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The Social Enterprise Blueprint does not insist that you create mission statements however they are valuable to your social enterprise so a few words are offered at this point. A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of an organisation. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organisation, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It can provides a context within which the company's strategies are formulated. When a social enterprise purpose is to serve humanity, it is essential that their mission statement clearly defines the services to be performed and the compassion driving the people who provide those services. Example mission statements include:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
The Walt Disney Company:
The Walt Disney Company's objective is to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. Its primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital profitability toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder-value.
Example Mission Statement:
Mission Statement: Telecentre And Business School Ltd
To be the leading community based training and social enterprise support organisation in South Wales
SEB TASK 3
Construct a Mission Statement for you social enterprise
STEP 2: Business Objectives (Social, Economic, Environmental)
SEB BOX 2, 3 AND 4:
This section will guide the completion of the social enterprise blueprint in the area of business objectives and is based on the triple bottom line view of a business model.
Business Objectives and the Triple Bottom Line
The phrase "the triple bottom line" was first coined in 1994 by John Elkington, the founder of a British consultancy called SustainAbility. His argument was that companies should be preparing three different bottom lines. One is the traditional measure of corporate profit-the bottom line of the profit and loss account. The second is the bottom line of a company's people account, a measure in some shape or form of how socially responsible an organisation has been throughout its operations. The third is the bottom line of the company's planet account, a measure of how environmentally responsible it has been. The triple bottom line therefore consists of three Ps: profit, people and planet. It aims to measure the financial, social and environmental performance of the corporation over a period of time. Only a company that produces a triple bottom line is taking account of the full cost involved in doing business.
Management by objectives is a longstanding method for business management. An objective can be defined as an end that can be achieved within an expected timeframe and with available resources. All businesses have a range of objectives. Triple Bottom Line setting of business objectives focuses on the social, economic and environmental objectives of a business.
It is worth pointing out that all business objectives offer the opportunity to generate income. Also you will discover that very often objectives can be simultaneously economic, social and even environmental. Objectives can be, and indeed should be, linked. As an example, a social objective to help unemployed people into work clearly has an economic outcome once that person secures employment. As with most things in life there is rarely a clear black or white distinction. It makes very little difference where the identified business objective is place, either in the social, economic or environmental box. What matters is that it has been identified.
Good practice in the setting of objectives would be the use of the SMART acronym - Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; Time;
Specific means that the objective is concrete, detailed and well defined. The objective must be straight forward and emphasize action and the required outcome.
Measurable means that the measurement source is identified and you are able to track the actions as you progress towards the objective. Measurement is the standard used for comparison.
Achievable means that the objective can be met in a reasonable timeframe. If the objective is too far in the future, you'll find it difficult to keep the motivation to attain it. Objectives, unlike your aspirations and visions, need to be achievable to keep you motivated.
Realistic means that you have the resources to get it done. The achievement of an objective requires resources, such as, skills, money and equipment to achieve it. Realistic does not mean easy. Whilst keeping objectives realistic, ensure that they stretch you.
Time means setting a deadline for the achievement of the objective. Deadlines need to be both achievable and realistic. Agreed Time frames create the necessary urgency and prompts action.
Having introduced you to the concept of SMART objectives I suggest that in the first instance when completing the SEB boxes you simply write down the objective in plain English! e.g. our aim is to help unemployed people into work. You can 'smarten' this up later when doing your Business Plan.
SEB BOX 2: Social Objectives/Activities
Social objectives are critical and the starting point for any social enterprise. If these are not present then it is not a social business. Many argue that it is the social objectives that are the KEY driving forces. Many commercial enterprises would consider themselves to have social objectives, but commitment to these objectives is fundamentally motivated by the perception that such commitment will ultimately make the enterprise more financially valuable. Social enterprises differ in that, inversely, they do not aim to offer any benefit to their investors, except where they believe that doing so will ultimately further their capacity to realize their goals.
Many entrepreneurs, whilst running a profit focused enterprise that they own, will make charitable gestures through the enterprise, expecting to make a loss in the process. However unless the social aim is the primary purpose of the company this is not considered to be social enterprise. The term is more specific, meaning 'doing charity by doing trade', rather than 'doing charity while doing trade'. Another example is an incorporation, which may pursue social responsibility goals that conflict with traditional corporate shareholder primacy, or may donate some of its profits to charity.
Social Objectives are aspirations of positive intention towards the local area, aiming to promote prosperity and develop a strong relationship with the locals in order to co-exist harmoniously. Social business is a cause-driven business. The purpose of the business is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the company e.g.
providing health services for those on low incomes
providing social housing for those on low incomes
offering financial services for those on low incomes
providing food for children living in poverty
providing safe drinking water for people where governments do not
The impact of the business on people or the environment, rather the amount of profit made in a given period, measures the success of social business. Sustainability indicates that it is running as a business, however the objective of the social enterprise however must be to achieve its social goal/s. The social objectives of the organisation are generally determined by the individual or group that sets the organisation up. They are the raison d'être of the organisation and the motivation which drives the people involved.
Example Social Objectives: Telecentre And Business School Ltd
To support unemployed people into work via the provision of training services & workplacements
To provide business incubation support for start-up and growing social enterprises
To help address social problems through the creation of new social enterprises
SEB TASK 4
Write down as many SOCIAL objectives that you can think of that could be offered by your social enterprise
SEB BOX 3: Economic Objectives / Activities
Economic activity relates to the production, development, and management of material wealth, as of a country, household, or business enterprise.
The following are examples of the economic objectives of a business:
To ensure long-term sustainability for the business
To generate wealth and financial profit
To create new markets for the organizations products and services
To generate customers for the organizations products and services
To accumulate capital assets including business premises
To create employment opportunities
The above are but some of the examples of economic objectives of an enterprise and when attempting to identify the economic objectives of your social enterprise it helps to extend the search outside of the internal objectives of the business.
Private business models would concentrate on the internal workings of the organisation and the economic outcomes of shareholders and owners. Social enterprise looks at the wider economic impact the business can have on the community in which it is situated. Also I would like to emphasis again that very often there are crossovers between social, economic and environmental objectives. Many objectives are classed as socio-economic objectives. It does not matter what box the objective is place only that the objective has been identified and becomes an outcome of business activity.
Example Economic Objectives: Telecentre And Business School Ltd
To be financially sustainable
To create new jobs by growing the TABS business
To create new social businesses thereby creating local jobs and wealth
To allocate a percentage of trading profit to support new business ventures
SEB TASK 5
Write down as many ECONOMIC objectives that you can think of that could be offered by your social enterprise
SEB BOX 4: Environmental Objectives / Activities
The management of the world in which we live, and in particular the management of limited and declining natural resources, is perhaps the most significant moral dilemma facing the globe. The desire for continual economic growth required to support an ever increasing global population often contradicts advice on conservation of natural resources. The growth of China and India, Africa and Asia and their justifiable demands on the natural resources of the world make the whole environmental argument difficult to understand in the context of the UK, Wales, small business and the individual.
However no matter how small the impact it does seem morally right that businesses do take proactive steps to minimise it impact on the environment.
Environmental objectives are the overall aims that your business sets itself to improve environmental performance, morally correct to developed and essential if your social enterprise requires public funding.
They indicate your business' aims regarding particular issues - for example, to reduce waste going to landfill by 25 per cent over five years. Your objectives should be based on your environmental policy or environmental management system. They should aim to address any significant environmental aspects and should incorporate specific legal requirements contained in regulations and consents. When setting objectives it is important you:
identify the individual or department responsible for ensuring that they are met
identify someone to oversee the implementation of changes and check that targets are met
ensure that the measures taken do not indirectly create another significant environmental problem
Environmental management systems (EMS) follow a systematic approach of planning, implementing, evaluating and improving. Some people in the organisation may view an EMS as a bureaucratic initiative or as extra work in addition to their existing responsibilities. There may be resistance to change or uncertainty of new responsibilities. To overcome these potential obstacles, help needs to be given to employees to understand why the organisation needs an effective EMS and how the EMS will help control environmental impacts in a cost-effective manner. Involving staff in the design and implementation of the EMS will demonstrate the organisation's commitment to the environment and help to ensure that the EMS is realistic, practical and adds value.
I have found that in recent years addressing environmental issues has become more important in the running of a social enterprise. The three environmental R's of Reuse; Renovate or Recycling are being addressed as a core management function. Some social enterprises of course use this focus as income generating streams and the potential opportunities are immense.
Importantly I have found that grant funding bodies see the inclusion of positive environmental action and the existence of robust environmental management systems critical to their funding decisions.
Example Environmental Objectives: Telecentre And Business School Ltd
To gain Green Dragon Status
To engage with the ESD/GC agenda
To ethically recycle all redundant resources
SEB TASK 6
Write down as many environmental objectives that you can think of that could be offered by your social enterprise
STEP 3: Equal Opportunities and Diversity
SEB BOX 5
Equal Opportunities and the Law
A variety of legislation protects the employment rights of all workers in the United Kingdom. It is of course very important for all businesses to ensure that the organisations they are involvedin adhere to these laws hence management must have processes in place to ensure the law is maintained. This section offers outline information on the main legislation protecting employees against discrimination based on age, ability, race, religion and sex.
More importantly for social enterprise is the concept of diversity. This is simply the view that it makes good business sense to attract a wide range of people into your business. Employ women and you get a woman's perspective; employ young people and you engage with them; employ people of a variety of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds and you engage with their ideas and aspiration. This diversity will be reflected in your business activities and the markets it develops.
Age discrimination is a relatively new concept but there is legislation that protects workers from unfair treatment due to their age. The Employment Equality Act (Age) Regulations 2006 is the main piece of legislation fighting ageism in employment in the United Kingdom. This Act protects people aged 50 and over from being discriminated against in the hiring of new workers, how workers are treated in the workplace, the firing, of workers, redundancies and retirement. Employment equality for younger workers is dealt with in other legislation.
Discrimination against individuals with disabilities is also illegal in the United Kingdom. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 is the main piece of legislation that deals with this topic. This Act outlaws discrimination based on disability in the areas of employment, education, access to goods, facilities and services and in relation to land and property. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 amend and extend the DDA, and the Mental Health Act of 1983 protects the rights of individuals with learning disabilities and/or mental health concerns.
The Race Relations Act 1976 and all of its amendments and extensions protect individuals from being discriminated against in employment on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, religious beliefs or ethnicity. This Act does not distinguish between whether racist practices were done on purpose; it is concerned only with whether or not racial discrimination occurred. Four main types of discrimination are recognised in relation to employment. Direct discrimination is deliberate and obvious. Indirect discrimination occurs when practices of policies disadvantage one or more racial groups. Harassment occurs when the workplace is allowed to become a hostile environment. Finally, victimisation occurs when someone has complained about discrimination and is then treated less fairly than others.
The Race Relations Act 1976 is also the main piece of legislation protecting the religious rights of all employees in the United Kingdom. In addition to this Act, the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 forbids discrimination in employment or vocational training due to religion or belief. Though there is no particular list of religions or beliefs that are included in UK legislation, most major world religions and minority belief systems are recognised for the purposes of these documents. Questions about what constitutes a religion or belief are settled by Employment Tribunal.
A variety of laws work to provide equal rights to males and females in the United Kingdom. The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 protects individuals from being discriminated against in employment, vocational training, education, the provision and sale of goods, facilities and services, premises and the exercise of public functions due to their sex/gender. The Equal Pay Act of 1970 mandates equal pay for equal work regardless of an individual's sex/gender. The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 also protect the rights of individuals who intend to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment. These Regulations pertain to pay and treatment in employment, self-employment and vocational training.
The rights of all workers are protected under UK legislation in relation to discrimination based on age, ability, race, religion and sex. For further information on any of the above topics, visit a professional solicitor or visit a Citizens Advice Bureau. All businesses must enforce the law or suffer the consequences of not doing so.
Diversity: Good Practice and good business sense
Good businesses, and in my view therefore all social enterprises, should go further than this. Social enterprises should have a Diversity Policy. Addressing diversity can offer benefits to the organisations employees and to the organisations clients.
Workplace diversity is a people issue, focused on the differences and similarities that people bring to an organisation. It is usually defined broadly to include dimensions beyond those specified legally in equal opportunity and affirmative action non-discrimination statutes. Diversity is often interpreted to include dimensions which influence the identities and perspectives that people bring, such as profession, education, parental status and geographic location. Diversity is about learning from others who are not the same, about dignity and respect for all, and about creating workplace environments and practices that encourage learning from others and capture the advantage of diverse perspectives. Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status.
I believe that social enterprises need to focus on diversity and look for ways to become totally inclusive organisations because diversity has the potential of yielding greater productivity and competitive advantages. Demographic changes will require organisations to review their management practices and develop new and creative approaches to managing people. Changes will increase work performance and customer service.
There are challenges to managing a diverse work population. Managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people. It involves recognizing the value of differences, combating discrimination, and promoting inclusiveness. Diversity is not about differences among groups, but rather about differences among individuals. Each individual is unique and does not represent or speak for a particular group. Respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and increasing work productivity. Diversity management benefits associates by creating a fair and safe environment where everyone has access to opportunities and challenges. Most workplaces are made up of diverse cultures, so organisations need to learn how to adapt to be successful.
Clearly besides diversity in the work place social enterprise may want to deliver it services to a diverse client base. Often social enterprises look to meet the challenges facing specific and diverse groups. They often develop solutions to such groups as young people, older people, women, ethnic groups and people with heath issues. Implementing a Diversity Policy and Programme can significantly offer areas for both social and economic growth of the social enterprise.
Example Equal Opportunity and Diversity objectives: Telecentre And Business School Ltd
Equal Opportunity and Diversity objectives
To devise and implement and Equal Opportunities Policy
To devise and implement a Diversity Policy
To gain Positive About Discrimination Status
SEB TASK 7
Write down as many EQUAL OPPORTUNITY and DIVERSITY objectives that you can think of that could be offered by your social enterprise
Equal Opportunity and Diversity objectives
STEP 4: Key Stakeholders
SEB BOX 6
Businesses rely on attracting customers; indeed many will say no customers then no business. Because of this belief many businesses have what is termed a customer focus. They have Customer Relationship Management systems and they spent time measuring customer satisfaction. I take the view that good social enterprises do not have customers, rather they have stakeholders and that is how I have led the business over the last eighteen years. I accept that this may be seen as controversial but I believe that those of you looking to create a new social business at least consider the view. To further my argument I offer a couple of definitions.
A customer is the recipient of a good, service, product, or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier for a monetary or other valuable consideration.
A stakeholder is a party that can affect or be affected by the actions of the business as a whole. The stakeholder concept was first used in a 1963 internal memorandum at the Stanford Research Institute. It defined stakeholders as "those groups without whose support the organisation would cease to exist." The theory was later developed and championed by R. Edward Freeman in the 1980s. Since then it has gained wide acceptance in business practice and in theorizing relating to strategic management, corporate governance, business purpose and corporate social responsibility. The term has been broadened to include anyone who has an interest in a matter.
There are clear differences between the definitions and to me what is important is the way that the business relationship is then built. I have found that everyone you develop working relationships with can help you grow your social enterprise. This can include individuals who access your product or service, organisations that you build partnerships with, funding bodies who investing in you or public sector institutions that support you. As with life the best relationships are two-way.
Individuals who purchase or access your business services or products could support you as a volunteer. They could volunteer as company directors or on workplacements. They could play a role in promoting your business through marketing activities. They can be much more than simply a beneficiary of your product or service. They could be a stakeholder but only if you look to treat them as such.
Businesses exist to make money. Rarely do businesses work in isolation and within the social enterprise sector the building of partnerships between organisations is seen as good practice. Your aim should be to develop long-term business relationships in which both organisations benefit. You do this by constructing the classic WIN - WIN position. Both organisations need to benefit from any relationship otherwise it is doomed to failure. If your negotiations are unable to offer clear benefits to both organisations then my advice would be just walk away.
Funding organisations have been given finance to ensure the undertaking of activity. They want to work with organisation that can help them achieve their targets. In my experience while the funding is largely project based it is worth the effort to develop long-term partnerships where possible.
The public sector have our money to do public good and while traditionally they have largely taken the view that they are also the best party to deliver the service the move in times of austerity is to outsource the delivery. This is seen as one of the best opportunities for the modern development of social enterprise.
Examples of a company's stakeholders and interests
taxation, VAT, legislation, low unemployment, truthful reporting.
rates of pay, job security, compensation, respect, truthful communication.
value, quality, customer care, ethical products.
providers of products and services used in the end product for the customer, equitable business opportunities.
credit score, new contracts, liquidity.
jobs, involvement, environmental protection, shares, truthful communication.
quality, Staff protection, jobs.
have interest of the success of his/her business.
Types of stakeholders available to social enterprise
Individuals who use the service or products
Individuals interested in volunteering
Funding bodies interested in engaging with delivery agents
Public sector organizations looking to outsource services
Other social enterprises or third sector groups looking for partnerships
Regeneration programmes looking to bring in services to their communities
Private sectors businesses looking for joint ventures
Example Stakeholder and Win - Win analysis - Telecentre And Business School
Support offered (TABS)
Support Received (stakeholder)
Workers Education Association (WEA)
Revenue in support of Tutor costs and room rent
Communities First Partnerships
Coalfields Regeneration Trust
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
Business growth - jobs and wealth creation
Employability Training and workplacements
SEB TASK 8
Write down as many stakeholders that you can think of that could support your social enterprise and briefly outline how you could support them and they could support you (Win - Win)
STEP 5: Key Business Resources
SEB BOX 7
Johnson & Scholes' define business strategy as "... the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term: which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfill stakeholder expectations".
So, what are these "resources" that a business needs to put in place to pursue its chosen strategy? Business resources can usefully be grouped under three main categories:
Financial resources relate to the ability of the business to fund its chosen strategy. For example, a strategy that requires significant investment in new products, distribution channels, production capacity and working capital will place great strain on the business finances. Such a strategy needs to be very carefully managed from a finance point-of-view.
An audit of financial resources would include assessment of existing finance and funds which may include cash balances, bank overdraft, loans, shareholder capital, working capital and creditors. The ability to raise new funds: may relate to the strength and reputation of the management team or business, the relationship with investors and lenders, attractiveness of the business idea or in some cases ability to be quoted on the stock market.
The heart of the issue with Human Resources is the skills-base of the business. What skills does the business already possess? Are they sufficient to meet the needs of the chosen strategy? Could the skills-base be flexed / stretched to meet the new requirements?
An audit of human resources would include assessment of existing staffing resources and will include the number of staff by function, location, grade, experience, qualification and remuneration. It may address issues of 'natural wastage', level and need for training of staff and an assessment of key 'intangibles' such as morale, business culture etc. In some cases this may include changes to the staff structure and the recruitment of new staff
The category of physical resources covers a wide range of operational resources concerned with the physical capability to deliver a strategy. These may include:
Production facilities: May include the location of premises, current equipment and processes and necessary investment and maintenance requirements
Marketing Facilities: Marketing management processes and infrastructure
Information Communication Technology: Systems and infrastructure
Intangible Resources: It is easy to ignore the intangible resources of a business when assessing how to deliver a strategy - but they can be crucial. Intangibles include goodwill, reputation, brands and intellectual property
Clearly every business model will have its own unique resource requirement. When starting up a new social business it is sometimes difficult to determine the full mix of resources required.
How do you determine the number and skill set of the human resource requirement?
How do you determine the best premises and location for the venture?
How much funding is required to seed fund the business?
The questions are endless.
The answers clearly lie in the completion of a comprehensive business plan. However when completing the social enterprise blueprint all is required is a broad brush gut instinct feel for the business.
Mapping Staffing Needs
I suggest you start by identifying the human resource needed. Very often social enterprises start with significant volunteer effort, particularly with regard to the work required before the company is able to trade. People are needed to undertake feasibility studies, to produce the business plan and to complete funding applications. Occasionally funding is available for this work but very often this work is undertaken by volunteers. Volunteer effort in my mind is a core element in the human resourcing of a social enterprise and offers benefits to both the business and the individual. At TABS we have developed a 'grow your own' recruitment process where individuals take up roles as volunteers in the business and through the implementation of a robust volunteer development program they are supported into paid employment in the company or elsewhere. We continue with this policy after eighteen years of operation and have numerous success stories of individuals who have demonstrated impressive career growth both with the company and with external companies. My advice is to ensure that any human resource strategy you developed offers opportunities for volunteering to local community members and that you develop and implement a quality volunteering policy which helps them maximize their potential.
In terms of assessing the human resource required to start a business I suggest an approach based on the identification of function or task over a time period, initially perhaps one year. For example you will need someone to construct a business plan and as the company is unlikely to have any money at this early stage this may have to be undertaken by a volunteer. Below is a simple framework which may help in determining the human resources needed. The function and staff numbers in the framework are for the purpose of example only so you will need to identify these for your social enterprise.
Function driven human resource mapping
Function or Task
Current Staff (Volunteers)
Additional People Needed Now
People Needed in 6 months
People needed in a year
Completion of funding application
Finance & Administration officer
Mapping Physical need
The next step may be to decide the physical resource needed to start the business. This may be even more difficult than identifying the human resource need. It is generally simple to identify if you need a building to work out of, if you need computer equipment or transport but it is virtually impossible to list in tight detail the number of pens, pencils, staplers, paper etc. you will require to early trading needs. The problem sometimes with this is if you apply to a funder to cover these costs over the first three to twelve months and under-estimated the budget then it is unlikely you can go back to them and therefore you may find you are under-resourced which of course will give you a problem.
As a suggestion I offer a simply framework based on the identification of the activity your social enterprise will undertaken. The activity and physical requirements in the framework are for the purpose of example only so you will need to identify these for your social enterprise.
Activity driven Physical Resource Determination
Business Management and
Fixtures and Fittings
Fixtures and fittings
Production & storage space
Fixtures and fittings
Telephone system / mobile phone(s)
Capital equipment / Small tools
Stock / working capital
With regard to the identification of the funding you will require, the simplest approach at the social enterprise blueprint stage is to attempt to put a figure on the items you have identified in completing the two frameworks above. Clearly they have to be broad brush generalizations based on an intuitive approach but nevertheless this should lead you to a ballpark figure required for startup.
Example Key Resources: Telecentre And Business School Ltd
Passionate, competent and motivated staff at a board, management and employee level
Sufficient and adequate access to premises and equipment
Strong track record of financial management
SEB TASK 9
Write down the resources required by your social enterprise