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Seebohm Hill - Connecting social entrepreneurs and social investors to deliver innovative ways of meeting social need

Social Enterprise

What we mean by social enterprise:

In its broadest sense, this quote from a well-known scholar describes well what social enterprise is about:

“finding new and better ways for mobilizing and deploying resources to make the world a better place.”
J.Gregory Dees, Founding Faculty Director, Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship.

More specifically, we believe social enterprises that are capable of achieving sustainability and delivering both social and financial returns to investors over the long-term will have the following characteristics:

  • They will be working to solve a social problem not just address the symptoms of it.
  • Using innovative models – what has gone before usually hasn’t worked at all or as well as it might; totally new approaches are required.
  • Meeting need for a constituency – they will have a close relationship with, and understanding of, customers/beneficiaries and the communities they serve not just a one-off transactional relationship.
  • Delivering market-based solutions not a project. They will need to tackle and overcome market dysfunction given the nature of the issues to be addressed.
  • Run by an entrepreneur or team who have experience in providing services to meet social need – these enterprises will be “start-off” not “start-up”; they will have the experience and capability to adapt and change their models as they learn what works and what doesn’t in the markets in which they operate. 
  • They will campaign about / with their impact – raising awareness about the problem they are seeking to solve will be a core component of what the enterprise does.