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The A-Z of social enterprise terminology

The A-Z of social enterprise terminology

Article · By Kerry Needs on June 30, 2017


Confused about the world of social enterprise? You’re not alone. Even after you’ve read our guide, you may be still struggling to understand some of the basic phrases and terms.

When we were starting out, we knew how easy it was to be overwhelmed with all the jargon - it can be daunting to say the least!

But fear not, we’ve compiled them in this wonderfully simple glossary list. So if you need to educate yourself on (some of ) the social enterprise alphabet, here’s your opportunity!

A is for Angel Investor: Angel Investors are used in social enterprises to help them leverage their business. These are private individuals who fund the business or get it off the ground.

B is for B-Corp: B-Corp is a term used in America for those businesses who are creating social impact as well as a profitable business. It is a certification rather than a legal structure.

C is for Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a great way to fund your social enterprise, by asking a large amount of people to contribute via an online platform.

D is for Debt Finance: Debt finance occurs when a firm raises money for working capital or capital expenditures by selling bonds, bills or notes to individuals and/or institutional investors.

E is for Ethical Business: Ethical Business is simply putting ethics at the heart of business.

F is for Feasibility Studies: Doing Feasibility Studies is important for any social entrepreneur, as it means the studies you take to see if your idea will work or not. It is a test to try out your product or service in the marketplace.

G is for Grants: Grants can help a social enterprise enormously. Check out the rest of our blog for more information on grants and financing.

I is for Impact Investing: Impact Investing essentially means actively sourcing and investing in businesses, charities and funds that are directly tackling social or environmental challenges. And I is also for Inventshift, of course!

K is for Kickstarter: Kickstarter is an awesome crowdfunding website that you can use to fund your business.

L is for Leverage: Leverage is the investment strategy of using borrowed money: specifically, the use of various financial instruments or borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment. Leverage can also refer to the amount of debt used to finance assets.

M is for Microloan: A microloan is the extension of credit to entrepreneurs that are too poor to qualify for conventional bank loans.

N is for Not for Profit:  Not for Profit is usually a charitable or a social organisation whose profits are kept within the business.

P is for Pay it Forward: Paying it Forward is a concept used in a lot of social enterprises. Essentially, the concept is that your money goes towards helping someone in need, whether you pay extra to buy someone a coffee, a meal, or something else.

R is for ROI: A term not just used in the social enterprise world; ROI means Return On Investment and is a measure of how much profit you make in terms of how much you invested in.

S is for Social Entrepreneur: Any person who is involved with making a difference in the world as well as profit.

T is for Target Customers: The subset of a particular audience demographic whom you're looking to target with your business.

U is for UnLtd: Unltd is one of the world’s best resources for social enterprise; they have a whole host of important information and contacts.

V is for Venture Capital: Venture Capital is the process by which a company invests money (usually equity) into startups that they believe will succeed and have high growth potential.

For more information on setting up a social enterprise, read our collection of blog articles.

Article by:

Kerry Needs
on June 30, 2017

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