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What is a Social Enterprise?

Social enterprise a term you may have heard a lot recently (and if you haven’t, I bet you’ll hear it a few times in 2019). As consumers become more conscious about their purchases and spending, brands have begun shifting their focus to show how they can meet this growing demand.

But how is a social enterprise different from a traditional business?
In short, a social enterprise exists primarily to serve a common good.

I Thought of You is an example of a brand that launched as social enterprise from day 1.

An existing business can adjust their mindset, values, and products from a traditional model to one that serves the common good, but it’s incredibly difficult once the business has already become established. There are many companies with a mission to give back (perhaps with a donation to a charity with each purchase), but it’s important to look deeper and ensure the product and creation process are also in-line with values you want to support.

Ensuring adequate revenue for operation is necessary for any organization, whether charity or business, and a social enterprise is no different in this regard. Having the funds to pay for business essentials like materials, labor, and packaging ensures long-term operational goals can continue to be met. Where this again differs from a traditional business, is where the profits go.

When profits exceed expenses, social enterprises take a constructive look at how to use those funds to further their mission instead of making shareholder distributions. We use our online shop and network of Curators to ensure a sustainable source of revenue to further our mission to support hardworking people in developing countries. In return, our Curators receive a commission of the sales their hard work lends to support this mission. We don’t take for granted that their dedication is one of the key elements of our growth. Our mission has continued to grow at a rate of 20% each year which has allowed us to give support to more artisan groups in more countries than ever before.

Our social enterprise has received praise and recognition from The Huffington Post, Vogue, Woman’s Day, and has even been listed as a “Top 10 Best Products to Sell From Home”. If you’d like to play a part in furthering our mission, we’d love to tell you more about the role you can have with us.