An SEB can be a for-profit or nonprofit enterprise; it explicitly intends to address a social problem by using earned revenue strategies; this may be any type of business so long as:
- its products or services themselves directly address a social need and are paid for by customers (i.e., a customer-focused social enterprise), OR
- it employs a significant number of the people it serves — at least 50 per cent of the company’s direct labor force (i.e., an employee-focused social enterprise)
The focus is on providing social value but with a strategy in place to eventually achieve sustainability through earned income. During the startup phase in both types of businesses, financial resources may also include a mixed revenue stream that includes “unearned income” (e.g., donations, fundraisers, corporate grants, charitable contributions from philanthropists, public sector subsidies) to help meet expenses.
A nonprofit social enterprise is not the same as nonprofit organization (NPO) or nongovernment organization (NGO). For an organization to be considered a viable SEB, it cannot rely solely on grants, fundraisers donations, and public sector subsidies. To be competitive as a SAGE SEB, the organization must show that it has a long-term strategy that includes earned income.
Teams that enter the SEB tournament should do their best to meet the following four judging criteria:
|Social Enterprise Business (SEB)
|Written Annual Report||Oral Presentation|
|TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS||40 pts||40 pts|
Here is a handy summary of the five criteria:
- Measurable impacts
- Community resources
- Sustainable business practices
- Succession plan
- Media (mass and social)
To see a detailed explanation of each SAGE criterion, go to Interpretation of SAGE Judging Criteria – Social Enterprise Business (SEB).