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Awesome Social Enterprise – Massive Collection of Resources

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📗Resources to dive into the world of social enterprises 🌼

A social enterprise is an organization that is primarily focused on social impact and is at least partially self-funded.

Rant on why He made this

When He was at Eckerd College he repeatedly bumped into the concept of social enterprises. First, in a course called Technology, Society, and The Environment, then through meeting the CTO of a social enterprise, and finally by taking a course called Social Entrepreneurship. Each step along the way I fell more in love with the concept of social enterprises. However, He never felt like there was an easy way to connect to the world of social enterprises.

Eventually, He set a Google Alert for weekly digests of anything related to “social entrepreneurs.” That worked okay but he still felt like he was missing out on something. Fast-forward a few years and he find himself heavily involved in a nonprofit called hackNY, working at The New York Times, and having a stronger urge than ever to learn about social enterprises. As such, He has started compiling this list of resources to make it easy for people to connect with the world of social enterprises. See the FAQs at the bottom for some common questions.


What to Read

Wikipedia Links 🔗

Wikipedia is a great place to explore and find related topics.

News 📰

Finding Articles


Papers 📃

  • (1998) The Meaning of “Social Entrepreneurship” by J. Gregory Dees
    • A short history of social entrepreneurship (and why the definition isn’t agreed upon).
  • (2004) The Legitimacy of Social Enterprise Raymond Dart
    • A pragmatic discussion on why social enterprises, in relation to nonprofits, exist.
  • (2008) Evolution of the social enterprise industry by the Institute for Social Entrepreneurs
    • Less academic but a detailed history of events related to social enterprises.
  • (2010) Conceptions of Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship by Jacques Defourny
    • Parallels between US and European Social Enterprises.
  • (2014) Social Enterprise – A New Phenomenon in the Field of Economic and Social Welfare? by Leandro Sepulveda
    • A history of social enterprises from a UK perspective.

Books 📚

Title Author Year Notes
Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs To Know David Bornstein 2010 Great introduction to social entrepreneurship. Short and sweet with lots of great answers to common questions.

Courses 🎓

Future Learn

  • Social Enterprise Program
    • By Middlesex University Business School & Jindal Centre for Social Innovation + Entrepreneurship program.
    • Free, three courses, nine weeks total.
    • According to this paper, the courses were quite impactful and helped start many social enterprises.

Philanthropy University | Interview with CEO | Origins

  • Several free courses such as: Introduction to Fundraising, Fundraising Strategies, and Setting Up a Nonprofit Board.



Acumen Academy

  • Offers free and paid courses to help individuals create social change.


  • Year Here – One year social enterprise fellowship to build an organization based in London.
  • Acumen Academy Fellowship – One year fellowship with the goal of equipping individuals with the tools to tackle issues in their communities.

Institutions 🏫

Academic institutions researching social enterprise:

Tools 🔨

What to Watch

Videos 📽

Movies 🎥

Title Year Notes
The Social Shift 2018 Four young adults travel across Canada interviewing social entrepreneurs.
The New Breed 2020 Follows three change-makers as they build social enterprises.

Communities 🤝



Finding Local Communities

  • SEA Chapters – Groups all over US focused on social enterprises.
  • Meetup – Popular group meeting site.
  • Eventbrite – Easy site for discovering events near you.




  • CSED – Canada based nonprofit helping develop, launch, and grow social enterprises.
  • Common Good Solutions – Canada based B-corp helping governments, community organizations and entrepreneurs.

People 🧑


  • Susan Davis – Co-authored books on on social enterprise and highly active in community.
  • David Bornstein – Wrote several popular books on social entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurs

  • Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Prize winner, founder of Grameen Bank, considered father of social enterprise.

Twitter Accounts 🐦

See a feed of all these accounts by following my “Social Enterprise News” Twitter list here.

Social Enterprise Examples


  • WorldShapers – An abundance of resources related to social entrepreneurship education.
  • Benefit Corporation – A type of for-profit corporate entity, authorized by 35 U.S. states.
  • B Corp Certification – Certificate issued for existing for profit organizations demonstrating social responsibility.

FAQs ❓

Q: What is the goal of this post?
A: To provide resources for people to dive into the world of social enterprises. To get people excited about social enterprises. To spread the word of social enterprises.

Q: What do you like about social enterprises?
A: I love the idea of bringing the goodness of nonprofits and the efficiency of business together. Not all nonprofits are inefficient and not all businesses are bad. However, the potential of unleashing the notoriously efficient business practices to maximize social impact is what I want to encourage people to explore.

Q: Why social enterprise instead of social entrepreneurship?
A: I want to focus on the organizational structure rather than the individuals within an organization. Social entrepreneurship can mean anything from a large organization championing for social causes to a lone person doing community development. While both of those are important and valuable this is a resource geared towards people interested in the organizational side of things.

Q: How is a social enterprise different from a nonprofit?
A: A social enterprise may be a nonprofit. While nonprofits are usually focused on social impact they may not be generating any revenue to fund themselves.

Q: Why not just add this information to Wikipedia?
A: Wikipedia is meant to contain information that’s encyclopedic in nature. Meaning, it should contain the most important and verified information in a well summarized form. This document is much more like a phone book trying to link out to relative resources that are useful.

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