Business Plan Templates

Writing a Social Impact Business Plan

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A social impact business plan is the ultimate roadmap to success for any organization that seeks to make a profound and lasting change in the world. It is designed to provide stakeholders an understanding of the social mission that is behind the venture, and to clearly outline the goals, strategies, and initiatives that must be accomplished for the successful achievement of that mission. The social impact business plan is uniquely suited to helping businesses reach broader, sustainable solutions.

Writing a social impact business plan offers a multitude of benefits. It helps organizations to clarify their mission and goals to guide their activities forward. Additionally, if shared with the community, a social impact business plan can help build credibility, invite engagement with stakeholders, and spur others to collaborate in the mission. It also provides a compass for the business, so that it can invest time, money, and other resources more strategically. Lastly, it serves as an important tool in fundraising and acquiring grants.

In this blog post, we will look more closely at how to write a social impact business plan effectively, and the key considerations and steps involved in doing so. We will also answer common questions regarding the process.

Establish Goals for the Plan

Within the context of writing a social impact business plan, it is essential to establish goals before delving into the details of the plan. These goals should be crafted so that they serve to identify the problem the plan will aim to solve, provide desired outcomes, and set objectives and strategies that need to be followed.

Identifying the Problem the Plan Aims to Solve

The importance of formulating clear goals for a social impact plan depend entirely on identifying the problem the business plan is attempting to solve. This identification should be explicit and reflec the various social, economic, and cultural challenges that are seen in the business’ specific context. Whether the plan is targeting the reduction of unemployment in a specific geographic area, or attempting to raise awareness about educational issues, understanding the root cause of the problem is an absolute must.

Defining Desired Outcomes

In addition to identifying the root cause of the problem, it is of equal importance to define the desired outcomes. Having clear objectives in terms of what the business plan is attempting to achieve will serve as a crucial foundation when creating strategies and timeline milestones that need to be achieved. Questions to ask when discussing desired outcomes include: What will the business plan accomplish, who are the intended beneficiaries, and how significantly are these outcomes expected to increase the level of social impact?

Setting Objectives and Strategies

Once the above two steps have been established, it is essential to create detailed objectives and strategies that will need to be implemented to achieve the desired outcomes. Objectives should be concise yet explicit, for example, if the desired outcome is to improve access to safe drinking water, then the objective could focus on providing piped drinking water to a certain percentage of households within a certain period of time. Strategies are closely connected to objectives, yet provide a broader explanation of the tasks and activities required to achieve certain milestones. It is also important to set clearly defined timeframes for each of the objectives and tasks.

In conclusion, constructing social impact business plans require a comprehensive understanding of the problem that needs to be solved, the desired outcomes, and the objectives and strategies that must be follow. It is critical to gain an understanding of the key components of the business plan before creating the detailed sections that are necessary for a successful plan.

Defining the Market and Customer Segments

When creating a social impact business plan, a key element is defining the market and customer segments. This involves identifying the target customers, analyzing the market and understanding the competition in order to assess opportunities for success in the chosen market.

Identifying Target Customers

When considering the target customer, it is beneficial to conduct market research to get a better understanding of the target customer and the value they seek. It is also important to consider the target customers’ needs and preferences with reference to the product or service being offered. Furthermore, it is essential to have a clear definition of the target customer, taking into account demographic information such as age, gender, income and education.

Analyzing the Market

The next step is to analyze the overall market being served. This includes an assessment of the size of the market and its potential growth, as well as an analysis of market trends and patterns. Understanding the market is essential for developing an accurate business plan and ensuring that the company is able to capitalize on current market conditions.

Assessing Your Competition

Finally, it is important to understand the competitive landscape and identify who the current competitors are and how they are providing their products or services. This will help to inform your business plan and allow you to develop strategies that differentiate you from the competition. It is also beneficial to understand how the competition is pricing their products or services and what strategies they are using to retain and attract customers.

Creating Your Value Proposition

When developing a social impact business plan, your value proposition is a key component. Your value proposition helps identify how customers feel about your product or service, articulate what differentiates you from the competition, and helps you to define your mission and vision. Crafting a powerful value proposition can help to maximize profits and make your business successful.

Defining Your Mission and Vision

Your mission and vision are the basis of your value proposition. A mission statement defines your company’s purpose and goals for the future. It should accurately reflect the values and direction of your business, organized into a few brief sentences. Your vision is your long-term intention—it defines where you'd like to end up, and what success looks like for your company. It should be specific, achievable, and memorable. Creating these two statements will help shape your value proposition and ensure it ties in with the rest of your business plan.

Identifying Your Differentiation

To create an effective value proposition, you must look at the competition in the marketplace and understand how your company is different. Consider the benefits your product or service provides, what unique features sets it apart, and why customers should choose your company over others. You can take advantage of uncommon perspectives or ideas to stand out from the pack. This can also help you identify potential gaps in the market and gain further insight into your customer base.

Crafting Your Value Proposition

The final step of developing a value proposition is putting together all the elements you’ve already established. Your statement should include an overview of the differentiators from your competition and the benefits of your product or services. It should also provide potential customers an understanding of who you are and the values your business stands for. By combining all these elements into a concise and memorable statement, your value proposition will be able to capture the attention of customers and draw them towards your business.

  • Define your mission statement and vision, and how they align with your company values.
  • Identify how your product or service is different from your competitors.
  • Create a concise, memorable value proposition that captures the attention of customers.

Outlining Your Operating Model

Your operating model reflects the strategy of your social impact business and the way your organization will be managed. It outlines the resources you will use to achieve your goals, the processes and systems for managing day-to-day operations, and the organizational structure in which different stakeholders will interact.

  • Analysis of Resources

A review of your existing resources is essential. This includes analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your team, your financial commitments, and any other resources you plan to use. Additionally, any opportunities and threats in the environment that could affect your business need to be addressed.

  • Design of Operating Model

Once you have analyzed your resources and the business environment, you can begin developing your operating model. To do this, you must establish the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, determine the structure of the organization, and create a strategy for realizing your goals and objectives.

  • Establishing Processes and Systems

Now that you have a framework in place for your operating model, you can start forming processes and systems. This includes developing procedures, setting up data and time management systems, and creating goals to measure progress. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that safety protocols and security protocols are in place to protect sensitive data.

Planning Financing Options

An important part of creating a social impact business plan is to map out how you might finance the project. To ensure that all stakeholders involved in the venture are aware of their resources and the limitations, it is necessary to have a comprehensive outline of the types of financing available, and a plan of how you might go about accessing those funds. The following locations provide an overview of the financing that might be needed and different types of financing available.

Overview of Needed Financing

Before you can create a plan to finance the social impact business, you will need to consider the overall cost of the venture. This includes any resources necessary to get the project off the ground and running, such as materials, labor, and other investments. Additionally, it is important to consider how much money needs to be reserved for any marketing, advertising, and staffing costs associated with the project. Once these needs are identified, you can then compare them to the budget you have available to determine the overall financial needs of the project.

Types of Financing

When it comes to financing a social impact business venture, there are various options available. Below is a list of some of the common types of financing that might be invested into the venture:

  • Investment capital from venture capitalists or other private investors.
  • Funds from loans or lines of credit.
  • Grants from government or philanthropic organizations.
  • Crowdfunding from the public.

Each type of financing will have its own advantages and disadvantages, which must be considered when planning the financing for the social impact business. It is important to research each option to ensure that it meets the needs of the venture, and that it is an appropriate fit for the venture.

Preparing Business Financials

After you have identified the types of financing you are looking to receive, it is then necessary to create financial statements to back up the business. These statements should include a comprehensive breakdown of the expenses associated with the project, including any materials, labor, and services that will need to be paid for. Additionally, you should include any projected fluctuations in revenue over time, as well as any investments into the venture in order to accurately map out the financial needs of the project.

Having a comprehensive plan for the financing of the social impact business is essential to ensuring that all stakeholders understand their roles and obligations. By identifying the types of financing needed, and preparing the needed financial statements, you can create a sound plan for financing the venture from the outset.

Writing a Social Impact Business Plan is the essential first step in creating a social impact organization. The plan provides a roadmap of the organization’s priorities, goals, and objectives. As with any business plan, a Social Impact Business Plan should be tailored to the mission and goals of a particular organization.

Summary of the Components of the Plan

The Social Impact Business Plan should include information about the organization’s mission and history, its funding sources, its partnerships and collaborations, and its successes and failures. Additionally, the plan should define the organization’s values and long-term objectives, and describe its organizational structure, implementation plans, and monitoring methods. The plan should also include an evaluation plan and action items for the next fiscal year.

Benefits of Writing a Social Impact Business Plan

Writing a Social Impact Business Plan has many benefits. It can help the organization clarify its purpose and prioritize its activities. It also helps the organization track performance over time, identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them, and create systems to ensure that goals are being met. Additionally, creating a Social Impact Business Plan can help the organization attract investors and develop meaningful partnerships.

Reminders on What to Do After the Plan is Written

Now that the Social Impact Business Plan is written, it’s important to review it regularly and update it as needed. Additionally, the organization should make sure to address areas of risk or potential obstacles, and continue building relationships with partners and stakeholders. Finally, in order to ensure that the impact of the organization’s work is being felt, feedback from stakeholders should be sought throughout the implementation of the plan.

  • Review the plan regularly and update as needed.
  • Address areas of risk or potential obstacles.
  • Continue building relationships with partners and stakeholders.
  • Seek feedback from stakeholders throughout the plan’s implementation.

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25 Social Impact Examples from Brands Committed to Change

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Today’s consumers are not only interested in quality products—they want to support companies that show up for the local and global community in meaningful ways. 

Incorporating the pursuit of positive social impact into your business mission will better position you for success in both the long and short term. Not only will you have a hand in creating a more sustainable world—you will have a compelling story that connects with customers on a deeper level. 

What is social impact?

Social impact is the positive change your organization creates to address a pressing social issue. This can be a local or global effort to tackle things like climate change, racial inequity, hunger, poverty, homelessness, or any other problem your community is facing. 

Social impact can be about helping those in need, providing resources and advocacy, or it can be about lessening the negative effects of doing business. Luckily, when it comes to the world of social impact, the possibilities for how you can be a good steward in your community are endless. 

Want to learn more about the benefits of social impact?

Check out episode 2 of Impact Audio to learn how social impact can be good for people, the planet, and your business.

Why is social impact important?

For businesses with their eye on the bottom line, dedicating resources to a social impact program is a worthy investment. More and more customers are prioritizing a business’s commitment to better their community. Being vocal about your intentions and following through in a meaningful way is essential. 

In addition to improving customer sentiment, engaging in social good has taken on a new urgency. With economic disparities on the rise, the environmental effects of climate change setting in, and a racial reckoning at hand, businesses understand that their health and longevity is dependent on the world at large. 

Investing in sustainability and equity is not just good publicity—you are supporting the economic and social conditions that will make it possible for both businesses and communities to thrive. Everyone benefits from a more sustainable and just world.

Plus, leveraging your power as a business to do good will inspire others in the sector. Your ideas and actions can help motivate fellow businesses and customers to consider how they too can be part of the solution.

social impact business plan examples

How to create social impact

When you’re ready to incorporate social impact into your mission, you’ll need to choose an issue you want to focus on. Look to your organization’s values to help drive this decision-making process. Be sure to choose something that draws on your strengths. 

You can focus on improving your practices to do less harm or look outward to help the community through grantmaking or giving programs. Focus on empowerment and humility. Although creating social impact can be good for your brand, you never want your brand to be the focus of what you do. Center the community and show up in an authentic way. 

6 benefits of social impact businesses

To help you think about how and where to start, here are 25 social impact examples drawn from innovative corporate programs. The organizations below are dedicated to positive social impact. Some were founded with that as a central piece of their mission, while others launched initiatives along the way. Each one has a unique take on what it means to make a social investment and be an active and engaged member of the community.

Among the following organizations, 12 are Submittable customers (marked with an asterisk). They use Submittable to manage a variety of social impact programs, including grants, in-kind donations, events, scholarships, fellowships, and more. 

A+ Federal Credit Union: Giving back to teachers*

social impact business plan examples

Founded as a financial cooperative by a group of teachers in 1949, A+ Federal Credit Union has been a community hub for central Texas for over half a century. A+ has made it a priority to support educators and schools in the region through grants, scholarships, and other creative solutions. 

A+ Federal Credit Union has created grants for teachers to help them get resources and materials for their classrooms. The team at A+ has also awarded scholarships to students working toward degrees in education and launched custom cash-back debit cards that help support local schools. 

Anchal: Empowering artisans around the world

social impact business plan examples

Rooted in collaboration and empowerment, Anchal is a nonprofit that operates like a business. Based in Louisville, Kentucky and partnering with women across India, Anchal seeks to provide a safe and financially viable way for women to leave the dangerous and exploitative commercial sex trade. 

Rather than gift giving, Anchal equips artists with design training, the right equipment, financial education, health services, an international market, and fair wages. This allows artists to do creative and safe work while bringing home the salaries they need to support their families. 

social impact business plan examples

BioLite: Providing sustainable energy solutions for rural communities

With a team headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, BioLite has made it their goal to expand access to renewable energy to folks living in rural areas without a reliable electrical grid. BioLite’s team creates sustainable outdoor tools for lighting, cooking, and energy storage. 

By working with partners in 23 countries, BioLite has delivered their solutions to more than 1.7 million people across Africa and Asia, offsetting over 450,000 tons of carbon. When customers buy products from BioLite, they are supporting a larger vision of a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable world.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee: Building a business on inclusion

The original Bitty & Beau’s Coffee opened in Wilmington, North Carolina in January 2016. More than just a coffee shop, Bitty & Beau’s is dedicated to employing folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, employment can be a vehicle for independence and inclusion. With a workplace centered around community and education, Bitty & Beau’s has had incredible success, expanding from one small shop to five locations with over 120 employees.

Brooks Running: Making diversity a priority* 

social impact business plan examples

With headquarters in Seattle and Amsterdam, Brooks Running makes quality running gear. The team at Brooks Running supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in the running community by sponsoring running groups and creating an equitable environment for employees across races, genders, nationalities, sexual orientations, abilities, and circumstances. 

Brooks Running awards grants and sponsorships to groups such as Black Girls Run and Front Runners, an LGBTQ+ running club. The company also makes product and financial donations to under-resourced schools, which helps thousands of students get running. 

Charlie’s Heart Foundation: Uplifting families *

social impact business plan examples

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlie’s Heart Foundation seeks to help families stay together even through difficult life circumstances. The Foundation makes grants to fund small nonprofits doing work that aligns with their mission all around the world. 

For example, Charlie’s Heart has partnered with the Addis Jemari Family Empowerment Program to help families in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Addis Jemari Program builds relationships and provides support, including skills training, medical assistance, counseling, and financial literacy to families in need.  

Community Access: Providing peer support*

social impact business plan examples

Community Access , a nonprofit in New York City, is dedicated to expanding access to housing, training, and healing-focused services for people living with mental health concerns. For Community Access, peer training and support is a big component. 

Alongside all the work they do to provide housing and support, the Community Access team also founded Howie the Harp Advocacy Center. With a training bootcamp, the center equips folks for employment by building foundational and critical thinking skills. 

Dave’s Killer Bread: Offering a Second Chance

social impact business plan examples

First introduced at the Portland Farmers Market in 2005, Dave’s Killer Bread has gone on to explosive success. In addition to sourcing quality, organic ingredients, Dave’s Killer Bread believes in Second Chance Employment, hiring the best people regardless of criminal history. 

For folks who are looking to turn their lives around, steady, fulfilling employment with a strong sense of purpose and community allows them to build toward the future. Showcasing the positive outcomes of their Second Chance Employment program, Dave’s Killer Bread sets an example for other businesses. In fact, the company started a foundation to share their knowledge and help others put Second Chance Employment into practice in meaningful and sustainable ways. 

social impact business plan examples

Desolenator: Creating clean water solutions

With a laboratory based in the Netherlands, Desolenator is looking to upend the old methods of water purification with a method that harnesses solar energy in a new way. Desolenator’s system also does away with negative components of the old process—centralized industrial plants, toxic chemicals, and complex supply chains. 

Desolenator has partnered with companies like Carlsberg to create and support new clean water projects. The team at Desolenator has been implementing solutions around the world, including sites in West Bengal and Dubai. To learn more, check out this Submittable webinar, which features Louis Bleach, Development and Impact Lead at Desolenator. 

Éminence Organic Skin Care: Delivering quality meals to ill children

social impact business plan examples

Founded in Hungary in 1958, Éminence Organic Skin Care has built a reputation on quality organic ingredients. In 2013, Éminence launched the Éminence Kids Foundation to provide children in hospitals and long-term care facilities with organic fruits, vegetables, soups, and juices.

The Éminence Kids Foundation is organized around the belief that quality meals are an important part of treatment and healing. By partnering with local farms and enlisting volunteers, the Foundation has delivered thousands of pounds of food to ill children across the world.

The Gathering for Justice: Pursuing racial justice*

social impact business plan examples

Created by Harry Belafonte in 2005, The Gathering for Justice bridges activists across generations. With roots in Kingian nonviolence, this nonprofit aims to empower local leaders and build a grassroots movement toward racial justice.

With a specific focus on police accountability and a desire to end mass incarceration, The Gathering for Justice unites its members through conferences, training, workshops, and more. The Gathering also supports the community through grants and direct action campaigns. 

social impact business plan examples

Gibson: Championing the arts*

social impact business plan examples

Gibson has been making quality guitars for more than 125 years and has become a household name for aspiring musicians. To help focus its giving, Gibson launched the Gibson Foundation in 2002 with the aim to create, develop, and support music initiatives.

By leveraging what makes the company great, Gibson has found a variety of ways to have a positive impact. The team at Gibson partners with local nonprofits such as the Playing for Change Foundation, which operates 15 music programs across 11 countries. The Gibson Foundation also donates guitars to schools, sponsors benefit concerts, hosts raffles, and more. 

Hope Foods: Breaking the silence on suicide

social impact business plan examples

First introduced at the Boulder farmers market, Hope Foods ’s hummuses are now sold at grocery stores nationwide. The brand is focused on health, which includes mental well-being. Hope Foods aims to spread hope by breaking the silence around suicide and providing tools for people in crises. 

With a whole portion of the company website dedicated to tools and resources for people managing anxiety and depression, Hope Foods has found a simple way to be part of the conversation. Hope Foods has also partnered with Hope for the Day, an organization whose mission is suicide prevention and education. Through this partnership, Hope Foods supports events, provides resources, and creates programs to have a real impact. 

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: Empowering women through education*  

social impact business plan examples

Based in Georgia, the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and support for low-income women across the U.S. By providing financial assistance, this nonprofit gives women the scaffolding to help them get out of poverty and build for the future.  

For the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund, it’s all about finding the best way to help scholars. Funds awarded can go toward college tuition, but can also be used for other living expenses such as childcare, rent, or transportation. With 87% of scholars graduated or on the road toward graduation, this organization is making a huge impact in the lives of women and their families. 

Klean Kanteen: Going carbon neutral

social impact business plan examples

Klean Kanteen , a California-based company, is well known for quality water bottles and insulated containers. But the company has also developed a reputation for championing environmental causes. Over the past decade, Klean Kanteen has proven its dedication to reducing emissions, adhering to Climate Neutral ’s three-step process to become 100% carbon neutral.

Klean Kanteen came up with a strategic plan to reduce emissions. For the team, this included the 2017 project of installing 216 solar panels at corporate headquarters. The company also purchased carbon offsets and renewable energy credits, and donates 1% of sales through 1% for the Planet. 

LEGO: Committing to an ethical supply chain

As a global toy company, LEGO ’s policies can have an outsized effect on local communities. That’s why the company is committed to protecting people and the environment through every step of the LEGO-making process. 

LEGO lays out expectations for all suppliers, production sites, and partners in its “12 Responsible Business Principle” document. This document covers responsibilities around transparency and ethics as well as workers’ rights in terms of reasonable hours, fair wages, health and safety, child labor, family friendly workplaces, and environmental impact. With third-party audits and thorough reviews, LEGO ensures that it’s protecting both the people and the resources that help make their product. 

MiiR: Supporting sustainability with community partners*

social impact business plan examples

Based in Seattle,  MiiR  makes premium stainless steel vessels for coffee, beer, wine and food. The company was built around a social impact mission: every product sold helps fund giving projects, and by registering the Give Code on the bottom of their product, customers gain visibility into some of the work MiiR funds.

With design, generosity and sustainability at their core, MiiR adamantly and actively supports organizations working at the intersection of people and environment. They do this through strategic, trust-based grants to nonprofits whose work empowers communities while investing in the health of our natural environments. For example, MiiR teamed up with Water1st to implement 40 water, toilet, and hygiene education projects in Demra, Bangladesh in 2017. With programs around the world, including Idaho, Honduras, Zambia, Nepal, Seattle, and more, MiiR is finding creative ways to support its global community. 

social impact business plan examples

Miles4Migrants: Connecting migrants with their families

social impact business plan examples

Founded in September 2016, Miles4Migrants is a charity dedicated to helping refugees reunite with their families. Miles4Migrants provides travel support for displaced persons who have the approval to legally migrate but lack the financial resources to do so. 

Miles4Migrants relies on donated airline miles, credit card rewards, and cash to help give a new beginning to folks impacted by war, persecution, or disaster. The company works with more than 45 nonprofits to identify individuals who have legal approval to migrate but cannot afford the cost of a plane ticket. By getting creative with donations, Miles4Migrants allows more people to get involved and make an impact.

New Belgium: Awarding grants to local nonprofits*  

social impact business plan examples

Inspired by a bike ride through Belgium in 1988, New Belgium Brewing has built a brand on authenticity right from the start. With a commitment to community investment, New Belgium launched the New Belgium Family Foundation , which was recently renamed the Mighty Arrow Family Foundation. 

The Mighty Arrow Foundation administers grants to local nonprofits that are focused on climate change, food systems, land and water stewardship, and social justice. Since 2013, over $7 million has been awarded to grant programs with organizations such as Grid Alternatives, Poudre Valley Community Farms, EarthJustice, and Outdoor Afro. 

One World Children’s Fund: Tackling poverty*

social impact business plan examples

Founded in 2000 by three friends who had traveled from the Bay Area to India, One World Children’s Fund is a charity that partners with Indian organizations. By connecting with local nonprofits, One World Children’s Fund is able to directly support the work getting done on the ground in India to lift communities out of poverty. 

Serving as a bridge to funders in the U.S., One World Children’s Fund helps local groups overcome linguistic, geographic, technological, and financial barriers to accessing philanthropic aid. The Fund partners with groups such as the BESO Foundation in Uganda and Victor Hugo School in Haiti to ensure its investments make a meaningful impact on the local communities.

Want to launch your own social impact program?

Submittable makes it ease to put your ideas into action today.

PFund Foundation: Teaming up with LGBTQ leaders and allies*

social impact business plan examples

Founded in response to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, when the LGBTQ community was experiencing stigma and isolation, PFund Foundation aims to bring community members in the upper Midwest together. Today, the organization is still guided by its original mission, providing grants and scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied leaders. 

With a focus on community building and an awareness of the intersectionality of identities, PFund Foundation has made it a priority to invest in LGBTQ+BIPOC businesses. Through a business capacity fund, PFund has awarded $80,000 to small Minneapolis businesses. The Foundation also awards scholarships from $1,000 to $10,000 to LGBTQIA students in the region. 

Procter & Gamble: Leveraging innovation to provide clean water

social impact business plan examples

Procter & Gamble is a multinational consumer goods corporation. In 2004, when one of its scientists discovered a simple solution that would help expand access to clean water, P&G invested in the innovation and created the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program .

The program’s goal is to enable people anywhere in the world to purify water in a simple, affordable way. With just the P&G packet, a bucket, and a stick, 10 liters of dirty water can be turned into safe drinking water. With success stories from Kenya to Haiti to Myanmar, this simple solution has made an incredible difference for families around the world. 

Steam Whistle: Going green*

social impact business plan examples

Steam Whistle , an independent brewery in Canada, is finding that sometimes doing more means doing less. To help combat climate change and pollution on a local and global level, the brewery has implemented green practices. 

Steam Whistle has elected to use clean, renewable energy, plus sustainable solutions for cooling and heating. The team is strategic about water conservation, and their delivery trucks run on biodiesel. By finding opportunities to go green across the company, Steam Whistle has become a brand the community trusts. 

Thistle Farms: Providing a safe community for victims

social impact business plan examples

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Thistle Farms sells candles, jewelry, essential oils, and more. The business itself was founded to provide a safe community for women who have suffered abuse and a way out for survivors of trafficking, prostituion, and addiction. 

With a residential program that provides housing, healthcare, counseling, and two years of employment, women at Thistle Farms are able to overcome their pasts and look toward the future. The homes operate on a holistic model, building a community around trust, with women survivors providing leadership across all departments. 

World Central Kitchen: Stepping up during disasters

social impact business plan examples

Launched by acclaimed chef José Andrés after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, World Central Kitchen is an organization that shows up for local communities during disasters. The team at World Central Kitchen mobilizes to provide access to food in times of crisis, and they have become known for their rapid response. 

By partnering with local food trucks, restaurants, and aid groups, World Central Kitchen has provided meals to those in need after hurricanes, floods, conflicts, and other disasters. This model allows the organization to have an impact on those directly affected while also supporting the local restaurants that are often the lifeblood of a community. World Central Kitchen has helped reframe what it looks like to provide immediate relief, showing how food can be an incredible tool to provide comfort and bring people together. 

Taking the next step to create social impact 

As you’re looking to incorporate social impact into your mission, shifting from good intentions to solid strategy can seem like a big step. Articulating a clear mission, setting goals, defining success , and teaming up with the right people can help you take your ideas to the next level. Find inspiration from social impact examples like the ones above and then build something that is uniquely yours. 

Submittable is a social impact platform designed with you in mind. We make it easy to launch and manage your social impact program, streamlining processes so you can focus on the mission at hand. Find out more today. 

Laura Steele is a social impact writer and editor at Submittable focused on the world of grantmaking and corporate giving. Her work often explores the connection between technology, equity, and social good. She also writes fiction and nonfiction. You can read some of her stories and essays at .

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About Submittable

Submittable powers you with tools to launch, manage, measure and grow your social impact programs, locally and globally. From grants and scholarships to awards and CSR programs, we partner with you so you can start making a difference, fast. The start-to-finish platform makes your workflow smarter and more efficient, leading to better decisions and bigger impact. Easily report on success, and learn for the future—Submittable is flexible and powerful enough to grow alongside your programs.

Submittable is used by more than 11 thousand organizations, from major foundations and corporations to governments, higher education, and more, and has accepted nearly 20 million applications to date.


Social Impact Strategy - How to Create the Right Plan for Your Organization

A step-by-step strategic plan for corporate social impact and sustainability., what is social impact strategy a definition.

Social impact strategy is a process for planning, measuring, and attributing positive social change to an organization’s work and actions. For example, a sustainable food products company might choose to focus on:

  • Promoting organic, sustainable, and regenerative agriculture
  • Product, packaging, and supply chain sustainability
  • Individual and community well-being from its social impact programs — which could include corporate philanthrophy and giving, employee volunteering, donated meals and product, and other impact partnerships.

As we can already see in this example, there’s a relationship between an impact organization’s brand mission ("provide healthy, sustainable, and affordable food"), its operations (product sourcing and manufacturing, working with suppliers and distributors), measurement ("# of meals donated or funded," as one example metric), and positive social benefit (better health outcomes for customers, better and more equitable economic outcomes for suppliers, and a lower environmental or carbon footprint for the overall business), defined around a problem statement or theory of change strategy. Social impact strategy understands these relationships, considers all of an organization's different stakeholders (investors, executive team, employees, customers, suppliers, society), and develops a measureable plan to create positive social outcomes.

Social Impact Strategy Framework & Plan

In this sense, social impact strategy is a planning process across your entire company or organization:

  • A mission statement and/or theory of change
  • A broad understanding of the material impact and environmental footprint of your business, and the economic, social justice, equity, and climate implications
  • An operational social impact plan or roadmap
  • A social impact measurement framework (selected social impact metrics + indicators)
  • A supportive ecosystem of stakeholders and partners (including executive leadership, employee champions, and impact partners)
  • Measurement and data capacity (collection and capabilities)
  • Impact reporting, learning, and continuous improvement

But in a complex world of COVID, climate change, geopolitical conflict, and structural inequality, social impact strategy can be complex and often feel daunting. Here we outline an example social impact strategy and strategic approach to pursuing social impact at your organization.

Social Impact Strategy Step #1

Know who you are.

For organizations that are new or newer to social impact, corporate social responsibility (CSR), or environmental social governance (ESG), and important initial place to start is asking foundational questions about your organization, brand, and values.

Who - Who are we as a company and a brand? What can (and should) we care about? Where in our industry, community, and/or ecosystem can we be stewards? For example, a sustainable food company may want to focus on sustainable farming and feeding those in need, whereas a sustainable consumer products company may want to focus on reducing plastic and environmental harm from its supply chain. Your social impact strategy and vision need to be consistent with your brand. Also make sure to answer who in the organization will be involved, and what role will they place. Identify your supporters and champions. If you're not in executive leadership yourself, make sure you identify a strategic ally and decision-maker in your organization who can provide you with the buy-in, budget, and authority to push impact work forward.

Why - Why does positive social impact matter to us? Does it matter to the founders? Are customers or employees demanding it? It is connected to our business model? It's important to be very honest with yourself here. Sustainability, "brand purpose," or "being green" can help build employer brand, help with talent recruiting, productivity, and retention, and often increase sales, but it needs to be sincere and consistent, or your stakeholders will notice.

How - How is the third pillar of a successful social impact strategy. In most cases, you'll want to take a portfolio approach as an organization. This will often include your people (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, or JEDI), products (what's the environmental footprint and materiality of what we sell?), partners (non-profits or other types of impact partners or suppliers), and resource usage (energy, water, facilities, raw materials). Where and how will you impact each one? Which should be prioritized first? What's your operating plan?

Answering these questions (often done alongside a formal materiality assessment) will give you the foundational guidelines and ideas for creating your social impact strategy.

Social Impact Strategy Step #2

Look at the full impact picture.

Social impact and sustainability are highly cross-functional or intersectional disciplines that require a lot of thinking about the broader world (as well as local conditions and impacts). You'll likely want to consider identity attributes or angles among communities that exist inside and outside your organization like race, gender, health, wellness, and social class. You should also consider macroeconomic or environmental considerations like COVID, climate change, education, or wealth inequality. Some will be more directly applicable to your organization, some perhaps less, but it's important to recognize every company exists in a broader social context. Ignore this truth at your own peril.

It can be also be helpful up front to recognize the overlap-yet-distinction between social impact and environmental sustainability within your overall strategy. As a simple example, consider Amazon, the world's most valuable company, 7th largest global employer, and largest provider of cloud hosting technology via Amazon Web Services (AWS). In Amazon's core e-commerce (including , which rounds up charitable donations) and package delivery business, there are important equity considerations around worker rights, labor standards, and protections, particularly for its many warehouse employees. Additionally, Amazon has a sizeable carbon footprint from delivery transportation miles, as well as other factors like boxes and packaging. By comparison, AWS has a very different environmental footprint: the energy consumption from its servers. AWS's data centers consume more than an estimated 4 million megawatt hours (MWh) of power per year, the equivalent of 380,000 U.S. households or a city the size of Cleveland, Minneapolis, or Oakland. Amazon is publicly been working to offset this energy usage by purchasing renewable energy.

AWS Annual CO 2 Footprint Comparison

Source: Brightest, AWS, EPA. Data as of: January 3, 2019.

Without even going that deep into Amazon's business operations, we see many different areas and opportunities for the company to pursue a social impact strategy (and a lot of places it can improve and do better). The goal of a materiality assessment is to use research and data to identify what should matter most to your social impact strategy in order to help you resource, plan, and prioritize.

At a minimum, make sure to consider:

  • Governance - your corporate or non-profit structure, control, shareholder rights, shareholder JEDI, and distribution of shareholder value to employees
  • Workers - fair and just labor practices, compensation, workplace diversity (JEDI), employee volunteering, and culture indicators
  • Community - your organization's interactions and impact on the broader community
  • Environment - the company's sustainability practices, measurement, and environmental impact and footprint
  • Customers - how customer-centric the company is, how it measures customer success and satisfication, and who the company serves and works with
  • Partners & Suppliers - who else contributes to your business outcomes and impact? How do they measure up against these standards?

Social Impact Strategy Step #3

Plan your impact strategy.

Just like a marketing campaign, sales strategy, or operational plan, think of your social impact strategy like a long-term project, roadmap, or timeline. Be realistic, and focus on priority improvement areas first. For example, a technology company or startup with a (relatively) low environmental footprint may want to start with corporate philanthropy.

After brand strategy calibration and a materiality assessment, month one of social impact operations could focus on identifying the right non-profit partners to make grants to, and designing a grant system. That way, the company reinvests profits in organizations who are already experts in doing the type of impact work it's looking to support. The next step could be setting up employee wellness and volunteering programs.

By comparison, a retail apparel company might choose to focus on its material sourcing and supply chain, since the largest, material environmental impact of its business is its products. This is why materiality assessments and upfront strategic planning matter: every company's journey (and ideal strategy) in social impact will be slightly different.

Social Impact Strategy Step #4

Choose an impact measurement strategy.

You can't improve what you can't measure, and social impact measurement is a key part of a successful social impact strategy: understanding your results.

For organizations that are newer to social impact, corporate social responsibility (CSR), or environmental social governance (ESG), existing measurement frameworks and standards like the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) or B Corp framework can be a helpful way to establish program guidelines, measurement strategy, and focus data collection. In most cases, it's best to start with an existing framework that fits your organizations work, goals, and measurement capacity, then use a system (like Brightest ) to help you measure work and results faster, easier, and more accurately. But it's also fine if you want to design your own custom system that fits your business.

For a comparison of leading impact measurement frameworks, read our free Social Impact Measurement 101 Guide .

Social Impact Strategy Step #5

Make it happen.

Now for the most fun and rewarding part: bringing your strategy to life and making positive social impact happen. Since you've already read this far (and that's quite a lot), we'll leave operational social impact playbook materials for future resources we'll be publishing at Brightest. And don't forget: it's ok to start small, it often snowballs into big, positive outcomes.

If you need help with social impact strategy or measurement at any point in your process, our platform and advisory services can support you to establish the right social impact foundation and system for your organization. You're welcome to contact us any time for advice, to suggest helpful content topics, or learn more about our work.

We wish you all the best as you continue your social impact journey. A central part of our mission here at Brightest is enabling better data-driven decision-making (and actions) for good.

Need Impact Strategy Help ?

We bring deep technology, data, and consultative domain expertise to social impact operations and measurement, and are always here to help..

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Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact: A How-To Guide

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Andrew Wolk

Kelly Kreitz

Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact

Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact draws on Root Cause’s unique business planning methodology, developed through consulting engagements with dozens of organizations, and through the organization’s experience with the Root Cause social enterprises that it has started and grown. The guide is the first in a series of Root Cause How-to Guides, which provide practical advice for organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors dedicated to solving social problems.

  • Define organizational focus and strategy and establish a clear road map;
  • Build a financially sustainable model by creating a plan to establish reliable streams of philanthropic support, earned income, and/or in-kind resources;
  • Establish rigorous methods of measuring impact for the organization and its stakeholders;
  • Make data-driven decisions that lead to improvements to the organization and its activities;
  • Build partnerships with stakeholders in all three sectors — public, private, and nonprofit.

Key features include a glossary of business planning terms, plus an outline, sample work plan, and sample business plan for enduring social impact.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction to business planning for enduring social impact
  • Planning to plan
  • Articulating a social impact model
  • Developing an implementation strategy
  • Finalizing your business plan & putting it into action

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2007943147

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) paper: 978-0-615-18284-1

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Social-Impact Efforts That Create Real Value

  • George Serafeim

social impact business plan examples

Companies don’t win over investors just by issuing sustainability reports and engaging in other standard ESG practices. What they need to do, says Harvard Business School’s George Serafeim, is integrate ESG efforts into strategy and operations. He makes five recommendations: Identify the material issues in your industry and develop initiatives that set your firm apart from rivals; create accountability mechanisms to ensure the board’s commitment; infuse the whole organization with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm for sustainability and good governance; decentralize ESG activities throughout your operations; and communicate regularly and transparently with investors about ESG matters.

The Board’s Role in Sustainability

To build long-term profitability, boards of directors must pay more attention to ESG concerns—and a compelling corporate purpose should underpin their efforts. That’s the contention of the authors, who offer a research-based framework called SCORE to guide boards’ actions: Simplify —define and communicate your purpose clearly; Connect —link your purpose to strategy and capital allocation decisions; Own —ensure that all employees embrace the firm’s mission and have the means to deliver on it; Reward —tie executive compensation to metrics that include ESG performance; Exemplify —use data and narrative accounts to show stakeholders how you’re achieving your purpose and improving sustainability.

The Challenge of Rating ESG Performance

Over the past decade, more and more institutional investors have taken an interest in companies’ records on environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and governance. In this article the head of ESG research at Sustainalytics, which gathers information on tens of thousands of companies worldwide, explains why this data matters and how his firm arrives at its performance ratings. The process involves identifying the risks a company faces, assessing how well it’s managing them, and engaging in follow-up dialogue to ensure accurate analysis. MacMahon also discusses why certain companies’ ratings have improved or worsened and how to put your best foot forward.

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They must be woven into your strategy and differentiate your company.

Idea in Brief

The Situation

Many CEOs feel as if they’re doing everything that’s asked of them in terms of improving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. Yet their firms aren’t being rewarded by capital markets.

The Insight

Following the crowd on ESG activities is not the answer. To gain a competitive advantage, firms should instead focus on the ESG issues that are financially material for them and pursue those in distinctive ways.

The Actions

Management should take five steps: Adopt strategic ESG practices; create accountability structures for ESG integration; identify a corporate purpose and build a culture around it; make operational changes to ensure that the ESG strategy is successfully executed; and commit to transparency and relationship building with investors.

Until the mid-2010s few investors paid attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data—information about companies’ carbon footprints, labor policies, board makeup, and so forth. Today the data is widely used by investors. Some screen out poor ESG performers, assuming that the factors that cause companies to receive low ESG ratings will result in weak financial results. Some seek out high ESG performers, expecting exemplary ESG behaviors to drive superior financial results, or wishing, for ethical reasons, to invest only in “green funds.” Other investors incorporate ESG data into fundamental analysis. And some use the data as activists, investing and then urging companies to clean up their acts.

A new framework for getting directors behind ESG efforts

  • GS George Serafeim is the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where he leads the Climate and Sustainability Impact AI Lab. Follow him on Twitter @georgeserafeim

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Business and capital have the power to be forces for good. Our social impact consulting team helps clients transform their core business to create positive economic, environmental, and societal impact in ways that are profitable for the long term.

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Partnership is at the heart of our social impact approach, and it is key to tackling complex social and environmental challenges. We seek to maximize our own social impact by enriching and expanding our partnerships, fostering system-level coalitions, and establishing social impact as a core competency that is woven into business strategies and thus yield quantifiable returns.

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Our social impact consulting drives major initiatives across a broad spectrum of global challenges to shape a better future. Our work is closely  aligned with addressing and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs).

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Our Client Work Success in Social Impact

In this time of accelerating systematic change, customers, employees, and investors increasingly demand that organizations act in socially aware and sustainable ways and demonstrate that they are doing so. It is necessary, strategic, and profitable for organizations to have a positive social impact because driving such change is a source of sustainable competitive advantage. For instance, biopharma companies that conduct ethical human clinical trials and expand access to medications have margins that are 6.7 percentage points higher, and valuations that are 12% greater, than the average for the industry. We help organizations to plan, implement, assess, and communicate their social impact initiatives and social impact strategy. Examples of our social impact consulting work include:


We joined forces with the Rwanda Development Board to help the country attract private investors to create new jobs. As a direct result, more than $130 million was invested and 9,000 jobs were created; an additional 20,000 jobs were created indirectly.


We  supported the Indian state of Haryana  as they quickly and sustainably boosted the quality of education for millions of students, which led to an immediate 15% savings in the state’s education budget.

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We created   three principles to guide Africa’s COVID-19 response , based on our work supporting COVID-19 responses around the world and our broad range of support for governments in Africa.

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We partner with leading organizations to mobilize shared expertise and to develop their organizational strengths toward solving some of the world's most pressing challenges.

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Socially Transformative Business Is Smart Business

Done right, ESG can drive positive social impact that reinforces a business’s competitive advantage and contributes to a better world.

Companies Still Need ESG—But They Must Do It Right

BCG’s Rich Hutchinson talks about socially transformative businesses and how they can create competitive advantage while making a positive impact on the world.

The Sustainable Advantage: Insights on Creating Competitive Advantage Through Sustainability

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Social Enterprise Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

social enterprise business plan template

Social Enterprise Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their social enterprise businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a social enterprise business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your social enterprise business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a social enterprise business, or grow your existing social enterprise business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your social enterprise business in order to improve your chances of success. Your social enterprise business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Social Enterprise Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a social enterprise business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for social enterprise businesses.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Social Enterprise

If you want to start a social enterprise business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your social enterprise business plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of social enterprise business you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a social enterprise business that you would like to grow, or are you operating social enterprise businesses in multiple markets?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the social enterprise industry. Discuss the type of social enterprise business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of social enterprise business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of social enterprise businesses:

  • Trading social enterprise : this type of social enterprise refers to cooperatives, collectives, and other organizations that are worker or employee-owned. This type of ownership structure allows a higher degree of economic resiliency compared to a traditional organization.
  • Financial social enterprise: this type of social enterprise includes credit unions, cooperative banks, and revolving loan funds, which are all membership-owned. In other words, the money deposited from a member is used to help other members who may need financial assistance.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charity social enterprise: this type of social enterprise businesses are usually created to support a specific social, environmental, or political goal. The profits are used to further the social or environmental aims of the organization or to provide salaries for people who provide free services to specific groups of people.

In addition to explaining the type of social enterprise business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, number of positive reviews, reaching X amount of clients served, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the social enterprise industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the social enterprise industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your social enterprise business plan:

  • How big is the social enterprise industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your social enterprise business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your social enterprise business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments:non-profits, individuals, social causes, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of social enterprise business you operate. Clearly, social causes would respond to different marketing promotions than individuals needing financial assistance, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other social enterprise companies. 

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes social enterprise companies such as brand awareness companies, community organizations, government programs, etc.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other social enterprises with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be social enterprise businesses located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What clients or causes do they serve?
  • What type of social enterprise company are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide social enterprise services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will your social enterprise business help more people in need?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a social enterprise business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of social enterprise company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to social enterprise services, will you provide access to funding, marketing, counseling, and/or brand awareness, and any other services?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your social enterprise company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your social enterprise business located near an office complex, a university, an urban setting, or a busy neighborhood, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your social enterprise marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Website and SEO marketing
  • Community events
  • Commercials
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your social enterprise business, including communicating with clients, marketing, accounting, accounts payable, fundraising, and searching for grant opportunities.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to obtain your XXth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your social enterprise business to a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your social enterprise business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company. 

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing social enterprises. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a social enterprise business or are connected to a wide network of professional organizations that frequently tend to donate to various causes.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you take on one new service at a time or multiple services ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your social enterprise business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. 

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a social enterprise business:

  • Cost of social enterprise services
  • Cost of overhead, marketing, and outreach
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your social enterprise outline of services, types of customer and/or cause you will be targeting, and the areas your social enterprise business will serve.

Putting together a business plan for your social enterprise business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the social enterprise industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful social enterprise business.

Social Enterprise Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my social enterprise business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Social Enterprise Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of social enterprise business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a social enterprise business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of social enterprise businesses?

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5 Examples of Corporate Social Responsibility That Were Successful

Balancing People and Profit

  • 06 Jun 2019

Business is about more than just making a profit. Climate change, economic inequality, and other global challenges that impact communities worldwide have compelled companies to be purpose-driven and contribute to the greater good .

In a recent study by Deloitte , 93 percent of business leaders said they believe companies aren't just employers, but stewards of society. In addition, 95 percent reported they’re planning to take a stronger stance on large-scale issues in the coming years and devote significant resources to socially responsible initiatives. With more CEOs turning their focus to the long term, it’s important to consider what you can do in your career to make an impact .

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What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business model in which for-profit companies seek ways to create social and environmental benefits while pursuing organizational goals, like revenue growth and maximizing shareholder value .

Today’s organizations are implementing extensive corporate social responsibility programs, with many companies dedicating C-level executive roles and entire departments to social and environmental initiatives. These executives are commonly referred to as a chief officer of corporate social responsibility or chief sustainability officer (CSO).

There are many types of corporate social responsibility and CSR might look different for each organization, but the end goal is always the same: Do well by doing good . Companies that embrace corporate social responsibility aim to maintain profitability while supporting a larger purpose.

Rather than simply focusing on generating profit, or the bottom line, socially responsible companies are concerned with the triple bottom line , which considers the impact that business decisions have on profit, people, and the planet.

It’s no coincidence that some of today’s most profitable organizations are also socially responsible. Here are five examples of successful corporate social responsibility you can use to drive social change at your organization.

5 Corporate Social Responsibility Examples

1. lego’s commitment to sustainability.

As one of the most reputable companies in the world, Lego aims to not only help children develop through creative play, but foster a healthy planet.

Lego is the first, and only, toy company to be named a World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers Partner , marking its pledge to reduce its carbon impact. And its commitment to sustainability extends beyond its partnerships.

By 2030, the toymaker plans to use environmentally friendly materials to produce all of its core products and packaging—and it’s already taken key steps to achieve that goal.

Over the course of 2013 and 2014, Lego shrunk its box sizes by 14 percent , saving approximately 7,000 tons of cardboard. Then, in 2018, the company introduced 150 botanical pieces made from sustainably sourced sugarcane —a break from the petroleum-based plastic typically used to produce the company’s signature building blocks. The company has also recently committed to removing all single-use plastic packaging from its materials by 2025, among other initiatives .

Along with these changes, the toymaker has committed to investing $164 million into its Sustainable Materials Center , where researchers are experimenting with bio-based materials that can be implemented into the production process.

Through all of these initiatives, Lego is well on its way to tackling pressing environmental challenges and furthering its mission to help build a more sustainable future.

Related : What Does "Sustainability" Mean in Business?

2. Salesforce’s 1-1-1 Philanthropic Model

Beyond being a leader in the technology space, cloud-based software giant Salesforce is a trailblazer in the realm of corporate philanthropy.

Since its outset, the company has championed its 1-1-1 philanthropic model , which involves giving one percent of product, one percent of equity, and one percent of employees’ time to communities and the nonprofit sector.

To date, Salesforce employees have logged more than 5 million volunteer hours . Not only that, but the company has awarded upwards of $406 million in grants and donated to more than 40,000 nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

In addition, through its work with San Francisco Unified and Oakland Unified School Districts, Salesforce has helped reduce algebra repeat rates and contributed to a high percentage of students receiving A’s or B’s in computer science classes.

As the company’s revenue continues to grow, Salesforce stands as a prime example of the idea that profit-making and social impact initiatives don’t have to be at odds with one another.

3. Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission

At Ben & Jerry’s, positively impacting society is just as important as producing premium ice cream.

In 2012, the company became a certified B Corporation , a business that balances purpose and profit by meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

As part of its overarching commitment to leading with progressive values, the ice cream maker established the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 1985, an organization dedicated to supporting grassroots movements that drive social change.

Each year, the foundation awards approximately $2.5 million in grants to organizations in Vermont and across the United States. Grant recipients have included the United Workers Association, a human rights group striving to end poverty, and the Clean Air Coalition, an environmental health and justice organization based in New York.

The foundation’s work earned it a National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Award in 2014, and it continues to sponsor efforts to find solutions to systemic problems at both local and national levels.

Related : How to Create Social Change: 4 Business Strategies

4. Levi Strauss’s Social Impact

In addition to being one of the most successful fashion brands in history, Levi’s is also one of the first to push for a more ethical and sustainable supply chain.

In 1991, the brand created its Terms of Engagement , which established its global code of conduct regarding its supply chain and set standards for workers’ rights, a safe work environment, and an environmentally-friendly production process.

To maintain its commitment in a changing world, Levi’s regularly updates its Terms of Engagement. In 2011, on the 20th anniversary of its code of conduct, Levi’s announced its Worker Well-being initiative to implement further programs focused on the health and well-being of supply chain workers.

Since 2011, the Worker Well-being initiative has been expanded to 12 countries and more than 100,000 workers have benefited from it. In 2016, the brand scaled up the initiative, vowing to expand the program to more than 300,000 workers and produce more than 80 percent of its product in Worker Well-being factories by 2025.

For its continued efforts to maintain the well-being of its people and the environment, Levi’s was named one of Engage for Good’s 2020 Golden Halo Award winners, which is the highest honor reserved for socially responsible companies.

5. Starbucks’s Commitment to Ethical Sourcing

Starbucks launched its first corporate social responsibility report in 2002 with the goal of becoming as well-known for its CSR initiatives as for its products. One of the ways the brand has fulfilled this goal is through ethical sourcing.

In 2015, Starbucks verified that 99 percent of its coffee supply chain is ethically sourced , and it seeks to boost that figure to 100 percent through continued efforts and partnerships with local coffee farmers and organizations.

The brand bases its approach on Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices , one of the coffee industry’s first set of ethical sourcing standards created in collaboration with Conservation International . CAFE assesses coffee farms against specific economic, social, and environmental standards, ensuring Starbucks can source its product while maintaining a positive social impact.

For its work, Starbucks was named one of the world’s most ethical companies in 2021 by Ethisphere.

Which HBS Online Business in Society Course is Right for You? | Download Your Free Flowchart

The Value of Being Socially Responsible

As these firms demonstrate , a deep and abiding commitment to corporate social responsibility can pay dividends. By learning from these initiatives and taking a values-driven approach to business, you can help your organization thrive and grow, even as it confronts global challenges.

Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the broader social and political landscape in which your organization operates? Explore our three-week Sustainable Business Strategy course and other online courses regarding business in society to learn more about how business can be a catalyst for system-level change.

This post was updated on April 15, 2022. It was originally published on June 6, 2019.

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21 Startup Ideas for Social Entrepreneurs

Best Social Enterprise Ideas to Launch Today

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  • Startup Ideas
  • Best Startup Ideas
  • Social Entrepreneurs

Last Updated: September 29, 2023 By TRUiC Team

If you’re someone who wants to make a difference in your community and the world, you might just be the ideal social entrepreneur. Social entrepreneurs are business owners that develop a startup with the goal to make a social or environmental impact.

Whether it’s building a tool or providing a service for existing charities — a social enterprise is a much-needed part of the modern American fabric. Learn more about how to start a social startup by reading our list of the top social entrepreneurship ideas, and start making a positive change today.

Also Recommended: Check out our full list of the best startup ideas and our guide on how to start a startup .

Social Entrepreneurship Ideas

The social enterprise space is phenomenally diverse and presents a wide range of startup ideas. If you're looking to help implement real change in the world and simultaneously start a successful business, then you'll definitely want to take a look at the social entrepreneurship ideas we've sourced.  

From helping to fund other startups to breaking down the barriers to education, there's a social enterprise idea for everyone.

1. Crowdfunding Platform

Crowdfunding platforms are a useful tool for entrepreneurs, charitable causes, and individuals to raise money and reach their financial goals. To create a successful crowdfunding platform that is able to compete with other trusted platforms, you’ll need to create a unique idea or function that sets your platform apart. This could be a network of investors, advertisement opportunities, or specified crowdfunding topics such as real estate.

2. Food Waste Solution

With at least one-quarter of the food produced in the US going to waste every year, food waste solutions are a booming part of the startup space. Finding ways to recycle waste food and put it to good use is not just beneficial to those who may be struggling financially, it's also become a trendy way for higher-income consumers to prove their commitment to sustainability and reduce their own carbon footprint. The food waste solution market is not just consumer-focused, though, because these startups are simultaneously helping food producers to improve their profit margin. A knowledge of the FMCG space is certainly beneficial if you would like to venture into this industry.  

Also recommended: Get inspired by these startups addressing food waste and hunger .

3. Clean Energy

Next up on our list of social enterprise ideas is clean energy. It’s no secret that clean energy is growing in both popularity and necessity. A clean energy startup can be either a product or service that takes a green approach to produce energy such as electricity-generating bicycles or solar paneling. Developing concepts and executing your business idea will require either knowledge of clean energy or the support of someone who has this knowledge.

Recommended:  Check out our full list of  startup ideas for green entrepreneurs .

4. Microlending Business

A microlending business loans small amounts of money to people who cannot qualify for loans through other institutions. Normally, this startup charges a fairly high interest rate to its customers to mitigate risk if the borrower defaults on their loan. In underserved areas, microlending businesses can help provide communities with opportunities to introduce much-needed resources to their local communities.

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5. Ethical Online Marketplace

With more people at home than ever, the convenience of shopping online has grown in popularity. However, this doesn’t mean that the marketplaces available are providing products that are ethically sourced, made, or sold. That’s where you come in! An online ethical marketplace provides a platform for ethically made goods to be found and purchased by interested consumers.

6. Fair Trade Subscription Box

There are subscription boxes for everything these days. To lower costs, however, many businesses opt to sell products that the makers aren’t adequately compensated for. A fair trade subscription box startup provides the ease and excitement of a subscription box while introducing consumers to fairly traded, handcrafted products that they can feel good about purchasing.

7. Edtech Startup

Next on our list of social entrepreneurship ideas is edtech. With more schools adjusting to online teaching, an edtech startup could give students an easier route to education. Whether it is for K-12 education or college-level students, the time to develop technology to enhance online learning is now.

Make this startup unique and socially responsible by doing your research on the problems schools face today with their eLearning software or equipment, and work to develop a product that smoothes the creases in online teaching.

Learn more about starting an edtech startup from the founders of  Trashbots !

Also recommended: Check out our full list of  startup ideas for education entrepreneurs .

8. Special Needs Services

Providing services to special needs communities can be a great way to make the world a better place and give those living in difficult circumstances the help they need at the same time. Special needs can mean anything from the elderly to those living with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. The first step to founding a special needs service startup is identifying a problem that needs to be solved. Some recent special needs services startups that have hit the mark include Bluereo, which developed a specialized toothbrush for people with disabilities who struggle with the mouth movements associated with brushing their teeth. If you or someone you are close to lives with special needs, you may be uniquely qualified to found a startup in this space.

9. Sustainable Materials 

The demand for sustainable materials has increased dramatically in the last decade. Construction companies, product manufacturers, and consumers alike all want to know that the products they make and buy are not contributing to the decimation of resources anywhere in the world. As a result, many new startups are taking on the challenge of providing sustainable building and production materials. Many sustainable material startups use big data and AI to create their offering and provide raw materials that reduce production costs and are less harmful to the environment.

Check out our interview with the founder of sustainable materials startup Hempitecture .

10. Educational Travel

Educational travel is a combination of well-planned tours, location visits, and cultural immersion, all set with clear learning objectives in mind. With the world embracing travel again, this space is booming, and there is opportunity for startups at every level. Whether you're building an app that helps to plan educational travel trips or creating a service that hosts such tours, there's no doubt that, with a bit of tourism experience, you can definitely find a niche in this space.

Check out our interview with the founder of travel startup Citycatt .

11. Clean Beauty Products

The clean beauty market has seen significant growth in the last few years, and that upward trend is not expected to stop any time soon. Clean beauty products are created mindfully without toxic ingredients and with clear labeling that gives the consumer peace of mind about what they are purchasing. Much of this segment is focused on the use of natural ingredients rather than chemicals or man-made components. Opportunity in this sector will depend on your market accessibility and the magnitude of the problem you're solving. Often, solutions for those who experience adverse reactions to certain products are your best bet for a successful offering.

Recommended:  Get inspired by these clean beauty startups .

12. Water Purification

Unfortunately, there are plenty of places in the US and across the globe that don't have access to safe, healthy drinking water. Your startup could be the answer to providing people with usable water. Whether you develop a portable water purification tool or an entire system for homes and businesses, this startup idea has the potential for high profits as well as a strong social impact.

Launching your own company? Build your startup website today with GoDaddy !

13. Online Courses

You probably know the saying that knowledge is power, so it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have access to a good education. Sharing knowledge through online courses makes education more accessible and provides a service for people interested in learning the skills you have to teach them.

To make this a socially-focused startup idea, gear your online courses towards teaching valuable skills that can help students find employment or enhance their quality of life.

14. Sustainable Clothing Line

Fashion is one of the most wasteful industries on the planet. If you’re thinking about starting a clothing line, consider making it a sustainable one! A sustainable clothing line can make an impact by creating thoughtful garments that are long-lasting and ethically made out of sustainable materials such as linen or hemp.

Get inspired by these sustainable clothing startups .

15. Charity App

Creating an app is one of the most popular startup ideas. Make philanthropy more accessible by creating a charity app. This could be an easy space to crowdfund for charities, make donations, or fulfill a need in your community. Since most adults have smartphones, a charity app startup can provide an easier way for charities to gain the funding and support they need in order to help the people who need it most.

16. Climate Tech Solution

There's no doubt that climate change is a hot topic right now and rightfully so. With the powerful technology we have access to in terms of AI and big data, it seems fitting that this tech should be applied to one of the most important issues facing the human race. If you're interested in joining the climate tech solution space as a startup, there are two prerequisites: your offering needs to solve a problem that contributes to climate change, and it needs to be a tech-based solution.

Check out our interview with the founder of climate tech startup Bluebird Climate .

17. Farm-to-Table Startup

As consumers become more aware of the impact that food choices have on their health and on the environment, sourcing produce directly from farms, essentially cutting out the large supermarket chains, has become a very popular trend. Farm-to-table startups have a wide range in which to operate. There is tech required for ecommerce and inventory management on the farm's end, and on the customer's end, there are online marketplaces, delivery methods, and payment solutions to explore. 

18. Volunteering Platform

There are many people in the world who have the time and inclination to volunteer but simply don't know where to start. Volunteering platforms can help steer these people in the right direction and benefit charitable organizations at the same time. Founding a volunteering platform startup can begin quite simply with scope for growth. Niches in this space can include specific locations, types of organizations, forms of volunteer work, and even certain target markets such as corporates who want to get their team members involved in volunteering as a team-building activity.

19. Fintech Startup

A fintech startup is defined by the combination of technology with a financial services focus on improving service delivery to businesses or consumers within the space. This startup offers a lot of potential for entrepreneurs who have a creative idea to make finances and investing more attainable. Often, founders who are successful in this space have encountered some type of breakdown in service delivery in the financial sector themselves and found a solution which they then package as an offering. 

Check out our interview with fintech startup Do Good Points !

20. Smart Mobility

Moving people and products around in a sustainable and emission-friendly manner has become an important focus. With more people choosing not to drive their own vehicles, smart mobility solutions are in demand. Uber proved this when they disrupted the space with their solution, and since then, more smart mobility entrepreneurs have found ways to improve upon this. In this space, you can choose to focus on any point in the spectrum, from pedestrian safety to direction services and even last-mile delivery.  

21. Mental Health Startup

The increased interest in and awareness of the importance of mental health in the last decade or so is certainly a positive shift for humanity. This increased focus has also brought with it opportunities for startup founders in the mental health space . Whether it's a service, an app, or a product, if you've got an idea that will fit into the mental health industry, get on it now.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our list of the top startups to watch in 2023 !

What is a social enterprise?

Social enterprises are startups or businesses that aim to make a positive change in the world. Social enterprises are for-profit organizations, but what sets them apart is how they choose to make those profits. Such organizations will have social objectives as their primary goal and use a commercial structure to operate the organization.

How does a social enterprise work?

In some instances, social enterprises may donate or reinvest some of their profits to implement this positive social change, or the very nature of their service or product may do so on its own. Social enterprises often aim to have a strong impact on society while simultaneously maximizing their profits and then using that to fund social programs.

What are examples of social entrepreneurship?

Sekem produces herbal, medicinal, aesthetically focused, and gastronomical products that serve the needs of its customer base. Its social impact includes building biodynamic farms, building educational establishments for children, and building a healthcare center devoted to holistic medicine. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, offered disadvantaged young people a way to create better future opportunities by training in the food industry. Indian startup, Jaipur Rugs, produces socially responsible and high-quality floor coverings and simultaneously empowers local artisans by helping them to connect with the global market.

How do I come up with social entrepreneurship ideas?

This process is not too different from coming up with any business idea , but the focus will always need to be on ultimately doing good. As with anything, you'll always find more success if you get involved in something you're passionate about, so make that your starting point. Then, find the problem that needs to be solved. That solution is your social entrepreneurship offering. If you are not directly affected by the problem you're attempting to solve, be sure to consult with those who are living the experience to ensure that you have considered all the aspects of the issue. 

Explore More Startup Ideas

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About the Author

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14 corporate social impact examples you should know about.

by Erika Hernandez | Sep 23, 2022 | Businesses , Social Impact

14 Corporate Social Impact Examples You Should Know About

Many aspects of our lives have been affected by social factors, creating waves and shifts. Social implications weigh more and more heavily on people’s decisions, from how we assess how firms operate to the products we buy. There is no question that how we approach issues like social impact theory or diversity and inclusion will impact society.

There are numerous ways to have social impacts, even without a simple solution for companies and organizations to lower social expenses. Many companies, groups, and foundations actively work to have a bigger and better social impact.

Corporate social impact is more important than ever before. As a result, consumers are increasingly interested in how companies give back to their communities and how they make a difference around the world.

social impact business plan examples

If you’re looking for inspiration or want to learn more about some amazing corporate social responsibility initiatives, read on! In this blog post, we will discuss 14 corporate social impact examples that you should know about.

What Is Social Impact?

Any major or advantageous improvements that end social injustice and problems or address them are considered to have a social influence. Businesses or companies can achieve these aims through conscious and intentional efforts or activities in their operations and administrations.

Businesses and organizations constantly impact the public and their customers, albeit in varied ways. However, social impact focuses on these parties’ direct advantages to society.

Numerous industries and areas have the potential to have an impact on society. The public, private, multiple, and fourth sectors play different roles in providing for the community. These sectors opt to operate using particular objectives and strategies to have the greatest possible societal impact.

social impact business plan examples

Social impact began as a way for people to give back to the less fortunate. Since the beginning of time, many individuals and companies have been willing to provide a helping hand. Thus philanthropy is nothing new.

Why Social Impact Is Important

The importance of changing the world cannot ever be overstated. No matter how little, every effort has a social influence many may not know. It goes beyond promoting workplace equality or developing environmentally friendly products to reduce waste. Some of the importance are;

  • Many other facets of our life will prosper if one element of society does well. Larger and better modifications may result from this. The 17 Social Development Goals support various facets of society in various capacities and methods.
  • Additionally, social influence benefits others as well. Other lifeforms on Earth can have a chance to flourish when companies and organizations intentionally pick sustainable ways to operate. In the past, numerous industries seriously harmed the environment.
  • Through social impact, opportunities that might not otherwise be accessible to minorities or the poor are produced. For example, communities can acquire access to gender equality, safe water, high-quality education, and decent employment opportunities, among other things.

Why Is Social Impact Significant for Business?

Companies cannot afford to disregard their larger stakeholders’ social influence or concerns. When you’re prepared to include social impact in your company’s goal, you must decide which problem to emphasize. Consider using the principles of your company to guide this decision-making. Make sure to select a project that plays to your skills.

  • In the past, numerous industries seriously harmed the environment. However, companies can now pick greener operating practices and produce fewer byproducts while keeping social impact in mind.
  • As a result, you’ll be in a stronger position to succeed both in the long and short run if you integrate the pursuit of positive impact into your company’s purpose. Not only will you contribute to making the environment more sustainable, but you’ll also have a moving narrative that engages clients on a deeper level.
  • Investing in a social impact program is worthwhile for companies with an eye on the bottom line. Customers are prioritizing a company’s commitment to helping their community. Therefore, it is critical to be clear about your plans and to carry them out.
  • Participating in social impact has become more vital in enhancing client satisfaction. In addition, companies recognize that their health and longevity depend on the world at large as economic gaps increase, climate change’s environmental repercussions become more pronounced, and a racial reckoning is approaching.

social impact business plan examples

  • Moreover, using your influence as a company to further the common good will motivate others in the industry. Your thoughts and deeds may inspire customers and other businesses to consider how they can contribute to the solution.

What Does a Social Impact Strategist Do?

A social impact strategy is a method for organizing, monitoring, and attributing an organization’s efforts and deeds to constructive social change. A social impact strategist is aware of these relationships, considers the various stakeholders (investors, the executive team, employees, clients, suppliers, and society) in a firm, and develops a quantifiable strategy to produce favorable social results.

How to Make Social Impacts

Social impact can take many different forms. It goes beyond only generating headlines with motions or treating illnesses. Simpler activities that may only influence one individual might have a significant impact. Let’s look at some simple actions you may take to impact a significant social change .

  • Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Small, impromptu acts of kindness, such as grinning at a stranger or holding the door open for them, can have a significant positive social consequence. These spontaneous acts of generosity can occasionally even cause a chain reaction that spreads far beyond the original perpetrator. The best part is that making a positive influence doesn’t need much planning or effort.

  • Create a Mission-First Business

Business owners can impact social change by starting a mission-driven company. A mission-first firm is focused on a socially significant mission but can still be a for-profit company. The company strongly emphasizes having a positive social impact and producing revenues.

social impact business plan examples

  • Volunteer in Your Community

You don’t necessarily need to find a new group to benefit your neighborhood. You may volunteer instead with a group promoting social change. You may support these groups and enable them to keep offering essential services to the community by giving your time to volunteer work.

  • Vote With Your Wallet

Customers have power, as any company understands. This implies that individuals can influence social change by purchasing products exclusively from socially responsible companies.

If numerous customers stop buying their items, businesses will take notice. Unethical businesses will be pressured to comply when enough consumers back socially conscious businesses or risk going out of business.

  • Giving Grants

You can either work on strengthening your procedures to do less harm or turn outside to support the neighborhood through grantmaking or corporate giving initiatives . Although having a positive social impact might benefit your brand, your brand should never be the main focus of your activities. Instead, center the neighborhood and be yourself when you are there.

14 Corporate Social Impact Examples

1. a+ federal credit union: giving to teachers.

A+ Federal Credit Union was established in 1949 as a financial cooperative by a group of teachers. It has served as a focal point for the community in central Texas for over 50 years. A+ has prioritized assisting educators and educational institutions in the area through grants, scholarships, and other innovative approaches.

Teachers can now apply for grants from A+ Federal Credit Union to assist them in purchasing supplies and equipment for their classrooms. The A+ team has also produced personalized cash-back debit cards that benefit nearby schools and given scholarships to students pursuing degrees in education.

2. Anchal: Empowering Artisans Around the World

Anchal is a nonprofit organization that runs like a company, with a foundation in collaboration and empowerment. Anchal, a Louisville, Kentucky-based organization that collaborates with women throughout India, aims to give women a safe and practical exit from the harmful and exploitative commercial sex trade.

Anchal provides artists with design instruction, the appropriate tools, financial education, health care, a global market, and fair remuneration rather than gifts. This enables artists to work safely and creatively while earning money to sustain their households.

social impact business plan examples

3. Biolite: Providing Sustainable Energy Solutions for Rural Societies

BioLite, a company based in Nairobi, Kenya, aims to increase access to renewable energy for those living in remote locations without a dependable electrical system. The team at BioLite makes environmentally friendly outdoor appliances for cooking, lighting, and energy storage.

BioLite has provided solutions to more than 1.7 million people in Africa and Asia by collaborating with partners in 23 countries, resulting in a carbon offset of over 450,000 tons. In addition, customers who purchase BioLite goods contribute to a more excellent vision of a healthier, more equal, and cleaner world.

4. ÉMinence Organic Skin Care: Delivering Quality Meals to Ill Children

Éminence Organic Skin Care was established in Hungary in 1958 and has earned a reputation for using high-quality organic ingredients. To supply organic fruits, vegetables, soups, and juices to kids in hospitals and long-term care homes, Éminence established the Éminence Kids Foundation in 2013.

The Éminence Kids Foundation is structured around the idea that nutritious meals play a significant role in healing and therapy. The Foundation has sent thousands of pounds of food to sick children around the world by collaborating with local farms and engaging volunteers.

5. Hope Foods: Breaking the Silence on Suicide

The hummus from Hope Foods was first offered at the Boulder farmers market and is now stocked in supermarket stores all around the country. The brand has a strong emphasis on physical and mental well-being. By speaking out about suicide and offering resources for those in need, Hope Foods wants to spread hope.

Hope Foods has found a straightforward way to participate in the conversation by dedicating a significant chunk of its website to tools and services for people managing anxiety and depression.

Additionally, Hope Foods has a partnership with Hope for the Day, a group dedicated to educating and preventing suicide. Hope Foods sponsors activities, contributes materials, and develops initiatives through collaboration to make a genuine difference.

social impact business plan examples

6. Bitty & Beau’s Coffee: Building a Business on Inclusion

In January 2016, the first Bitty & Beau’s Coffee location opened in Wilmington, North Carolina. Bitty & Beau’s is committed to hiring people with intellectual and developmental impairments and is more than just a coffee business.

Working can help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities become independent and included in society. Bitty & Beau’s has achieved amazing success, growing from a single little shop to five locations with over 120 employees, thanks to a workplace that prioritizes community and education.

7. Brooks Running: Making Diversity a Priority

Brooks Running has offices in Seattle and Amsterdam, producing quality running gear. By funding running organizations and fostering an inclusive workplace for all its employees, regardless of their backgrounds, genders, nations, sexual orientations, abilities, or situations, the Brooks Running team promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the running community.

Grants and sponsorships from Brooks Running are given to organizations like Black Girls Run and Front Runners, an LGBTQ+ running group. Additionally, the organization donates goods and money to underfunded schools, assisting thousands of students in getting started.

8. Charlie’s Heart Foundation: Uplifting Families

Charlie’s Heart Foundation, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, aims to support families in remaining together despite challenging circumstances. The Foundation awards funds to local nonprofit organizations working globally to further their objectives.

For instance, to assist families in the suburbs of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Charlie’s Heart collaborated with the Addis Jemari Family Empowerment Program. The Addis Jemari Program fosters partnerships and offers aid to needy families, including skill development, medical care, counseling, and financial literacy.

9. Desolenator: Creating Clean Water Solutions

Desolenator, a company with a facility in the Netherlands, is attempting to revolutionize current water purifying techniques by developing a brand-new approach to harvesting solar energy. The old process’ harmful elements—centralized industrial plants, hazardous chemicals, and complex supply chains—are likewise eliminated by Desolenator’s technology.

Desolenator has collaborated with companies like Carlsberg to develop and fund fresh, clean water initiatives. The Desolenator team has been putting solutions into action worldwide, notably in West Bengal and Dubai locations. Visit this Submittable webinar featuring Louis Bleach, Development and Impact Lead at Desolenator, to learn more.

social impact business plan examples

10. Gibson: Championing the Arts

For over 125 years, Gibson has produced high-quality guitars and established itself as a household name among aspiring musicians. Gibson established the Gibson Foundation in 2002 to create, develop, and support music initiatives to focus its charitable giving further.

Gibson has discovered numerous methods to make a difference by capitalizing on what makes the company firm. For example, the Gibson staff collaborates with regional charities like the Playing for Change Foundation, which runs 15 music initiatives in 11 nations. The Gibson Foundation also arranges benefit concerts, runs raffles, gives guitars to schools, and does other things.

11. The Gathering for Justice: Pursuing Racial Justice

The Gathering for Justice, founded by Harry Belafonte in 2005, unites many generations. This group, which has roots in Kingian nonviolence, aspires to support neighborhood leaders and create a grassroots movement for racial justice.

The Gathering for Justice unifies its members through conferences, training, workshops, and other events emphasizing police accountability and a goal to eliminate mass incarceration. Through donations and direct action initiatives, The Gathering additionally assists the neighborhood.

12. Klean Kanteen: Going Carbon Neutral

The California-based Klean Kanteen firm makes quality water bottles and insulated containers. The company, however, has also earned a reputation for supporting environmental causes.

Klean Kanteen has demonstrated its commitment to decreasing emissions over the past ten years by following Climate Neutral’s three-step procedure to become completely carbon neutral.

Klean Kanteen developed a calculated strategy to cut emissions. This included the team’s 2017 undertaking to set up 216 solar panels at the company headquarters. Additionally, the company bought renewable energy credits and carbon offsets, donating 1% of revenues to 1% for the Planet.

social impact business plan examples

13. Lego: Committing to an Ethical Supply Chain

The strategies of the multinational toy corporation LEGO can have a significant impact on regional economies. Because of this, the organization is dedicated to safeguarding people and the environment at every stage of the LEGO-making process.

LEGO’s “12 Responsible Business Principles” document outlines expectations for all vendors, manufacturing facilities, and partners. This document contains obligations relating to openness, ethics, and workers’ rights about fair pay, reasonable work hours, health and safety, child labor, family-friendly workplaces, and environmental impact.

In addition, LEGO ensures that it safeguards both the people and the resources that help manufacture its product by conducting in-depth assessments and third-party audits.

14. Steam Whistle: Going Green

Independent Canadian brewery Steam Whistle is learning that there are times when doing more means doing less. So the brewery has introduced green methods to assist in the local and international fight against pollution and climate change.

Steam Whistle has chosen to use sustainable cooling and heating methods in addition to clean, renewable energy. The team uses biodiesel in their delivery trucks and is strategic about conserving water. Steam Whistle has earned the community’s trust by looking for ways to become green across the business.

Conclusion: How Corporate Social Responsibility May Improve Your Business

Today’s consumers aren’t just looking for high-quality goods; they also want to back companies that make a difference in the local and global communities. So moving from excellent intentions to a sound strategy can be a large step when you try to incorporate social impact into your company’s goal.

social impact business plan examples

First, you may advance your ideas by defining a clear mission, establishing goals, defining success, and forming a solid team. Then, create something especially yours using inspiration from social impact examples like the ones above.

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What Is Social Impact and Why Does It Matter?

Kim Lynes

What is Social Impact and Why Does it Matter for Businesses?

The numbers don’t lie. 78% of people believe that businesses should be focused on more than just money. They should also be diligent about impacting society for the better.  

Unfortunately, defining a business’s social impact is difficult.

You need to measure your positive social impact to improve services, tell a story, and show both your partners and customers that you’re doing your part to address the needs of the communities you serve.

Here’s what businesses need to know about the different types of social impact and how to measure it.

Social Impact Explained

Defining what is social impact is difficult as there are many definitions and perspectives. In fact, there are no hard and fast rules on the social impact definition. 

Contrary to what some detractors say, “social impact” is not just jargon. It’s a real concept that drives organizations in the public, private and social sectors to make a positive difference.

Broadly speaking, it’s how the actions of social impact companies and organizations influence and affect a surrounding community.

But why is it important, and how does a business measure its social effects?

Does Social Impact Matter for Businesses?

There are many reasons why a business may decide to think about the impact of its activities upon targeted communities.

Here are just some of the main reasons why it’s important to seriously think about what is social impact.

Recruit Top Talent – Modern workers don’t want to just collect a paycheck. They want to make a difference. Social impact organizations tend to be more effective at attracting and retaining top talent. A 2016 study found that 51% of employees won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong social and environmental commitments.

Positive Marketing – In a crowded non-profit environment, it can be difficult to stand out. Investing in social impact can deliver positive media recognition.

Did you know - 85% of Gen Z are likely to share a positive opinion about a company that is doing good, up 8% from 2017 to 2019. Source

Attract Investment – Social impact organizations are better positioned to attract outside investment.

Make a Difference – Above all, investing in various types of social impact enables you to make a difference. Whether for business reasons or not, your actions contribute to making the world a better place. You’ll also see a difference in your bottom line - 79% of consumers are more loyal to purpose-driven brands ( Source ).

These are just some of the benefits for businesses that think about their impact on communities. It’s a myth that social good is a concept exclusively reserved for charities, non-profits, and social enterprises.

Every business can benefit from investing in different types of impact.

What Does Social Impact Look Like?

Focusing on social impact is no longer an option for companies - as you saw above, it is a requirement to attract investment, retain talent, and build loyalty among consumers. It’s also not going away - future generations have shown through action and studies to be passionate about social change and willing to put their dollars behind those values. How businesses focus their corporate social responsibility efforts can vary.

Types of Impact

There are many different types of impact, and it’s important to be aware of them when performing your impact assessment.

What follows is a selection of examples of different types of social impact.

Positive Impact

  • Providing free meals for the homeless by investing excess profits.
  • Improving gender equality by ensuring equalization of wages for men and women.
  • Making profitable product lines more beneficial for communities by focusing on social outcomes during the development and deployment phases.

Negative Impact

  • Business activities increase pollution.
  • Paying workers less than the living wage.
  • Failing to support workers’ mental and physical health.

Direct Impact

Direct impact occurs through interaction with a product or service. This is a relatively easy form of impact to measure.

For example, a job readiness program for ex-felons is a type of direct impact an organization could have.

Indirect Impact

Indirect impact is a more difficult metric to measure. This is the social impact organizations have by the community having access to their products and services.

Using the above example, an indirect impact may be helping to provide a stable home for that ex-felon’s family because they managed to secure a job through your program.

However, organizations need to set accurate parameters for how much indirect impact can be realistically attributed to their activities. It’s important to be honest and transparent about this to maintain credibility.

Impact Themes

Social impact companies will focus on a theme when defining their campaigns. Impact themes are used to provide a broad lens for classifying impact campaigns.

Many thematic taxonomies can be used, but one of the most common is based around the 17 UN Sustainable Development goals. Some examples of these UN goals include:

  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Zero hunger
  • Climate action
  • Clean, affordable energy
  • Reduced inequality

Framing your campaign thematically helps to accurately define and describe your campaign to both insiders and outsiders.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the types of social impact, it’s important to focus on the concept of corporate social responsibility (also known as CSR). CSR is a practice that allows businesses to be accountable to the public, its investors, and themselves. It requires businesses to be mindful of the social impact they are having on communities and society as a whole. When a business truly embraces the CSR model, they are committed to changing society and the environment for the better.

3 Companies Leading the Way in Social Impact

When thinking about what is social impact, it’s important to look at how organizations address it in practice. It’s also important to focus on those companies making a difference rather than just paying lip service as part of a broader PR exercise.

Here are three social impact examples from companies that are improving communities far and wide.

Anne Lewis Strategies

Anne Lewis Strategies is a digital agency established to instigate social change through the power of advertising, marketing, and fundraising. It works directly on behalf of nonprofits and charities to help them improve their initiatives.

Some of its clients include the Sandy Hook Promise and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Their efforts have generated over $320 million to date in online donations alone.

Flatiron Health

Focusing on the healthcare sector, this tech company’s core mission is to improve lives via better healthcare outcomes for cancer patients.

They concentrate on understanding the experiences of cancer patients to accelerate research into treatments and cures. Their offerings are designed to tackle traditionally unstructured cancer data by offering organization and standardization solutions.

Since launching in 2012, Flatiron Health has gathered 2.2 million active patient records for research and has since started to work with both the NCI and FDA.

IKEA is a Swedish furniture chain with significant holdings all over the world. Since the 1990s, IKEA has committed itself to fight against child labor practices and providing a future for needy children worldwide.

The company works directly with UNICEF to help achieve this goal. Since 2001, IKEA has donated more than $200 million to the cause.

Furthermore, IKEA has worked to provide clean drinking water to children in undeveloped parts of the world. Again, they have sponsored countless projects and worked with many global and local charities to accomplish this.

One of their most recent campaigns is the “Let’s Play for Change” initiative. This social impact campaign is designed to help children learn and grow through play.

By creating playing spaces for children in undeveloped areas of the world, IKEA hopes to nurture the development of underserved communities across every continent.

In terms of major corporations, IKEA is one of the largest social impact companies.

Measuring Social Impact with UpMetrics

What is Social Impact?

The fact is impact is not just about the positive, direct impacts a business’s activities have. It’s also about the negative and indirect impacts of a company’s business activities.

Consumers are increasingly demanding genuine, provable change from the brands they patronize. In fact, 87% of people will purchase a product because the company advocated for a cause or issue they believe in. On the other hand. 76% of people choose not to do business with a company that supports causes contrary to their beliefs. These numbers highlight the importance of social impact not only to the community at large but to a business’s bottom line. 

At UpMetrics, we believe that data itself is of no value if it cannot be attached to the story of the human experience. Translate your social impact activities into a powerful narrative that inspires employees, investors and consumers alike.

Our impact measurement and analytics platform helps you define, measure, and report the impact of your campaigns for social good. Contact us to request a demo ! 

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Business for Social Impact

Since its inception, the Social Enterprise Initiative has explored the role of business in creating social value. Early efforts in the late 1990s included hosting a research conference on business leadership in the social sector and developing an MBA course focused on strategic corporate citizenship.

Five years later, SEI launched an executive education program on corporate social responsibility. In 2005, SEI convened a research forum on business solutions to global poverty, bringing together academic, business, nonprofit, and government leaders from around the world. This conference led to the publication of a book, the development of an MBA elective course on Business at the Base of the Pyramid, and the creation of an executive education program for leaders in the microfinance industry.

Today, SEI continues to examine the challenges and opportunities in harnessing the power of the markets to create both economic and social value.


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Featured MBA Courses

Business at the base of the pyramid (b-bop).

This course seeks to provide an understanding of how business approaches can address low income segments, often the largest components of emerging markets (both in terms of population as well as total expenditure) but nevertheless severely underserved. The course specifically explores the factors behind the commercial viability of such markets and examines the impact of business models on the social and economic development of the societies involved.

Purpose & Profit

This course offers an expanded vision of competitive strategy by incorporating social purpose and "stakeholder capitalism" as a source of new business opportunities, improved productivity, and competitive differentiation, using Porter and Kramer's framework for  Creating Shared Value . At the end of the course, students should have an understanding of how social impact can be a source of competitive advantage and a framework for implementation, as well as a clearer sense of purpose in their own lives.

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Business for Social Impact (pdf)

The Forum convened more than 100 practitioners and academics to discuss the global role of business in creating social change. The report captures output from the conference sessions and reflections from participants.In the spring of 2014, SEI hosted a research forum on Business for Social Impact, convening more than 100 practitioners and academics to discuss the global role of business in creating social change.

Featured Research

The dual-purpose playbook, inclusive growth: profitable strategies for tackling poverty and inequality, the new ceo activists, the responsibilities and role of business in relation to society: back to basics, the truth about csr, classic cases, global sourcing at nike.

Subjects covered include: Sourcing; Factory Conditions; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact

Greening Walmart: Progress and Controversy

Subjects covered include: Sustainability; Organizational Change and Adaptation

Nestle's Creating Shared Value Strategy

Subjects covered include: Shared Value; Environmental Sustainability; Strategy

B Lab: Building a New Sector of the Economy

Subjects covered include: entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and social responsibility.

Bridge International Academies: A School in a Box

Subjects covered include: entrepreneurship, franchises, social enterprise, and strategic planning.

INITIATIVES focus on societal challenges that are too complex for any one discipline or industry to solve alone.

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Social Impact: Definition and Why is Social Impact Important?

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Social impacts have been making waves and changes in many parts of our lives. From the way we evaluate how businesses conduct their operations to the things we choose to purchase, social impacts are becoming more and more important to many people. There is no doubt that how we manage Diversity and inclusion or other topics such as Social Impact Theory   will impact social impact as well.

While there is no easy way for businesses and organizations to reduce social costs, there are many ways to achieve social impacts. Many businesses, organizations, and foundations are making conscious efforts towards achieving greater and better social impact.

What is social impact?

In essence, the  definition of social impact means any significant or positive changes that solve or at least address social injustice and challenges. Businesses or organizations achieve these goals through conscious and deliberate efforts or activities in their operations and administrations .

Businesses or organizations provide impacts to their consumers and the public all the time, though in different capacities. Social impact, however, concentrates on the  direct positive consequences  these parties offer to society.

Social impact can derive from many different sectors and industries. The public, private, plural, and fourth sectors all play different roles in providing to society. These sectors choose to operate through specific sets of goals and approaches to create social impact in the most significant way. 

When did social impact awareness start?

Social impact started as a form of philanthropic efforts in helping those in need . Philanthropy is not something new as many people and organizations have always been ready to lend a helping hand since the beginning of time.

However, the concept entered the mainstream in 1972. The ideology was made famous by an American social entrepreneur,  Bill Drayton . He has a long and impressive record of founding organizations that gear towards making a social impact.

Bill Drayton is passionate about making social changes in fighting social injustice since his varsity days. He is an ardent believer that everyone is capable of making a change, and therefore, we are all “Changemakers.” He was named one of America’s 25 Best Leaders in 2005 for his efforts.

Types of Social Impacts

A business or organization that wants to make social impacts and is aligning its operations with Social Development Goals can create changes in many ways. It’s not limited to how they treat their employees, but also in any form of interaction and relationship.

There’re four types of social impact businesses can make. Clear impact measures the changes in stakeholders’ performance, such in skill assessment or observation tools. High impact measures the changes in the business systems, such as in its environmental effects and input indicators.

The Wide impact measures the changes in relationship mapping and social impact assessments to make sure the operations can achieve the desired social impacts. The Deep impact is the final impact that measures consumers’ satisfaction through happiness inventories from the efforts the business is making towards creating social impacts.

A sustainable business that wants to create social impact needs to consider all business factors of the companies within its supply chain through these four impacts. They need to make deliberate efforts in dealing and maintaining relationships with other businesses that are also creating social impact.

Business owners who want to make or are making significant social impacts are known as social entrepreneurs. These social entrepreneurs own businesses that directly benefit society through their efforts in addressing one or several components of social challenges.

Social enterprises can create social impacts in any way they can through the  17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations . These SDGs are set as a way for individuals, businesses, and organizations to work together towards making a significant impact in the world.

  • GOAL 1: No Poverty
  • GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • GOAL 4: Quality Education
  • GOAL 5: Gender Equality
  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  • GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • GOAL 13: Climate Action
  • GOAL 14: Life Below Water
  • GOAL 15: Life on Land
  • GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  • GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Other than social enterprises, social innovation is also another type of social impact that’s quickly gaining traction. We’re seeing many impressive and almost out of this world social innovations from people around the world.

Social innovation is a new social practice where innovators aim to meet social needs in better ways than existing solutions. These innovations are often highly ingenious in helping to solve social injustice and at the same time, achieve many of the 17 SDGs.

A business or organization can create many different types of social impact. Even though it may take some time to consciously shift the paradigm and processes, many companies are now making changes in their operations to achieve better and greater social impact.

Why is Social Impact important?

Making a difference in the world is always important.  No matter how small the effort is, social impact impacts everyone in many ways we may not realize . It’s not just about providing equality at the workplace or creating sustainable products to reduce waste.

When one component of society thrives,  many other aspects of their lives will flourish . This can lead to bigger and better changes. The 17 Social Development Goals are helping different components of society in different ways and different capacities.

And social impact doesn’t just help people. When businesses and organizations consciously choose sustainable ways to operate,  other lifeforms on Earth can also have the chance to thrive . Many businesses in the past have caused significant damage to the environment. With social impact in mind, companies can now choose greener ways to operate and create less by-products.

Social impact creates opportunities that are otherwise unavailable to the minorities or underprivileged . These groups can get access to quality education, clean water, gender equality, or able to obtain decent work and thus gain economic growth, etc.

Read the full article here.

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social impact business plan examples

35 Companies With Powerful Social Impact Initiatives

For candidates looking for a company committed to making a difference, here are a bunch with effective corporate social responsibility initiatives.

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Study after study has shown that today’s college students – Generation Z – are a socially-conscious generation, with their commitment to social good influencing everything from their purchasing decisions to their career paths. One study by Cone Communications found that 94% of the Gen Z individuals surveyed believe companies should help address critical social issues, while a survey by DoSomething Strategic found that 76% of Gen Z respondents said they have purchased or would consider purchasing from a brand to show support for the issues that the company supported.

For candidates who are looking for a company committed to making a difference alongside their business goals, here are 35 companies with effective corporate social responsibility initiatives.

The famous producer of the ‘three stripes’ athletic wear prides itself on a corporate responsibility structure built on 3 complementary pillars: community involvement, employee engagement, corporate giving. An example of community involvement is the BOKS by Reebok , an Adidas company, before school program, which is designed to bring access to fitness to children between the ages of 5 and 12. The impact of BOK has been measured by an independent evaluator called NOIST which found that the students in the program has not only improved their memory and executive function, but also shaved an average of 16 seconds off their 400-meter run times. Adidas has launched various programs and initiatives like these around the world; such as their Pakison Women Empowerment Program which helps improve the skills of female workers and helps them find strong opportunities in the workplace and their SOS Children’s Village which has grown into one of the largest non-governmental organizations dedicated to to supporting children without families in the world. These amazing programs are a few examples of how Adidas makes a large positive social impact beyond great activewear.

Since 2013, A-LIGN has been working with their clients to support local charities all around the country. The firm recognizes that, in order to achieve their mission of providing clients with a better community, giving back has to be part of the equation. That is why, every holiday season, A-LIGN donates to charities like Junior Achievement and ASPCA on behalf of the people they’ve served over the last year. In 2020 alone, the team donated nearly $6,000! Outside of the holidays, giving back remains a year-long focus. A-LIGN encourages employees to partake in a community service event and provides a day off every month solely for that reason. Employees, then, do not just commit to a program for a day but are able to truly establish a relationship with local community service organizations and continue contributing monthly. Since the program launched in 2013, A-LIGN employees have clocked over 1,000 hours to organizations close to their heart. Being a part of A-LIGN, whether as an employee or client, means being supported and encouraged to give back– during every time of year.

Ben & Jerry’s

Since their inception Ben & Jerry’s has been connected to promoting grassroots efforts for social justice, protecting the environment, and supporting sustainable food systems. While often they connect their social initiatives to the process of making ice cream, like supporting Fairtrade , Ben & Jerry’s also partners with different social equality groups. One of their initiatives “ Justice ReMix’d ” focuses on criminal justice system reform and how people of color are disproportionately affected. Their employees are also involved in the Ben & Jerry’s foundation where they serve on committees that review grants for grassroots organizations.

Burlington Stores

Burlington Stores partners with the national non-profit organization Delivering Good in order to keep members of their communities warm through the Burlington Coat Drive . Every holiday season, “Burlington customers, associates, and vendors donate new and gently worn coats at their local Burlington store locations across the country. Through Delivering Good, coats are distributed locally to those most in need within each store community.” With over 2.3 million coats collected by the drive to date, it’s made a significant impact for neighbors in need of a warm coat.

CBRE has made it very clear that they are ‘committed to developing healthy communities and actively address[ing] environmental/sustainable, economic, health & wellness, social, transportation and governance impacts’. They launched the Green Machine Campaign to plant 1 million trees and enhance the US canopy, the CBRE shelter program to pattern with US housing nonprofits and create rebuilding projects for homeless shelters, transitional housing and private residences, the Birthday Cakes and More for Homeless Children program to deliver birthday cakes to homeless children, and the CBRE Disaster relief program to support regions affected by disaster, such as Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and California.

Cox Enterprises

One of the ways this global communications company is making a social impact is by powering the potential of promising startups that are focused on addressing today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator , powered by Techstars, supports mission-driven for-profit startups by guiding them in the early stages of the business, providing access to mentorship, and facilitating pitches to potential investors. Aside from their investment in social innovation, Cox Enterprises has had a national sustainability program since 2007, and has invested more than $100 million in sustainability and conservation projects.

The Walt Disney Company believes that education is the key to opportunity and proudly supports its workforce by sponsoring the most comprehensive employer education program in the country. Launched in 2018, Disney’s Aspire initiative covers 100 percent of tuition costs and provides support services to employees as they complete their coursework, including onsite “study hall” spaces and private career coaching. Disney Aspire was launched to expand access to education for its cast members and The Walt Disney Company has pledged $150 million towards high school equivalency, English-language learning, vocational training, college and master’s degrees, and more. The resource allows access to eleven universities and technical schools- including online programs by the University of Arizona and the University of Central Florida and pays the tuition directly to the campus along with textbooks, materials, and other fees. More than half of Disney’s 90,000 full- and part-time hourly employees have taken the initial step to enroll. The Walt Disney Company views this effort as a commitment to build futures and uplift communities through workforce development and does not require that employees pursue an education which relates to the titles they hold with the company.

As the world’s leading mapping technology, Esri has a special focus on designing a smarter future. That means much of their technology is used by companies working to build a better, more sustainable future . Esri supports organizations working in conservation, education, environmental management, ocean science, green energy, sustainable development, and humanitarian affairs. The technology provided by Esri helps their customers find solutions to local and global problems, from delivering clean water and electricity, sustaining population growth, educating a community, fighting crime, slowing climate change, and stamping out disease.

Organizations have been using mapping for hundreds of years—and GIS in recent decades—to understand the spread and impacts of epidemics, and Esri’s technology has proved invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local, national and international organizations have used Esri’s technology to map and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including John Hopkins University’s widely referenced COVID-19 dashboard . Esri also made all its software, virtual training, and on-call technical assistance freely available not only to all its users but also to any organization anywhere in the world that was battling the pandemic. Read more about their efforts here .

Flatiron Health

This innovative healthcare tech company is driven by its mission of improving lives by learning from the experience of every cancer patient. Flatiron Health believes that learning from the experience of every cancer patient is the key to accelerating research, but cancer data is heavily unstructured. By organizing and standardizing that data, Flatiron helps doctors provide the best care and researchers find more effective treatments faster. Launched in 2012, the company now has 2.2 million active patient records available for research, 280+ community oncology practices, and works with the FDA, the NCI and over 15 of the top therapeutic oncology companies.

F5 Networks

F5 Networks has their priorities clear when it comes to social impact and helping communities. They offer paid time off for volunteering; donation matching; opportunities for employees to participate in localized philanthropic campaigns, grant committees, and the Global Good Ambassador program; and Community Impact Grants. Aside from all of these benefits to ensure their employees have the chance to become involved in service opportunities, they do meaningful work with other organizations: they partnered with NASCOP , the National AIDS and STI Control Programme, to help in their efforts to bring HIV/AIDS under control. In fact, ‘After tech partner DataposIT implemented F5 and NGINX solutions, test results can now be returned in 10 days—350% faster’. Learn more about this initiative and many more here .

GO Foundation

GO Foundation  unlocks the potential of national service, igniting a powerful ripple effect in the lives of students through high-dosage tutoring, mentorship, and enriching opportunities. In the prestigious GO AmeriCorps Fellowship, new grads can immerse themselves in a year of service that not only propels their career aspirations, but also creates a lasting impact within Go Foundation’s communities. Plus, GO Foundation offers a range of benefits to support fellows’ journeys, from subsidized housing or a housing allowance to a living allowance and comprehensive health insurance coverage. Additionally, GO’s commitment to fellows’ success extends beyond their year of service. In fact, GO provides loan forbearance and other benefits to ensure a smooth transition to fellows’ next career move. Learn more about GO Foundation  here .

Not only has Google pledged to donate $1 billion to nonprofits in just five years, but they also committed to 1 million hours of employee volunteering. In order to achieve this goal they offer paid time off for volunteer work, especially in roles where they can use their tech expertise to help a good cause. Google also has strong environmental and ethical initiatives, like how they’re committed to sourcing conflict-free minerals in 2012. They also impressively achieved 100% renewable energy in 2017 as the largest corporate buyer of renewable power.

Community involvement has always been important at Groupon . With coronavirus making it increasingly difficult to volunteer through traditional means, the Groupon team wasn’t afraid to get creative in order to make contributions to their communities. This past summer, “hundreds of Grouponers around the world celebrated [their] value of Community by participating in the company’s first Virtual Volunteer Week . The projects in which employees volunteered “remotely” ranged from transcribing historical documents for to helping Missing Maps — an international humanitarian organization — use aerial images to map the needs of vulnerable populations.”

Herman Miller 

Herman Miller began a new tradition this year: giving employees Election Day off for a Day of Purpose. While the company has always supported having worker’s voices heard, Herman Miller recognized the barriers that work could unintentionally create during Election Day. Instead of just encouraging employees to vote early, Herman Miller gave everyone a paid day off. For employees that voted already, Herman Miller encouraged those individuals to spend the day giving back and even constructed a bingo-like game for employees to work towards. For every 5 activities completed by employees, Herman Miller donated to the non-profit Direct Relief. Herman Miller has a history of giving back. This last year alone, for instance , Herman Miller switched their manufacturing plans to mass-produce masks that could be distributed to their community. Mel Trotter, the largest emergency homeless shelter in West Michigan, and MOKA, a non profit helping individuals with disabilities, are just two of the organizations that have received mask donations from Herman Miller.

IKEA focuses on bettering the lives of children through their social initiatives. In the 1990s , they began fighting child labor practices and have continued to support healthy living conditions for children since then. Since 2001 IKEA has donated over $200 million to UNICEF, to help supply a healthy environment, like access to clean drinking water, for children around the world. In 2016 the home brand also launched their “ Let’s Play for Change ” initiative that focuses on providing children a nurturing space to grow and develop in areas where they often lack a safe space to play.

In their 2019 Global Sustainability Report , JLL’s Global CEO expressed that their first priority remains the health, safety, and well being of their people, clients, and communities. Not only are they spearheading sustainability initiatives – like their commitment to zero carbon emissions for their UK workplaces by 2030 as a part of the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings commitment, but also are supporting their communities in various ways . They are partnering with REP (Refugee Employment Partnership) to help documented refugees find work, supporting female leaders in Mozambique by gifting over 300 scholarships, and establishing chapters of WiAM (Women in Account Management) in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and SouthEast Asia, just to name a few. Learn more about all of their social impact initiatives here !

Since 2000, the Kohl’s Cares program has launched a special collection of merchandise every few months to benefit health initiatives nationwide. The company releases limited editions of popular children’s books along with matching plush toys and tote bags, with each item retailing for $5. The collections, which have raised nearly $360 million thus far, donate 100% of the net  profits to hospital partners in 48 states, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Alliance for a Healthier Generation . These partnerships are designed to educate kids and families about healthy development, safety, wellness, childhood obesity, and chronic disease management. Browse the merchandise and learn more about the program here !

As a toy company rooted in plastic products, LEGO is aiming toward a more sustainable future for their company and their blocks. They partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to help source more responsible materials for their toys, and in 2018 released a line of legos that are made entirely of sugarcane. Also, in 2015 they pledged to invest $15 million over the following 15 years to reduce their carbon footprint. As part of this initiative, 100% of the energy used to create the bricks comes from renewable wind power.

LinkedIn achieves their social initiatives through a range of nonprofit partnerships and a commitment to sustainable practices in their offices. They have ambitious eco-friendly goals including being on the path to being “zero-waste” by improving their recycling and composting efforts. Their offices also use 80% renewable energy from wind and solar sources instead of harmful greenhouse gases. Employees get involved by commuting to work, with 70% of their global workforce using more eco-friendly forms of transport like biking, walking, and carpooling.

The world’s leading enterprise technology provider, NCR established the NCR Foundation in 1953. Since then the NCR Foundation continues to give grants to non-profit partners aligned with the company’s values. Specifically, the foundation partners with organizations that take innovative approaches to helping members of the communities from which their employees and customers live/work become self-sufficient. The foundation has a long list of criteria that an organization must meet to partner with the foundation to ensure that no money is given out to an organization that allows bias or disrcrimination of any kind.

The New York Times

For over 100 years, The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund has distributed generous donations from readers to organizations across the globe which provide direct assistance to those in need. Currently, The Fund supports 10 nonprofit organizations through GoFundMe campaigns and special grants from The Fund’s endowment. So far, The Fund has raised $300 million for disaster relief, medical care, food banks, and countless other efforts. Read more about The Fund and read profiles of beneficiaries here !

This well known retailer has always recognized that the impact they have on their employees, customers, and communities goes well beyond their day to day operations. In 2019-2020, Nordstrom Cares is proud to say they have increased clothing donations by nearly 42%, employees logged 176,538 hours of volunteer service, reduced energy use by 20.3% per square foot over five years and even committed to making 1 million masks for healthcare workers on COVID-19 frontlines. But Nordstrom is not stopping at those accomplishments. Pete Nordstrom, their Chief Brand Office, has declared that through their partnership with  Fashion Pact and their launch of a category of thousand of responsibility products called Sustainable Style Nordstrom will meet 6 key environmental sustainability goals by 2025: reduce single use plastic by 50%, use sustainably raw materials in 50% of Nordstrom Made products, extend the life of 250 tons of clothing, ensure 15% of all product is considered sustainable, donate $1 million dollars to support textile recycling innovation and set a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With concrete goals like these, it is clear that this retailer doesn’t aim to just save your closet but the entire planet.

This energy provider is committed to becoming a sustainable source of power for businesses and residential communities. Rather than shying away from the topic, NRG addresses the reality of climate change head-on and outlines the importance of taking substantial action to drastically reduce CO2  emissions in the coming years. The company’s own goals include achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and cutting their current emissions by 50% within five years. NRG has already made significant progress on their goals, and continue to document their initiatives and results in-depth with their annual sustainability report .

This famous electronics brand has always known that at the core of every successful institution was a giving heart. Panasonic’s Office Of Social Impact is dedicated to driving positive change through technology– more specifically to address the widespread gap between future tech jobs and education in STEAM in underserved communities. The Panasonic Foundation invested $100,000 in Camp Skyhook . This immersive outdoor learning experience in the Angeles Forest aims to encourage 4th and 5th grade students’ interest in STEM and has a curriculum developed by UCLA and NASA. Panasonic is also dedicated to supporting students right in their city headquarters of Newark New Jersey by partnering with nonprofits to open the Students 2 Science Newark Technology Center . This center works directly with public schools to provide students with the resources to study real world investigations such as global overpopulations strains on food sources, water pollution, pandemics, and more.  The center also provides professional development and technical assistance for local students. Panasonic’s awesome dedication to enabling underserved students to fill representation gaps in STEM is making a tangible difference in thousands of lives.

The outdoor clothing company is well-known for their commitment to sustainability and fleeces made from recycled plastics, but they also support a number of other social initiatives. They pledge at least 1% of their sales or 10% of their pre-tax profits (whichever is more) to environmental grassroot groups. Since 1985 they’ve donated over $100 million to these organizations. Patagonia also supports local involvement through their initiative Action Works where individuals can see what volunteer opportunities and events are happening in their area.

Besides being the store where many of us brought home our first furry, scaled or feathered friend, PetSmart supports families around the nation through the power of animals. Since 2012, PetSmart Paws for Hope has been helping sponsor animal assisted therapy programs in 8 hospitals. Since 1992, PetSmart for Patriots and the Canine Companions for Independence have helped increase access to assistance dogs for veterans. Currently, any veteran can visit a PetSmart to get more information on how to obtain a service dog. PetSmart makes a positive impact on thousands of lives through support of hundreds of organizations across the country that help connect people with animals.

Salesforce decided to take their social initiatives to the next level by creating a Philanthropy Cloud . Not only do they donate over $250 million toward grants and education initiatives themselves, but they created a resource to help other companies make a difference too. The Philanthropy Cloud provides the resources for companies to organize corporate social responsibility initiatives, and the resources for nonprofits to grow their network, including Salesforce’s own CRM integration technology. The Cloud is in partnership with United Way , who uses their expertise in workplace giving to help inform the program.

Schwan’s Company

This food consumer brand company known for Mrs. Smith’s pies and Tony’s pizza is committed to reducing environmental impact and creating a better quality of life for their communities. According to their 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report , the company successfully spearheaded initiatives for driving delivery trucks more, recycling and packaging products more efficiently. But besides helping the environment, the Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation proudly supports local communities through direct donations to support many causes associated with ending hunger and developing youth. Schwan’s Food Company has donated over 6 million pounds of food in the last five years to Feeding America . They also enable the School Nutrition Foundation and enhance school food service management by awarding scholarships up to $2,500 each. This company is awesomely committed to improving lives beyond their products in the freezer aisle!

Signify is not only the world leader in lighting professionals, they are also the creators of the Signify Foundation , a non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe, sustainable lighting to underprivileged and underserved communities around the world. In addition to providing necessary, long-term, affordable lighting to underserved areas and natural disaster zones, the foundation also provides training and lighting to entrepreneurs in those areas, which creates a long-term impact to help upkeep the necessary lighting and foundation in their communities. Last year alone the Signify Foundation lit 994,184 lives with sustainable lighting and provided technical and/or business training to 721 people in underprivileged areas.

Southwire is committed to creating the highest standards of excellence for its employees through environmental stewardship and corporate sustainability. Southwire’s commitment to sustainability is multifaceted, with a key focus in five distinct areas: Growing Green, Living Well, Doing Right, Giving Back , and Building Worth . Through the combination of these efforts Southwire is able to reduce their carbon footprint, build a safe and inclusive workplace, ensure transparency and responsiveness throughout the organization, engage staff in meaningful community service outreach, and deliver the best quality service for their customers and stakeholders.

Success Academy

Success Academy is redefining what’s possible in public education. This public charter school’s mission to deliver educational equity is founded on the belief in the power of all children to learn and achieve at the highest level. Today, they are the fifth-largest public school system in New York State and the highest performing by far; each year, 100% of their high school graduates receive college admission . Drawing from the latest advances in technology, business and management, Success Academy is relentless in its commitment to finding new and better ways to empower children and offers an exciting range of career opportunities—in classrooms, schools, and the central office—where you can have a big social impact. Learn more about Success Academy’s open teacher positions, upcoming events, and other roles here .

Synovus is a regional financial services company serving communities in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. In addition to offering commercial and retail banking, investment, and mortgage services, Synovus gives back to the community with its locally-focused community outreach program, Here Matters . The outreach program focuses Synovus’ volunteer and financial contributions in three areas: education, needs-based opportunities, and health and wellness. From gathering supplies for local food banks and schools, to providing financial literacy classes and college scholarships, Synovus is committed to enriching and strengthening the hundreds of communities they serve.

Warby Parker

You may have heard about the startup eyewear company’s “buy one, give one” initiative, but Warby Parker’s social mission is actually more involved than a one-for-one tradeoff. Through their program and partnerships , they help train individuals in over 50 countries on how to administer eye exams and then sell glasses at a low cost. This allows the program to be an empowering resource that can create a continuous income and provide more accessible eyewear. Since starting this initiative they’ve distributed over five million pairs of glasses and continue to grow. And in an interview with Inc. , co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal named their social mission as “the No. 1 reason people want to come work for Warby Parker.”

While there are countless companies with awesome social impact initiatives, these are just a few of the options available for students researching where to begin their career. For those interested in giving back while growing their career, these companies could be a great place to start.

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The Impact Investor | ESG Investing Blog

The Impact Investor | ESG Investing Blog

Investing for financial return is only part of the equation.

19 Social Impact Examples You Need to Know

Updated on October 10, 2023

Our posts may contain links from our affiliate partners. This supports helps support the site as we donate 10% of all profits to sustainability organizations that align with our values. However, this does not influence our opinions or ratings. Please read our Terms and Conditions for more information.

With so many social challenges in the world today, how can everyone inflict positive change? This is the question ‘social impact’ aims to answer. Those new to the term may find the concept shrouded with complexity. Who can inflict social impact , and what counts as one? This article highlights a few brilliant social impact examples from the national government all the way down to the consumer level.

Table of Contents

What is social impact?

4. well’s fargo, universities and colleges, 1. politecnico di milano, italy, 2. ashoka u changemaker campus, 3. copenhagen business school, 4. universidad de desarrollo, chile, national and local government, 1. spurring social enterprise, 2. involvement in corporate social responsibility, 3. joining international government organizations, communities and non-governmental organizations, individuals, 1. live sustainably, 2. volunteer in your community, 3. make a social impact investment, what are the 5 types of impact, what is social impact factors, what is an example of a social impact strategy, related resources:.

Man holding a sign on the subway

Before moving on to social impact examples, we must first understand the fundamentals of social impact. The term ‘social impact’ can be hard to define. In 1981, American social psychologist Bibb Latane created the social impact theory. In this theory, social impact is defined as:

“any of the great variety of changes in physiological states and subjective feelings, motives and emotions, cognitions and beliefs, values and behavior, that occur in an individual, human, or animal, as a result of the real, implied or imagined presence or actions of other individuals.”

This theory defines social impact as ‘social force fields’ that push us to behave or think a particular way. On the other hand, when ‘social impact’ is used in the realm of public bodies and public sector organizations, it takes on a different but related meaning: the positive contribution that organizations and bodies can make to the communities in which they operate.

In this context, social impact is about doing good and making positive contributions with goal of addressing a pressing social challenge. This article will provide social impact examples using this definition, and how different organizations, companies, establishments, and individuals have acted to inflict positive social change.

Company meeting

Companies are a fantastic source of social impact examples, and they’re also a great way to understand how social impact can be both an external and internal initiative.

When companies generate positive social impact, they often do so through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR is a self-regulating business model that assists companies in being socially accountable to the public, to themselves, and to their stakeholders.

It is important for companies, especially social enterprises, to measure their social impact to help them better understand and target their social work, attract investors, and retain investor confidence.

Examples of social impact indicators include inputs (what is invested in the project), outputs (what is done or offered in the project, and the people reached), outcomes (what the project aims to achieve), and impact (results at the societal level). Here are some social impact project examples from some of the most popular social impact companies.

Well-known for its environmentally-friendly initiatives, Google has earned the RI’s highest CSR score, and mainly because they use 50% less energy than others in the world. Google has also invested over $1 billion in renewable energy projects, which enables other businesses to reduce environmental impact through a variety of services, including Gmail.

Using the term ‘corporate citizenship’ to define their CSR initiatives, Pfizer focuses on raising awareness for non-infectious diseases, as well as providing healthcare for children and women who have no access to them.

A great example of this is how the company reduced the prices of Pevenar 13 vaccines for ear infections, blood infections, and pneumonia for those in need.

One of the best social impact initiative examples in an internal setting is from Netflix. The online video streaming company offers over 52 weeks of paid parental leave to their employees, which may be availed at any time for the first year of their child’s life. For reference, most tech companies offer only 18 weeks.

One of the best social impact examples related to philanthropy is from Wells Fargo. The American multinational financial services company donates over 1.5% of its revenue to charity every year, and they have since raised over $286.5 million in 2017 alone. The proceeds were donated to over 14,500 schools and nonprofits, which helped support community resiliency, revitalization, and economic growth.

See Related: What is Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)?


A variety of academic institutions in different countries have recognized their role in creating political, social, and economic value, as well as their capability to become society’s ‘embedded brain’.

Academic institutions have vast research capabilities, resources, and connections that promote, foster, and lead global social innovation.

Politecnico di Milano’s Department of Design launched the POLIMI-DESIS Lab , which explores how design can enable communities, people, and enterprises to manage and activate innovation processes. The lab focuses on urban, food, mobility, distributed manufacturing, and housing systems.

The Ashoka U Changemaker Campus is a network composed of 40 institutions with goals of re-envisioning the role of higher education. After going through a selection process, universities can become part of this group that develops social innovation into an institutional culture.

With Copenhagen Business School ’s ‘Business in Society Strategy’, the school upholds a strategy based on the principle that universities hold a core duty as changemakers. This social impact strategy is in line with the school’s aim to engage in problem-focused, context-driven, knowledge production.

In partnership with Miguel Kast Foundation, Universidad de Desarollo has established the Social Innovation Institute, which prepares changemakers and students for the development and support of their social initiatives and ventures.

The institute functions with the help of the national government in order to select and fund the best social entrepreneurship ideas.

See Related: History of Impact Investing: 8 Things to Know


The national government has the most leverage in generating social impact, and it’s easy to find an endless list of social impact examples on this level.

Various governments around the world have recognized the potential of Social Enterprises (SEs) to build more inclusive economic and social agendas.

The SE sector as a whole is fast becoming an important contributor to gross domestic product. In South Korea for example, the SE sector accounts for 3% of the GDP .

To spur social entrepreneurship , governments can draft a number of policy tools. Legal forms, like those drafted by the Community Interest Company in the UK, Social Cooperatives and Social EX ledge in Italy, or the Benefit Corporation in the US, help recognize SE, opening the door to formulating policies that support them.

Governments can also give out fiscal incentives such as Tax Relief to benefit those who invest in social enterprises. This is already done in the UK, where those who invest in SEs enjoy a reduction of 30% of the investment in the income tax bill for that year .

Another way the government can help is by offering grants, awareness campaigns, training, and building the capacity of social actors, entrepreneurs, scientists, and innovators.

In Europe, especially in the UK, the national government has collaborated with private industries to protect and promote social objectives. The government can provide a framework for regulation and monitor compliance to improve CSR standards. This encourages all businesses, both large and small, to improve their CSR performance.

See Related: Best Social Impact Jobs: Careers That Drive Change

The main purpose of international government organizations (IGO) is to provide a mechanism for people in various parts of the world to work more effectively in areas of peace and security, while also being able to deal with social and economic questions. IGOs are great social impact examples, as all of them have major roles in global governance and international political systems.

Among the oldest IGOs include the Universal Postal Union, the United Nations , and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Other popular IGOs include the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the European Union, the World Trade Organization, and the African Development Bank.

See Related: Things to Know About Climate Refugees

NGO doing charity work

If you’re looking for social impact examples, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are a good place to start. From defending human rights to promoting environmental sustainability , NGOs are improving lives around the globe.

  • Cure Violence

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and headed by Dr. Gary Slutkin, Cure Violence was ranked as one of Global Journal’s Top 10 NGOs in the world. The organization is committed to putting an end to violence in communities by using strategies and methods associated with disease control.

This includes treating high-risk individuals, detecting and disrupting conflicts, and changing social norms. It operates in Latin America, the US, North Africa, and the Middle East, and has seen community violence decrease by up to 70% with its strategies.

  • Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

A great example of a social impact organization is the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Working at both global and national levels, CHAI aims to support people with HIV/AIDS in the developing world.

It does so by increasing access to lifesaving technologies, decreasing medical treatment costs, and assisting governments in building the frameworks needed for top-notch care and treatment programs. CHAI operates in 33 countries and has over 1,500 employees.

  • Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

With a core mission of educating people to protect the environment, as well as the people, communities, and businesses that depend on it, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has over 73 participating countries.

Through its Education for Sustainable Development and Environment Education programs, FEE assists communities to understand the benefits of sustainable living through active learning and education.

  • Mercy Corps

With a goal of helping people triumph over adversity in the face of disaster and hardship, Mercy Corps believes that communities are the best agents for their own change and that leveraging local markets leads to sustainable recovery.

The organization focuses on disaster preparedness, emergency responses, conflict management, sustainable agriculture , equity for women and children, and education. Mercy Corps, which was founded in 1979, now has 40 member countries.

  • Ceres Coalition 

To build a healthy global economy, Ceres promotes sustainable business solutions and practices by mobilizing business and investor leadership. The organization has 10 key principles, which include energy conservation, sustainable use of natural resources, protection of the biosphere, environmental restoration, and risk reduction.

Ceres holds an annual two-day conference in Boston where participants are taught how various business sectors can effectively adapt to the sustainability challenges of the 21st century.

See Related: What is a Neobank? Definition & Examples

Volunteers cleaning up a beach

Social impact examples are often derived from organizations, institutions, world leaders, and governmental policy initiatives but the truth is, that anyone can make a positive social impact on the world.

Here are a few ways you can make your presence felt and make a positive contribution to the global good.

See Related:   What is Sustainable Fashion?

Sustainability means different things for different people, but at its core, it requires maintaining change in a balanced fashion. You can start by defining how you can practice sustainability in your home.

From saving energy, eating less meat, using reusable alternatives, and going paperless to switching to renewable energy, recycling, growing your own produce, donating unused items, and saving water, there are more than a hundred things you can do to lessen your carbon footprint and make it a better place to live in.

Social impact examples like organizations starting a charity or donating millions to the underprivileged are inspirational, but you don’t have to start an organization to make a positive impact on the community you live in.

Research organizations working for social change and volunteer for them. From tutoring children and serving meals to handing out materials or cleaning up a beach – there’s plenty you can do for a charity or NGO near you.

See Related: What is a Serial Entrepreneur? Definition & Examples To Know

If you’re looking to utilize your money for the greater good, you may want to look into impact investments . Impact investments allow you generate financial returns while contributing to social or environmental good. This means that you can align your values with your investments, help meet global challenges, and play an active role in shaping the world’s future.

Investors may put their investments in a social impact fund such as ESG funds or dabble in individual stocks. Social impact investment examples include using investments to address social and environmental issues like hunger and climate change, homelessness, poverty, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Social impact refers to the effect that an organization’s actions have on the well-being of society. It is a measure of the positive or negative change that an organization creates through its activities, products, or services. Social impact can be assessed in a variety of ways, including through social return on investment (SROI) analysis, which quantifies the social and environmental benefits of an organization’s activities.

There are five types of impact: economic, social, environmental, cultural, and political. Economic impact refers to the financial effects of a particular event or action, such as changes in employment or income. Social impact refers to the effects on people and communities, including changes in quality of life or social behaviors.

Environmental impact refers to the effects on the natural world, such as changes in ecosystems or pollution levels. Cultural impact refers to the effects on cultural practices, beliefs, and values, such as changes in language or traditions. Political impact refers to the effects on government and policy, such as changes in laws or regulations.

Is social impact factors refers to the effects that an organization’s activities have on the social well-being of the community in which it operates. Social impact factors can include a wide range of factors such as environmental sustainability, social justice, community development, and other social issues. Understanding an organization’s social impact factors is important for evaluating its overall impact on society and for making informed decisions about how to allocate resources to address social issues.

An example of a social impact strategy is corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. CSR initiatives are programs and policies implemented by companies to address social and environmental issues and improve their impact on society. These strategies can include philanthropy, volunteerism, sustainable practices, and ethical business operations.

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Avatar of The Impact Investor

Kyle Kroeger, esteemed Purdue University alum and accomplished finance professional, brings a decade of invaluable experience from diverse finance roles in both small and large firms. An astute investor himself, Kyle adeptly navigates the spheres of corporate and client-side finance, always guiding with a principal investor’s sharp acumen.

Hailing from a lineage of industrious Midwestern entrepreneurs and creatives, his business instincts are deeply ingrained. This background fuels his entrepreneurial spirit and underpins his commitment to responsible investment. As the Founder and Owner of The Impact Investor, Kyle fervently advocates for increased awareness of ethically invested funds, empowering individuals to make judicious investment decisions.

Striving to marry financial prudence with positive societal impact, Kyle imparts practical strategies for saving and investing, underlined by a robust ethos of conscientious capitalism. His ambition transcends personal gain, aiming instead to spark transformative global change through the power of responsible investment.

When not immersed in the world of finance, he’s continually captivated by the cultural richness of new cities, relishing the opportunity to learn from diverse societies. This passion for travel is eloquently documented on his site,, where you can delve into his unique experiences via his author profile.


Social Enterprise Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business Plans » Non-Profit Sector

Do you want to start a social enterprise and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample social enterprise business plan template & feasibility report.

A social enterprise is an organization that leverages on commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being.

Social Enterprise

Social enterprises have both business and social goals. As a result, their social goals are embedded in their objective, which differentiates them from other organizations and corporations.

The major objectives of a social enterprise organization are to promote, encourage, and make social change. This goes to show that there are diverse areas where you can focus on with your social enterprise ideas.

You can actually invest in the Community Housing & Homeless Shelters industry and interestingly, this industry is made up of businesses that offer temporary and emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing , construction and repairs and other.

A Sample Social Enterprise Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

In the united states, the Social Enterprise Alliance defines a “social enterprise” as “Organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social or environmental problem through a market-driven approach.” Interestingly an entrepreneur can focus on starting a transitional housing as a social enterprise.

Transitional housing is temporary housing for certain segments of the homeless population, including working homeless people who are earning too little money to afford long-term housing. Transitional housing is set up to transition residents into permanent, transitional housing.

It is not in an emergency homeless shelter, but usually a room or apartment in a residence with support services. The transitional time can be short, for example one or two years, and in that time the person must file for and get permanent housing and usually some gainful employment or income, even if Social Security or assistance.

Sometimes, the transitional housing residence program charges a room and board fee, maybe 30 percent of an individual’s income, which is sometimes partially or fully refunded after the person procures a permanent place to live in. In the USA, federal funding for transitional housing programs was originally allocated in the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1986.

Transitional housing business is part of the community housing and homeless shelters industry and this industry provides a variety of community housing services, including:

Short-term emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse; temporary residential shelter for the homeless , runaway youths and parents and families caught in medical crises; transitional housing and assisted living for low-income individuals and families; and volunteer construction or repair of low-cost housing.

The Community Housing & Homeless Shelters Industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in most developed countries of the world.

Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 12,323 registered and licensed community housing and homeless shelters companies responsible for directly employing about 132,874 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $12 billion annually.

The industry is projected to grow at – 0.7 percent annually within 2014 and 2019. It is important to state that no company can boast of having a major market share in the industry.

Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own transitional housing company as a social enterprise organization could be that the business is thriving and profitable, and an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully launch the business if they have a pool of cash.

If you are going into the construction of transitional housing as a social enterprise organization, it is very important to be creative, to be able to use your ideas to meet the rapidly changing needs of the society when it comes to housing and meeting related social needs of your target market.

2. Executive Summary

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing , Inc. is a social enterprise and not a charity organization. It is a profit-generating business that serves not just to make money but also to make an impact in the lives of the homeless in the city where we are going to be operating from.

We will have our headquarters in Montgomery – Alabama and will major in the construction of transitional housing so as to provide a variety of community housing services, including:

Short-term emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse; temporal residential shelter for the homeless, runaway youths and parents and families caught in medical crises; transitional housing and assisted living for low-income individuals and families; and volunteer construction or repair of low-cost housing.

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is going to be a self-administered and a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). We will engage in the construction of different transitional homes that will meet the needs of our clients.

We will work towards becoming one of the largest transitional housing construction companies in the United States of America with active presence in major cities.

As part of our plans to make our customers our number one priority and to become one of the leading social enterprise in the United States of America, we have perfected plans to adopt international best practices that can favorably compete with the best in the industry. St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. has overtime perfected plans that will help us to become specialists in our area.

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a social enterprise organization, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable social enterprise practices wherever possible.

We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely. St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will be owned majorly by Peter McCain and his immediate family members. Peter McCain has a Degree in Civil Engineering.

He is a property guru that has worked with top community housing companies in the United States of America for many years prior to starting his own social enterprise. Other organizations and investors with same social enterprise ideology whose name cannot be mentioned here for obvious reasons are going to be part of the business.

3. Our Products and Services

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is going to offer varieties of services within the scope of the community housing and homeless shelters industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our social enterprise organization is to favorably compete with leading players in the transitional housing cum social enterprise market space in the United States of America.

We will be involved in providing;

  • Short-term emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse
  • Temporary residential shelter for homeless, runaway youths and families caught in medical crises
  • Transitional and assisted housing for low-income individuals and families
  • Volunteer construction or repair of low-cost housing
  • Repair of homes for elderly or disabled homeowners as a support service

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

Our vision as a social enterprise is to become the leading operator in the social economy of Alabama whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for our owners and shareholders.

Our mission of starting a social enterprise cum transitional housing construction business is to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse, the homeless, runaway youths, families caught in medical issues and average low – income earning families, own their own transitional housing in and around Montgomery – Alabama.

Our Business Structure

Our organization’s structure is not entirely different from what is obtainable in the community housing and homeless shelters industry. As a matter of priority, we have decided to create a structure that will allow for easy growth for our employees and also, we have created platforms that will enable us attract some of the best hands in the industry.

We are quite aware that the success of any social enterprise lies in the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our transitional housing construction company on the right business foundation.

We will ensure that we only hire people that are qualified, honest, hardworking, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stakeholders.  As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more depending how fast we meet our set target.

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is fully aware of the modus operandi in the community housing and homeless shelters industry, hence adequate provision and competitive packages has been prepared for independent real estate brokers.

Our marketing department will be responsible for managing this aspect of our business structure. Below is the business structure we will build St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. on;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Company’s Lawyer / Secretary

Project Manager

Civil Engineer

Land Surveyor

Admin and HR Manager

  • Business Developer / Sales and Marketing

Transitional Housing Officer

  • Customer Service Executive / Front Desk Officer

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO (President):

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results.
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Reports to the board

Company’s Lawyer/Secretary/Legal Counsel

  • Responsible for drawing up contracts and other legal documents for the company
  • Consult and handle all corporate legal processes (e.g. intellectual property, mergers & acquisitions, financial / securities offerings, compliance issues, transactions, agreements, lawsuits and patents et al)
  • Develop company policy and position on legal issues
  • Research, anticipate and guard company against legal risks
  • Represent company in legal proceedings (administrative boards, court trials et al)
  • Play a part in business deals negotiation and take minutes of meetings
  • Responsible for analyzing legal documents on behalf of the company
  • Prepares annual reports for the company
  • Responsible for the planning, management and coordinating all projects on behalf of the company
  • Supervise projects
  • Ensure compliance during project executions
  • Providing advice on the management of projects
  • Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
  • Using IT systems and software to keep track of people and progress of ongoing projects
  • Responsible for overseeing the accounting, costing and billing of every project
  • Represent the organization’s interest at various stakeholders’ meetings
  • Ensures that project desired result is achieved, the most efficient resources are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied.
  • Responsible for preparing bids for tenders, and reporting to clients, public agencies and planning bodies
  • Ensures that sites meet legal guidelines, and health and safety requirements
  • Assessing the environment impact and risks connected to projects
  • Responsible for judging whether projects are workable by assessing materials, costs and time requirements
  • Drawing up blueprints, using Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages
  • Discussing requirements with the client and other professionals (e.g. architects and project managers et al)
  • Responsible for managing, directing and monitoring progress during each phase of a project
  • Responsible for creating building designs and highly detailed drawings
  • Working around constraining factors such as town planning legislation, environmental impact and project budget
  • Writing and presenting reports, proposals, applications and contracts
  • Adapting plans according to circumstances and resolving any problems that may arise during construction
  • Work with project team and management to achieve a common goal
  • Responsible for applying for planning permission and advice from governmental new building and legal department.
  • Responsible for undertaking land surveys/measurements
  • Responsible for presenting data to clients
  • Responsible for producing and advising about construction plans and drawings
  • Responsible for advising about technical matters and whether the construction plans are viable
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Design job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily office activities.
  • In charge of inspecting and reporting on the structural attributes of a building
  • Responsible for handling reporting on and evaluating the component systems of a building (electrical, fire, roofing and plumbing)
  • Assessing compliance with building, electrical, plumbing and fire codes
  • Evaluating building plans and permits
  • Studying and assessing the soil composition and attributes of where the building is located
  • Reviewing and approving plans that meet building codes, local ordinances and zoning regulations
  • Issuing violation notices and stop-work orders until building in violation is compliant
  • Keeping daily logs, including photographs taken during inspection
  • Handle real estate consultancy and advisory services

Marketing and Sales Executive/Business Developer

  • Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s need s, and communicate with clients
  • Finds and qualifies land for development based on company’s land requirements; maintains a land search database; initiates discussions with property owners about the possible sale of property
  • Develop, execute and evaluate new plans for expanding increase sales
  • Document all customer contact and information
  • Represent the company in strategic meetings
  • Help increase sales and growth for the company
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managers with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company

Front Desk/Customer’s Service Officer

  • Receives Visitors/clients on behalf of the organization
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company
  • Handles enquiries via e-mail and phone calls for the organization
  • Distribute mails in the organization
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the line manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s properties that are put – up for sale, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries

6. SWOT Analysis

The fact that transitional housing construction business is a very rewarding business does not mean that there are no challenges in the industry. In order to compete favorably in the community housing and homeless shelters industry as a social enterprise organization we have been able to hire the services of tested and trusted business and HR consultants to help us conduct critical SWOT analysis.

We intend maximizing our strengths, explore all opportunities we will come across, properly manage our weakness and confront our threats. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc.;

Some of the strengths that we will be bringing to the table in the industry is our robust relations with properties investment moguls in the whole of the United States of America. Also, our access to pools of low-income earning families and the homeless who are willing to own their own transitional housing.

Again, we have a team of experts who have cut their teeth in the social enterprise market. Our commission structure and relationship with freelance real estate agents in Montgomery – Alabama and other state in the US will also count towards our advantage.

As a newbie in the transitional housing line of business, we might have some challenges competing with big time social enterprise organizations and other transitional housing construction companies that have been in the industry for many years; that perhaps is part of our weakness.

  • Opportunities:

Unemployment usually leads to a decline in income, which makes housing less affordable. A rise in the national unemployment rate will increase demand for community housing services. Conversely, a decrease in the unemployment rate will reduce the number of individuals seeking the services provided by the industry.

The national unemployment rate is expected to decrease in 2019. However, potential economic uncertainty in the near future could contribute to higher unemployment, presenting an opportunity for the industry.

The majority of industry revenue comes from the federal, state and local government-funded homeless and housing assistance programs. Any changes in funding or government policy will drastically affect industry revenue. Federal funding for social services is expected to decrease in 2019, posing a potential threat to the industry.


  • Market Trends

Housing choice is a response to an extremely complex set of economic, social, and psychological impulses. For example, some households may choose to spend more on housing because they feel they can afford to, while others may not have a choice but to stick to transitional housing via as a way of escaping being homeless.

Market forces, policy decisions, and demographic changes have converged, making it more difficult to increase transitional housing for renters. The US affordable-housing crisis shows no signs of going away anytime soon, and it’s having the unadulterated effects on people with the lowest

So also, with the high rate of people migrating to the United States, it is the norm for them to contract transitional housing construction companies to help them with transitional housing that they intend leasing or renting on a short time basis. In essence, most transitional housing construction companies are targeting migrants and the vulnerable in the society who are likely going to need such properties.

Another obvious trend that is common with transitional housing construction companies in the United States of America is that most of them are improvising on more means of making money in the industry and as matter of fact, they are also acting as property developers and home staging agents.

One thing is certain for every transitional housing construction company; if they are hardworking, creative and proactive, they will always generate enough income to meet all their overhead and operational cost, keep their business going without struggle and make reasonable profits.

8. Our Target Market

As a social enterprise operating in transitional housing market space, our target market cuts across homeless and vulnerable families who are classified as low-income earners. We are coming into the community housing and homeless shelters industry with a business concept that will enable us work with a wide range of clients and make positive social impact in their lives.

Our target market are vulnerable and low – income earning families in the whole of the United States of America and we have put plans in place to recruit freelance agents (brokers) nationally to represent our interest wherever they are located in the United States of America.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically designed our services for;

  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Sexual assault or child abuse victims
  • The homeless, runaway youths and parents and families caught in medical crises
  •  Low-income individuals and families
  • Families who are interested in acquiring/renting a decent and well renovated transitional apartment

Our Competitive Advantage

The availability of competent and reliable real estate professionals under our payroll, our business process, pricing model and social impact packages et al are part of our competitive advantages.

Another possible competitive strategy for winning our competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base, and ensure that our transitional homes designs are top notch and trendy. Our organization is well positioned, key members of our team are highly reliable and competent and can favorably compete with the some of the best in the industry.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives. We will also engage freelance real estate brokers/agents on a commission level to help us market our services.


  • Sources of Income

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is established with the aim of making maximum social impact and of course profits. Although we are a social enterprise in the transitional housing market space, but part of our work force are also licensed real estate agents hence we intend generating additional income from diverse means in the real estate agency.

We have successfully built a vibrant real estate network that covers the whole of the United States of America so as to help us build a profitable social enterprise organization. Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc.;

  • Repair of homes for elderly or disabled homeowners as part of our give back to the community.

10. Sales Forecast

It is a known fact that as long as there are vulnerable people and low – income earning families in the United States of America, there will always be need to for transitional housing construction companies from time to time.

We are well positioned to take on the challenges that are synonymous with social enterprises that operate in the transitional housing market space in the United States, we are quite optimistic that we will meet out set target of generating enough income/profits from the first month or operations and grow the influence of our social enterprise beyond Montgomery – Alabama to other states within record time.

We have been able to examine the social enterprise market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions peculiar to similar start – ups in Montgomery – Alabama;

Below are the sales projections for St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. it is based on the location of our social enterprise and the services we will be offering;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $1 million
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $2.5 million
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $3.5 million

N.B: This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and any major competitor offering same services and social impacts as we do within the locations where we have a strong business presence. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher since some factors are beyond our control.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We quite mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions in the transitional housing market in the United States of America, hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization.  The training is not restricted to only our full – time employees but it will also get to our freelance brokers. St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies;

  • Introduce our social enterprise cum transitional housing construction company by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to low income earning families, vulnerable families, individuals and other key stake holders throughout the city where our social enterprise organization is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for our business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market our services
  • Join local social enterprise organization associations for industry trends and tips
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing our services
  • Advertise our social enterprise organization in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List our social enterprise on yellow pages’ ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the transitional housing cum real estate industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our social enterprise organization.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise our social enterprise organization;

  • Place adverts on both print and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant TV shows so as to be able to communicate our brand and what we do
  • Maximize our company’s website to promote our business
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other platforms (real estate online forums) to promote our business and list our properties for sale and for lease.
  • Install our Billboards in strategic locations in and around Montgomery – Alabama
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in targeted areas from time to time
  • Attend landlord and residence association meetings with the aim of networking and introducing our business.
  • Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles and ambulances are well branded with our company’s logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

The fact that a social enterprise is not a charity organization but a profit-generating business that serves not just to make money but also to make a social impact, means that we will charge far less than what people in main stream industry will be charging.

We will ensure that we don’t know run at a loss but at the same make relative profits that we can easily leverage on to make maximum impact in our city.

  • Payment Options

At St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will not accept payment by cash because of the volume of cash that will be involved in most of our transactions.

Real estate deals usually involve huge amount of money. Here are the payment options that St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment by via bank transfer
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans without any itches and we will also pay our freelance sales agents (real estate brokers) with same platforms.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

From our market survey and feasibility studies, we have been able to come up with a detailed budget on achieving our aim of establishing a standard and highly competitive social enterprise cum transitional housing construction company in Montgomery – Alabama and here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for incorporating the business in The United States of America – $750.
  • The budget for permits and license – $2,000
  • The cost for hiring business consultant – $2,500.
  • The cost for computer software apps (Accounting Software, Payroll Software, CRM Software, real estate software, and QuickBooks Pro et al) – $7,000
  • The budget for insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $5,400.
  • The cost for acquiring suitable Office facility with enough space in Montgomery – Alabama – $1.5 million.
  • The cost for equipping the office (computers, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $150,000
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $100,000
  • The cost of launching our official Website – $600
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $5,000

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need approximately 2.5 million dollars to successfully set up a small scale but standard social enterprise in the transitional housing market space in the United States of America.

Please note that the salaries of all our staff members for the first month is included in the expenditure and the pool cash needed for the construction of the first set of affordable houses is not part of this financial projection. We will contact our partners to pool cash together when the time comes.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc.

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is a social enterprise that will be owned and managed by Peter McCain, his immediate family members and other business partners. They decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the social enterprise to just three major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $1 million (Personal savings $800,000 and soft loan from family members $200,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $1.5 million from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.

We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to rent / lease / sell our transitional housing services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

St. Peter McCain© Transitional Housing, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Acquiring of Office Facility and remodeling the facility in Montgomery – Alabama: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from the CEO/President and Business Partners: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Marketing/Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry (networking and membership of relevant real estate bodies): In Progress
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