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Business men and women generally found their company with making a profit in mind. Of course, the successful business will always want to create something of value to give to the world. Any business that doesn’t do this will soon find itself out of business. Profits come from providing a service or product that costs less to produce than it is sold for.

However, did you know that there are also businesses for which making a profit is only a secondary concern or perhaps not a concern at all?

These businesses are called social enterprises. Social enterprises are businesses which have the goal of creating something on a social level. It might be a co-operative farming project. It might be a non-profit organization with the goal of creating learning opportunities for young and troubled youths. Whatever the goal, if profit is a secondary concern to creating a community around the enterprise, then chances are it could be incorporated as a social enterprise.

How To Fund A Social Enterprise

Some people might read this and wonder how a business can survive when its main goal is not to make money.

This is a bit of a red herring, as the major funding from any social enterprise will come from revenue – just as any other business. Most social enterprises sell goods of some kind, just like any other business. The difference is to what end that is done.

Likewise, when it comes to starting a social enterprise, other major sources of funding are the same as they are should you want to start a business that is for-profit. Business funding is always hard to come by, so the average social enterprise will be self-funded or funded by friends, family and interested parties.

That said, there will always be funding for social enterprises that fulfill a need (and can show that they are viable – again, just like a business.)

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Sources Of Outside Funding For Social Enterprises

Many local authorities have some form of grant scheme for relevant social enterprises. These are highly dependent on location, so it’s unlikely that we could give any general advice. However, seek out your local commerce chambers and government bodies for more information.

Usually, these grants are awarded according to strict criteria, to stop fraud and enterprises that aren’t profitable from receiving funding, and they will usually be granted according to the needs of the community. For instance, if you live in an urban area, you likely won’t receive a social enterprise grant for agriculture, but you might receive one for creating an infrastructure repair project. Again – seek out your local bodies for more information.

Similarly, you could consult incubation hubs. These, like for tech start-ups, can be a great source of funding.

Finally, one type of funding that is perfect for social enterprises is crowdfunding. Things like Kickstarter can be shared with your community via social media and achieve huge amounts of funding through micro-transactions.

This might be a great option, and will continue to gain steam as the platform gains in popularity.

Want to Go to College?
$3 Billion in Pell Grants are Unclaimed Every Year by Eligible Students

Grant Funding and Assistance
Billions of dollars are now easily available to many Americans