Social Enterprise

While the exact definition of social enterprise is contested; social enterprise can be seen as, according to Wikipedia: “an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders” The UK government-backed definition of social enterprise is (again from Wikipedia) “A business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose.” Social enterprise and philanthropy also differ; Wikipedia defines philanthropy as “The most conventional modern definition is “private initiatives, for public good, focusing on quality of life”.

Social enterprise and philanthropy fascinate me. Which is not to say that I completely understand them (motivations etc) but I think that the ideas are interesting. And in the UK, and in London specifically there are a wide variety of social enterprise and philanthropic organisations. One question could be, is social enterprise sustainable? Another question is what motivates philanthropy? I won’t answer those questions, mainly because I don’t know the answers but I can’t help but think about them as I delve into some of the social enterprise and philanthropy-related organisations in the UK (and more specifically London). Another question I have is: is Angel investment the same as philanthropy?

Anyway, without anything further, Philanthropic, Angel Investment and Social Entrepreneur resources that may be helpful:

Social Enterprise
1). http://www.the-sse.org – The School for Social Entrepreneurs (@SchSocEnt)
2). http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/ – Social Enterprise UK (@SocialEnt_UK)
3). http://www.socialenterprisemark.org.uk/ – Social Enterprise Mark (@SE_Mark)
4). https://www.gov.uk/set-up-a-social-enterprise – Social Enterprise Gov.uk site (@GOVUK)
5). http://inspire2enterprise.org/ Inspire2Enterprise – Inspire 2 Enterprise (@Inspire2E)

Philanthropic
1). http://www.philanthropy-impact.org/ Philanthropy Impact; checkout the ‘resources’ section (@philanthropyimp)
2). http://www.instituteforphilanthropy.org/ Institute for Philanthropy (@ifphilanthropy)
3). http://www.thinknpc.org/ New Philanthropy Capital (@NPCthinks)
4). http://www.cgap.org.uk/ Center for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy (@givingcentre)
5). http://youngphilanthropy.org.uk/ Young Philanthropy, and how I became aware of a philanthropic scene in London. (@Y_Philanthropy)

Angel Investment
1). http://www.venturegiant.com/ (@AngelInvestorUK and @VentureGiant)
2). http://www.seedrs.com/ I have met some of the people who work here at an Angel Investment networking function that I went to @thomsonreuters
3).http://angelacade.me/ Angel Academe They were the ones that put on the above event, targets women who want to support tech entrepreneurs (@angelacademe)
4). http://www.thesupperclub.net/ The Supper Club (@TheSupperClubUK)
5). http://www.ukbusinessangelsassociation.org.uk/ UK Business Angels (@UKBAngels)

And for more in relation to this topic; Forbes has a great article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/geristengel/2012/02/29/social-enterprises-give-philanthropists-a-new-way-to-do-good/

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