Weekend Readings - Scaling social impact

Last update on 06 febbraio 2013.

Weekend Readings - Scaling social impact

Maximizing social impact seems to be on everyone's lips these days. In the past few years, sceptcism towards normal business' ability to address the needs of the world have grown. In the aftermath of the economic crises, more people have rejected the idea of traditionnal profit seeking enterprise and want something more. The Y generation is increasingly seeking alternatives to traditionnal business models, wanting to make an impact on this world. This phenomenon has also been accompanied by critics of the traditionnal non-profit model. Many claim non-profits should learn from enterprises' efficiencies. And while these claims might be unjustified, it is becoming clear that a total relliance on donations and grants constantly leaves these organisations at great financial risk. Finding alternative sources of money might help non-profits focus on their mission and deliver services to a wider population. 

We rounded up some articles exploring the stakes at hand.

To Serve the Poorest Clients, Shared income isn't enough. Maximizing returns might not always be the best way to scale social impact. And while finding a revenue stream not only gives an organization independence, but also dignifies the poor as customers, earned income might not be sufficient to tackle the complex problems and needs of some of the poorest people on this planet. Donations and grants might give these organizations the financing they need to innovate.

What Capitalism can't fix. Should all businesses be social businesses? Sure. But should non-profits all adopt a business-like model? Maybe not. There may be some issues which will remain better addressed by non-profits. And is this really a bad thing? While not comprehensive, the three questions at the end of this article might help you determine whether your organization should be a social enterprise or a non-profit

10 Breakthrough Capitalism Opportunities for 2013. While a social business model might not be suited for all, here are some hints that traditional capitalism might be changing. 

Impact Sourcing, a Critical Path for Social Change. Impact investing is great, but to maximize social impact, all of the steps of the supply chain must support this aim. Since the worker and the bottom of the supply chain are also usually some of the poorest and often fall victim to the vicious cycle of poverty, impact sourcing can be critical. The example of brazilian nuts in this article is great. 

Happy readings!

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