Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Define: Social Entrepreneurship

Hi all

I am really privileged to be selected by UNESCO, to represent Singapore in the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum, and will be sharing Singaporean views on various social issues surrounding the youths at Paris next week.

During one of the many discussion online prior to the actual event itself, I was motivated to share with the other delegate, clear and concise information defining social entrepreneurship, obtained from the Singapore's SE Association (SEA) website, and I will like to share it with you all.

Taken from: http://www.seassociation.sg/cos/o.x?c=/ca3_sea/pagetree&func=view&rid=5599

Social enterprises are, first and foremost, businesses. The term refers to any non-profit, for-profit or hybrid corporate form that utilises market-based strategies to advance a social cause. Like any other business, it aims to create surpluses, but seeks to reinvest those surpluses to achieve its social objectives. Social enterprises are not businesses driven by a need to maximise profit for their shareholders or owners. 

The social needs addressed by social enterprises and the business models used can be extremely diverse (such as environmental, social issues and healthcare etc). Social enterprises can be said to pursue double or even triple bottom lines, implying that beyond financial outcomes, they also seek to accomplish their intended social and/or environmental cause(s).

From the report of the Social Enterprise Committee published in 2007, there are four broad models of social enterprise that we can find in Singapore today, although this is not an exhaustive taxonomy of the complex and varied ways in which social enterprise can be conducted.


Business Model


Plough-back-profit Model
The objective of these social enterprises is to generate profit to fund the social programmes of their affiliated or parent charities. This helps VWOs or charities reduce their reliance on donations and enhance their financial sustainability.
Subsidised Services Model
These social enterprises provide subsidised services to needy and/or disadvantaged clients, and charge commercial rates to mainstream customers. This ensures that the people who could not usually afford certain services have access to such services to improve their quality of life.
Work Integration Model
The Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs) provide skills training and/or employment opportunities to the needy disadvantaged (i.e. those who have higher than usual barriers to employment, such as ex-offenders) as a means to reintegrate them into society and encourage them to be self-reliant. They give an opportunity to people who may not find employment on the open market.
Social Needs Model
These social enterprises are designed to serve society's social needs or address certain social issues. These issues can include community bonding, family bonding and racial harmony.


  1. The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.
    Thanks so much for sharing these intelligent piece with us. It really helps me understand many things.
    How I also wish you could link us up to better jobs sites
    allot are really in pains, modern day slavery for a job
    If anyone is Looking for a international Entry Rig Job specially Nigerian people must check this site Oil & Gas Recruitment opportunity

  2. Hi Thanks for the comment... yeap... Thanks for sharing.. I will look out for job sites, but I think those that I know of, are restricted to jobs available only in Singapore.