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Sustaining and scaling up strategies

In this video, Professor Fergus discusses the different approaches to sustain and scale up a social enterprise.
In this video, Professor Fergus discusses the different ways to sustain your social enterprise. Let’s hear about what he says. I’m Fergus Lyon, I’m Professor of Enterprise at Middlesex University. I specialize at looking at social enterprise and particularly looking at what this means in both in the UK but around the world. The two key things in a social enterprise is one, doing good, having a good social purpose, and secondly, having a good business behind it. So, anything about surviving or growing your social enterprise You’ve got to have those two elements. And that’s a real challenge for any social enterprise manager. So we’ve worked with social enterprises and we came up with a model of growth of three different approaches.
So the basic one is, just grow your own organization. Do well, grow it, get more business, get more customers, get more contracts, and just grow. We call that ‘the organic growth’. Then the second approach is franchising and what we could call ‘licensing’. When someone has a really good idea, they develop it in their own organization, and then they think ‘let’s replicate this, let’s copy this and then other organizations, and other organizations can actually pay us a fee, to deliver this service. We have done all the development, we’ll ensure the quality, we’ll bring in the training and other resources, but they pay an annual fee. This short of the franchising model.
The third way of growing, to have a big impact, cause if your core objective is a social objective, you wanna make sure that you are growing your social impact. and one of the best ways of doing that is giving away all of your information, all of your knowledge for free, to encourage other people to do. And that’s what we see in many social enterprises, they are very generous in letting other people know what they’re doing. But if you can encourage other people to develop some of the similar ideas, you can reach thousands or hundreds of thousands of people through doing that. And that is your social objective, you know, you can demonstrate how successful you have been.
The challenge is making sure you’ve got a sustainable business as well. Giving away all of your intellectual property could threaten the survival of the business. So again, this is where great leaders of social enterprises have to balance up. How much do you give away? How much do you keep, to keep your business safe? Because you’ve got to keep that in mind, that short of balance, all the time.

In this video, Professor Fergus discusses the different approaches to sustain and scale up a social enterprise.

What are the three different approaches he identifies?

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Social Enterprise: Growing a Sustainable Business

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