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Are you secretly a social entrepreneur?

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Social enterprises are usually defined as businesses that re-invest their profits or surpluses to achieve social goals.

A new study of 2,121 companies by economics consultancy Delta Economics and market researchers IFF Research reveals that one fifth – or 21 per cent – of Britain’s entrepreneurs are running “hidden social enterprises.

These businesses, for-profit companies with a social or environmental consideration, are usually smaller businesses, the research found, with nearly all of them having a sub-£200,000 annual turnover.

“Hidden social enterprises have wealth and value creation potential that is similar to mainstream businesses – there is no need to compromise growth or profitability for the sake of doing something to make a difference,” says Dr Rebecca Harding, MD of Delta Economics. “Entrepreneurs really are the world’s changing agents.”

We’re big fans of social entrepreneurs. There is no reason why a business can be both profitable and good for society. Delta’s research supports this, showing that “making society a better place” is a goal that many entrepreneurs strive for. Surely that can’t be a bad thing? 

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March 2010
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