When You Say Social Enterprise – Mike Hornsey

London Law Collective works with a range of early stage organisations; from newly incorporated companies, to owner-managed SMEs, to Series A start-ups. We’re particularly excited to work with organisations with a social purpose.  By this, we mean companies who understand the immense power of business to be a force for good.

Some of our clients describe themselves as being social enterprises, but there’s no specific legal definition of social enterprise. Most social enterprises have a clear and measurable social mission that the operations of the company are geared towards.  According to Social Enterprise UK, an important authority, social enterprises:

  • have a clear social and/or environmental mission set out in their governing documents;
  • generate the majority of their income through trade;
  • reinvest the majority of their profits; 
  • are autonomous of state; 
  • are majority controlled in the interests of the social mission; and
  • are accountable and transparent.

If your organisation complies with the above, then you firmly fall into the social enterprise camp by most definitions. 

If your organisation doesn’t comply with all of the above, it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong or not having a positive impact on the world. Healthcare companies obviously do a huge amount of good for society and are often run by passionate and dedicated healthcare professionals. These organisations can be entirely for profit, entirely non-profit, or can sit somewhere in between. 

The most important thing, perhaps, is to find a way to measure your impact and be transparent in the way you report it. If you do this, others will better understand your purpose and why you do what you do, which is useful for hiring great people, attracting fundraising or working with ideal customers.  

5th August 2020