Mission, Inc.: The Practitioner's Guide to Social Enterprise

Mission, Inc.: The Practitioner's Guide to Social Enterprise

Paperback Social Venture Network

By (author) Kevin Lynch, By (author) Julius Walls

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  • Publisher: BERRETT-KOEHLER
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 213mm x 15mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 1 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: San Francisco
  • ISBN 10: 1576754790
  • ISBN 13: 9781576754795
  • Sales rank: 505,435

Product description

Until recently, most business thinkers have thought of "social responsibility" as limited to noble best practices in areas like charitable partnerships, environmental impact, and employment practices. But the tide is turning. Business leaders today understand there is much more to do, while nonprofits are coming to understand that earned income may be the only means to survive deep cuts in other sources of funding. For organizations and leaders looking to make a deep impact, social enterprise--profit-earning business ventures that prioritize their social mission impact--has become the strategy du jour. Unfortunately, the path to success in this arena has been, until now, unclear. Motivated leaders yearn to do more, but they neither understand what their social impact can be nor how to deliver it. More and more traditional business leaders are attracted to the idea of launching a socially responsible enterprise or operating as a social enterprise, but they adequate knowledge of the social issues they will face. They do not know how to reconcile these social issues with daily "pure" business issues or how to address them strategically. On the other hand, many non-profits with a clear understanding of the social issues they are confronting don't know how to handle the myriad of operational challenges that will come their way with the launch of an earned income venture. A swarm of consultants has eyed this marketplace and descended to dispense off-the-shelf strategic business planning services. But there is a dearth of pragmatic, hands-on, bare-knuckled advice for and from the people in the trenches. In this groundbreaking book, Julius Walls and Kevin Lynch have filled the gap. Instead of simply profiling businesses that have had some success, or dispensing high-level strategic advice from afar, they draw on their own extensive experiences with successful social enterprises to focus on the fundamental blocking and tackling tactics that make the difference between success and failure. Exploring the many paradoxes that can hamstring social enterprises, the authors explain how starting and running a social enterprise requires leaders to adopt an entirely different mindset, and often a wholly different perspective on the day-to-day choices they're forced to make. Likewise, Walls and Lynch help readers grapple with a different set of expectations from employees, funders, and the community. For social enterprise executives, these expectations present an added layer of difficulty in managing their enterprises--a especially tricky thing when backing away from a social commitment is not an option. Whether readers are looking for guidance on handling employee turnover, mission marketing, finding the right scale, or working well with the local community, this practical, accessible guide offers clear and compelling answers that light the way.

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Author information

Julius Walls JR. is senior vice president business and real estate of the Greyston Foundation and CEO of the Greyston Bakery. Greyston Foundation is a values-driven network of nonprofit and for-profit organizations founded to help transform the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Greyston is located in and focuses the large majority of its community development and social service work in the southwest section of Yonkers, New York. Kevin Lynch is President of Rebuild Resources, a non-profit, social purpose enterprise that helps chronic addicts and alcoholics find a path to sobriety and self-sufficiency through employment and spiritual recovery. Rebuild has multiple business operations, including sportswear imprinting and embroidery, manufacturing and light assembly, and steel sawing, which provide a recovery environment for its student-employees while creating the earned income streams to support the organization. Prior to Rebuild, Kevin was founder and principle of Lynch Jarvis Jones, an advertising agency dedicated to creating positive social change through the power of advertising and marketing.