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THE SOCIAL
ENTREPRENEUR

the-social-entrepreneur.com

INTRODUCTION
Greetings fellow worldchanger!
The guide you hold in your hand is a comprehensive list of social enterprise models from
around the world, based on the excellent work by the good people at Models of Impact.
As founder of Project Wildfire (a Toronto-based social enterprise incubator), Dean of Social
Enterprise at the world-renowned Centre for Social Innovation, and now founder of The
Social Entrepreneur, Ive worked with hundreds of incredible social entrepreneurs, with
hundreds of different ideas.
Innovation continues at a rapid pace the models and ideas in this list are just a starting
point for your own ideas, so take them as just that a starting point as you develop your
idea(s) into an actual business that will change the world!
To your success,

Mike Brcic, founder,


The Social Entrepreneur

NEED HELP GETTING YOUR IDEA OFF THE GROUND?


Every world changing business, like Grameen Bank or Kiva, started off as an idea. In order to turn your idea into an
actual business, youll need to develop a viable business model. To help social entrepreneurs like you do just that, Ive
built a tool called the Impact Canvas.
The Impact Canvas is one of 16 Execution Modules in my comprehensive online training for social entrepreneurs, and
the perfect tool to get you started down to the road to social entrepreneurship success.
This execution course normally sells for $40 CAD, but if you click below you can get it for just $7 and start building
your business model today!

START BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL

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THE ULTIMATE LIST OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE IDEAS


Below is a comprehensive list of social enterprise ideas and models, from Models of Impact.
Use these as a starting point for your own ideas, and once youre ready to start turning your
idea into a viable business model, check out the Impact Canvas execution module to help
you take your idea to the next stage at a special offer of just $7 CAD, or get access to the
full course all 16 Execution Modules - for just $48/month!

Market
1. Medical/Health:
Businesses that develop products with the specific purpose to alleviate medical/health
stress for their end users.
Example: Jerry the Bear, Medic Mobile
2. Low Income:
Businesses that develop products with the specific purpose of assisting those in lowincome/underserved communities.
Example: Delight Hearing Aids
3. Developing Countries
Businesses that develop products with the specific purpose of assisting those in developing
countries.
Example: D.Light Design, SHE

4. Non-Profit Clientele:
A business in the service-oriented business space that focuses its efforts on clients in the
social sector.
Example: Hershey Cause Communications, Blue Garnet

5. Low-Income Clientele
A business in the service-oriented business space that focuses its efforts on clients in lowincome communities.
Example: OneJustice, US Department of Housing Urban Development

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Inventory/Goods
6. Open Source:
Products that are typically available for free or for low cost that allow the end users to
build upon an existing framework in order to develop new solutions that can scale across
industry or region.
Example: Processing, Arduino

7. Sliding Scale Cost/Pay What You Can


Products that are made available by companies at a sliding scale cost, which allows certain
markets to subsidize those in need through their purchases.
Example: South Central Farmers Organic Cooperative, Cliftons Cafeteria

8. Product for Service/Access:


Products that subsidize access to important services for individuals/communities/
organizations in need.
Example: Stone + Cloth, re:char

9. One for One:


A model that allows customers to purchase a product that additionally sponsors a product
of equal or lesser value to be sent to individuals/communities/organizations in need.
Example: TOMS, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)

10. Percentage Inventory:


A model in which businesses dedicate a set percentage of their inventory to be donated to
individuals/communities/organizations in need.
Example: Microsoft, Pfizer

11. One Plus One:


A model in which businesses commit 1% of inventory and 1% of profits OR revenues to a
cause of choice or to individuals/communities/organizations in need.
Example: Harrys

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Jobs
12. Jobs for the disabled:
Products and/or services that are manufactured/offered in a manner that allows the
business to employ a workforce that is faced with medical/health issues.
Example: Celebrate Autism, Rising Tide Car Wash

13. Jobs for low income/transitional communities:


Products and/or services that are manufactured/offered in a manner that allows the
business to employ a workforce that is in transition.
Example: Would-Works, CDI Lan

14. Jobs for developing countries:


Products and/or services that are manufactured/offered in a manner that allows the
business to create jobs in developing countries.
Example: SHE, Apolis

15. Local jobs:


Products and/or services that are manufactured/offered in a manner that allows the
business to create jobs in local communities.
Example: Caduceus Cellars

16. Employee engagement programs:


Businesses that pay special attention to employee engagement and benefits including paid
time off to volunteer, profit-share, or flexible work environments that nurture personal
development.
Example: Ben & Jerrys, Alvarado Street Bakery

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Sustainability
17. Recycle/Upcycle:
Products that are created from recycled materials OR products that are created from
previously discarded materials.
Example: Terracycle, KEEN

18. Conscious Sourcing:


Products that are manufactured/developed from materials that are consciously sourced in
order to protect rare/endangered materials/environments and animals.
Example: Buy the Change

19. 1% for the planet:


A commitment made by businesses to donate at least 1% of all profits to environmental
causes.
Example: Patagonia, WaterChef

20. Paperless Office:


Services/offerings that pay special attention to the reduction of paper waste throughout an
engagement.
Example: Efficient Technology Inc., Quickforms

21. 1% for the planet:


A commitment made by businesses to donate at least 1% of all profits to environmental
causes.
Example: RA Partners, New Outlook Financial

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Cash
22. Irregular Contributions:
Irregular contributions are donations made throughout the year by businesses that are not
necessarily donated in proportion to the revenue/profit from that year.
Example: Kroger, Bank of America

23. Percentage of Profit/Revenue:


A model in which a company in the service or product-oriented business space donates
a pre-determined percentage of their profits or revenues on a yearly, quarterly, or more
frequent basis.
Example: Product Red, Big Wheel Brigade

24. Give Half:


A model in which a company in the service or product-oriented business space donates
50% of their profits or revenues on a yearly, quarterly, or more frequent basis.
Example: Latitude, Bridgeway Capital Management

25. 100% Profit/Revenue:


A model in which a company in the service or product-oriented business space donates
100% of their profits or revenues on a yearly, quarterly, or more frequent basis. This is most
common amongst non-profit organizations or private foundations, but has been leveraged
in the private sector, historically.
Example: Charity Water, Made by DWC (Downtown Womens Center)

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Awareness
26. Social Awareness:
A business in the service or product-oriented business space that is dedicated to inventing
products or delivering services that raise awareness around a significant cause or issue.
Example: Sevenly, Buena Nota

27. Social Action:


A business in the service or product-oriented business space that is dedicated to inventing
products or delivering services that inspire action around a significant cause or issue.
Example: Change.org, Amicus

GET THE IMPACT CANVAS EXECUTION MODULE


FOR JUST $7!
THE IMPACT CANVAS

BUSINESS:

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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Get access to the Impact


Canvas Execution Module,
and start building a viable
business model today!
This module normally sells
for $40 CAD, but if you click
below you can get it for just
$7 and start building your
business model right away!

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Services
28. Impact Investing:
Investments made into companies, organizations, and individuals with the intention of
creating both a financial and social/environmental impact. Impact Investing typically focuses
on emerging markets.
Example: Girls Helping Girls, Imprint Capital

29. Crowd-Funding:
A method of fundraising that activates a large group of people (the crowd) to make a
mass of small donations/purchases that collectively fund a project or initiative.
Example: Kickstarter, Return on Change

30. Social Impact Bonds:


A contract with the public sector in which a commitment is made to fund improvements in
exchange for social outcomes that ultimately result in savings for the public sector.
Example: Goldman Sachs, Social Finance UK

31. Micro-Lending:
Also known as micro-credit. This is a form of financing that allows the general public and
private institutions to distribute very small loans to impoverished borrowers who typically
lack collateral and a credit history that is verifiable.
Example: Kiva, MicroEnsure

32. Civic/Social Incubator or Accelerator:


A specialized program that provides the training and resources required to assist
entrepreneurs in the development/launch of a product or service that creates social, civic,
or environmental impact.
Example: Educate! (Eric Glustrom), Code for America

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33.The 100% Model:


A model leveraged by non-profit organizations that allows all public donations to be
invested in the cause/work of an organization as opposed to the overhead/operating costs.
This is made possible through a distinguished committee/board that has committed to
underwriting all operating costs for an organization.
Example: Charity Water, World of Children Award

34. Open Source (services):


Services and research findings or methodologies that have been made openly available for
all individuals/companies/organizations to use freely.
Example: Vera Solutions, FSG

35. Sharing Economy:


A collaborative economy that is built around the concept of sharing physical or intellectual
resources between peers.
Example: Task Rabbit, Airbnb

36. Give Half (pro-bono):


A model that allows service-providers to increase company bandwidth while
simultaneously lowering overall company overhead in order to allocate time and resources
toward a 50% pro-bono commitment.
Example: verynice, Soul Bucket

37. Give Some (pro-bono):


Businesses in the service-oriented business space that occasionally offer pro-bono services,
but do not have a standardized/institutionalized amount of time or resources allocated.
Example: Deloitte

38. Crowd-source/Intermediary (pro-bono or volunteerism):


An organization that serves as a connecting point between service providers or volunteers
and organizations or communities in need.
Example: Taproot Foundation, Volunteer Match

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39.The 1% Program (pro-bono):


A business model popularized in the architecture discipline in which firms make a
commitment to donate 1% of all time/resources toward pro-bono projects to better the
community.
Example: Gensler, Cannon Architects

40. Marathons (pro-bono):


Also known as done in a day. A model in which service-providers undertake a pro-bono
project in one intensive session that typically lasts for 24 hours and leverages all human
resources for that day to maximize impact.
Example: Global Service Jam, CreateAthon

41. Loaned Employee (pro-bono):


A program, typically leveraged by large companies, in which employees are loaned for
a temporary/pre-determined period of time to a non-profit organization in order to
complete a project or solve an organizational problem from an outsider perspective.
Example: PWC, IBM

42. Sliding Scale Engagements (pro-bono):


Businesses in the service-oriented business space that scale their market rates on a perproject basis in order to allow the services to be more accessible to those who cannot
afford them.
Example: Planned Parenthood

43. Non Skills-Based Volunteerism:


A program, typically leveraged by large companies, in which employees are invited to join
an expedition to give back to their community in a non skills-based approach (for example
cleaning a beach).
Example: Disney, Sony

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Additional/Broad Models
44. Non-Profit:
A non-profit organization is an organization that holds a tax-exempt status due to its
proven ability to further a religious, charitable, scientific, literary, educational, public safety,
amateur sports, or cruelty prevention purpose. The organization must also provide a
public benefit. Non-profit organizations survive with a model that relies on grants, public
fundraising campaigns, and/or private donations.
Example: Amnesty International, Human Rights Campaign

45. Hybrid Organizations:


A hybrid organization is an organization that mixes elements, value systems and action
logics of various sectors of society. Many of the models featured here would be considered
hybrid.
Example: Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation, Greystone Foundation

START BUILDING AND LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS TODAY


The Social Entrepreneur is a comprehensive, step-by-step online course to help you build, launch and scale a social
enterprise a business that makes a profit while making a positive impact on the world.
Its based on my 19 years of experience as an entrepreneur, and 5 years of experience consulting with and mentoring
social entrepreneurs in Toronto, and contains everything you need to turn your idea or struggling business into a
world changing, successful business.

GET IT NOW!

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