Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

What is the social impact of your social enterprise?

Reflecting on social enterprises' impact
In this video, social entrepreneurs discuss how they have created impact in their communities. Let’s see what they say. So for us social impact is at the core, irrespective of whatever that we do, whoever invests money for us, women are the ones who will get employed. So we scale up, scale down, scale right, scale left, it will still be the women who will be the primary beneficiary, and that’s what the social story of it is. For us right now, what are the parameters of success? Of course it’s about the acquisition of the number of customers.
How many people are we able to reach out to, in terms of bias, and how many people are we able to reach out to, as sellers. Then we’re looking at how much of revenue, how much of sales are we making and therefore acquisition costs is one thing, how much of them gets converted, how much of them when it gets converted reorder, because for us the idea is that the same person, who likes our food, should actually at least order 7-8 times a month and that’s where our recovery of acquisition costs or our relationship should be based. For any social enterprise, and this is basically for students you cannot have a definite plan for success.
Because, it’s important that there needs to be a balance between social story and the business story, because, if your business story fails then the social story is short lived. To create a strong, sustainable social business, you need to have a strong, sustainable economic model riding along side. Of course, it’s also about faith, it’s about the faith that you have in your self, because results don’t show up quickly enough. Like, for example if someone asks me “what’s the impact that Million Kitchen is making on these women by their ability to move out of their house, or their ability to wear today’s things that they want to wear, it has a very very 10-year to 20-year plan.
The shift that we’re creating you can’t measure it in economic parameters. So there are some non-tangibles, that are also extremely important. When your investor tells you “show me the numbers!”, on which you have to show them the numbers, you also need to keep in mind and be patient yourself, and also the investors, that some of this change is a long term change. In our business we have a very measurable social impact. So, it’s very countable on fingers. So, the number of people who have become the owners of their cycle rickshaw. Second, the number of people whose lives have been ensured and have got the legal license, as we also provide legal identity to them in the society.
Third, the increasing income. The bank linkage which we have made, the savings accounts which we have opened. The amount of savings saved from the day he has signed in with the organization, ‘till the day he graduated, can be measured. LEYF provides social impact in many different ways. There’s the core business of LEYF, which is providing early years education to children of all different backgrounds. But then there’s the other things that LEYF does, which is providing apprentice training, which is providing local community activities, that engage people within the community. So there are different ways in which LEYF provides social impact. So within LEYF itself, we’ve developed a couple of different ways of measuring social impact.
One is measuring the social impact for what the organization does at a whole level and the other is measuring social impact on each child. So if you look at what LEYF’s mission is, LEYF’s mission is to change the world, one child at a time. So it’s also very important for us to measure the social impact at each child level. Social impact it also short of took on a kind of journey on its own, into social accountancy and social finance and social measurement and there were looking for perfect models, but we’ve learned very quickly that what we have to do is do our own way of doing things.
So what we had to figure out is how do you create a scalable model, that also scales social benefit and social impact. And what I didn’t want was to build a model that had social impact as a tag on. You know, an additional bit. I wanted to build a model that every level of the business we were doing something that would add value to the audience, the customers, the experiences that we were kind of delivering. So, we’ve built a model using loads of research. So we looked at the economic research around investment early in children, that would give you a longer-term social benefit. In general, it would be for me very hard to say what the impact is, really.
And the longer we are working on this, the more we see that the real impact is something that is
it’s very, let’s say small, and it takes time to bring about change, really. So, on the long term, I would say that the fact that we are here, that we are constantly trying to question some issues, the fact that people are talking about it, the fact that we do, on a practical level, actual recycle or use again some of the materials, that’s the immediate impact. Whereas the impact in people’s minds or in their behavior, it’s quite hard to talk really, but on the long term we can see for ourselves, it is something, yeah, I am sure.

In this video, social entrepreneurs discuss how they have created impact in their communities. Let’s see what they say.

If you are a social entrepreneur, what is the social impact you are creating? Share your views and experiences with your fellow learners. If you are not a social entrepreneur yourself, please share some feedback by commenting on others’ reflections. How do you think they might increase their organisation’s impact?

This article is from the free online

Social Enterprise: Growing a Sustainable Business

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now