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Developing a Sustainable Business

Business Strategy and Performance
16 February 2010

There are many issues facing social enterprises including the pressure being placed on the sector as a new form of business development by public bodies as well as the private sector as an effective alternate to traditional CSR.


"What a fantastic alternative to the traditional CSR activities of the international oil community in places like Iraq," said Adrian Green, adding:  "How much better would it have been if a commercially sustainable approach to some of the aid interventions in developing countries had been tried earlier." 


In a new text on social enterprise, Upper Quartile partner Frank Martin and his colleague look at what actions are needed to create and sustain a social enterprise. The text covers the nature and tasks within a social enterprise focussing on what is described as social leadership, the nature and management of risk within a community development business and a focus on the role of stakeholders.   


The authors examine how growth can be achieved through innovation and the use of different funding formats. Specific coverage is also given to a study of the role of social enterprises within public sector organisations and  there is a discussion on the nature of ‘enterprising’ social organisations including coverage of the international experience of such organisations and their strategies for success. Embedded within the text are short case studies on social enterprises that are both local to the UK and international in their focus.


"It is one thing to start a social enterprise; it is another altogether more difficult action to grow a social enterprise to be a sustainable business. To maintain sustainability social enterprises have the difficult task of achieving a balance between generating revenue and fulfilling their social mission," said Frank Martin.


A textbook by Frank Martin and Marcus Thompson entitled ‘Social Enterprise: Developing Sustainable Businesses’ will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in early 2010.