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Social Enterprise Movement Faces Growth and New Challenges

Steve Dubb

Our director of Special Projects, Steve Dubb, writes on the growing trend of socially-oriented firms as it expands and adapts to a changing market.

Of course many, maybe most, would accept the contention that “you can do well by doing good.” The evidence is clear. Ryan, for example, is CEO of the Women’s Bean Project, a social enterprise that trains and employs about 60 chronically unemployed women a year who produce gourmet food products and jewelry, with roughly 75 percent of the program’s cost covered by business revenues. More broadly, a recent study, which examined social enterprises supported by the San Francisco–based social enterprise accelerator REDF, found that every dollar spent on social enterprises saves taxpayers $1.31. Taking into account the business generated by the social enterprises themselves, society as a whole enjoys $2.23 in benefits per dollar invested... Read full report.