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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Social Enterprise For Dummies, 20 Jan. 2011
This review is from: How to be a Social Entrepreneur: Make Money and Change the World (Paperback)
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"Social enterprises are businesses trading for social and environmental purposes"- Social Enterprise Coalition

If you are a person with a passion for social change who wants a handbook on how to make a difference whilst breaking even, this may well help. It's a beginners guide to setting up a business/charity (including from within an established organisation) and is aimed at leaders, starters and those with a cause. If nothing dramatic has happened to, or been witnessed by you to fuel a passion, it's unlikely this book is for you. (The early chapters have direct questions to work through, such as 'Who are your heroes and in what ways do you want to be more like them?' which is directly followed in italics by 'The most successful people are those who know themselves well and are comfortable with the way they are'.)

Written in 2010, it appears to be written as a 'how to' for people engaging with Cameron's (and to a lesser extent New Labour's) Big Society model, with private enterprise taking on the supply of social services and becoming the medium for activism. The book discusses models of social enterprises that are part funded by grants, but sustainability through profit-based income is the main theme.

It describes the trend of consumer demand for ethics as well as service, giving increasing market advantage to corporations that are actively responsible, and so suggests a model to fund and growth in numbers of social enterprises. Corporate responsibility is discussed as a key to acquiring initial support, funding and business partners.

It's written like a textbook or a presentation with a summary and links at the end of each chapter.
Quite basic in tone, the text accessible and seminar style gives the book the tone of a motivational speaker. The bullet points have icons and without much work it could easily be re-jacketed as 'Social Enterprise for Dummies'.

It includes an interesting collection of concise case studies and examples, with links to websites for further information and contact details. The quotes at the start of each chapter are enjoyable, coming from a range of comics, entrepreneurs and authors.

This book is for you if you want to change the world and like business seminars, bullet points, boxouts, 'do and don't' lists, short examples, and summary bullets at the end of each chapter every 10-20 pages.
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Initial post: 30 Jan 2011, 17:29:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jan 2011, 17:30:13 GMT
'Social Enterprise for Dummies' - I rather like that, thanks!

Of course I am also a popular conference speaker and do run seminars; perhaps I need to persuade my publisher to let me record some Chapters as MP3 files via the iStore. Most importantly, the book is as you've spotted 'through and easy to read', just as the Guardian described it a couple of weeks ago.
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