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Choosing a name for your social enterprise

Choosing a name for your social enterprise

Article · By Kerry Needs on January 31, 2017



Choosing a name for your social enterprise is something you need to think about carefully. Once you’ve decided the name, everything will be built around it - your website, your logo, your content, maybe even your building premises. So it’s important you choose a name that’s both memorable and relevant.

Here’s a few tips to help you choose the right name for your social enterprise:

Get clear on your function: Before you start, get a large piece of paper and ask yourself a few questions. What’s your purpose? What’s your story? What’s your contribution to the world? How would you like people to feel after doing business with you?

Answering these questions and writing down all the words that come into your head is a good starting point. Getting clear on the function of your business will help you develop a fitting name, as it will help you figure out your reason for starting in the first place.  Start brainstorming - the more words the better!

Keep it short:

Social enterprises such as BioLite, Kiva and UnLtd all know the value of a short name. A name with 10 characters or less can be more likely to be turned into a logo, and can be utilised in various types of content. Will your business be operating in more than one country? If so, it’s worth checking that your business name does not mean something else in another language.

Make it easy to spell:

Pick a name that’s easy for people to spell or type into search engines, like charity:water, global giving or social earth. If you think that your name doesn’t quite convey what you do, think about adding a slogan instead. For example if you were a clothes recycling business, you could be called ‘SocialGarments’ : fashion conscious recyling’.

Make it relevant:

What does your business do? How do you help people, the environment or a social group? Think about the benefits or the impact your business is having when it comes to choosing a name. For example, Worth-It Projects provide positive psychology mental health training to schools and colleges, helping young people and adults feel that they are ‘worth it’. Karma Currency does what it says - it’s a way to give charity gift vouchers to others.

Make it memorable:

Once you’ve heard of the name Ashoka, it kind of sticks in your brain. So does Tom’s and the Malala Fund - all social enterprises with a great story behind them. If you can link your story to your name, even better. If you can create a great design or logo for your business name, this will also help to make it memorable. You want to ensure that your potential customers associate the name of your business with a particular vision or visual representation.

Does your business name speak volumes about you and what you do? It should! Creating a strong name is the first part of forming your identity, and one that you’ll be using for decades to come.

Article by:

Kerry Needs
on January 31, 2017

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