your values and beliefs.