Three Issues Social Enterprises are facing and how to overcome them
Where are Social Enterprises now?
Social Enterprise UK posted “The Future of Business — State of Social Enterprise Survey 2017”: the largest and the most representative report for social enterprises in the UK.
According to their data, 70,000 social enterprises operate in the UK. They are generally micro and small young start-ups that operate mainly locally. They showed remarkable commercial resilience, outperforming mainstream SMEs in a range of business metrics, from turnover growth to diversity in leadership. Indeed, 41% of them are led by women, a percentage much higher than in other business areas. For instance, according to a Cranfield University study, in 2017, only 6 of FTSE 100 companies in the UK had a female CEO.
The Challenges of running a Social Enterprise
While numbers show social enterprises perform extremely well, social entrepreneurs still face several issues, from recruiting the right staff, to access to finance, to how to best adopt new technologies to support their mission.
Even if there are no unique answers that work for all, we pointed out three solutions that might work for your social enterprise.
Recruiting the right staff
Finding the right person for the right position is crucial in every business. However, when it comes to social issues, it is fundamental to hire someone that is committed to contributing to your cause. Working locally can make this task hard to achieve. Talents need to be aware of your Social Enterprise to want to work with you. Your company needs visibility.
This was one of the reasons why we built SEB, the Social Enterprise Bot. SEB is an automated assistant that you can chat to on Facebook Messenger. It helps you discover social enterprises around you, and keeps you informed of any events or initiatives that they organise over time (you can read a bit more here)
Access to finance
Access to finance represents a significant barrier for all social enterprises. In 2017, only 34% of them had sought new financial resources over the previous 12 months, compared to 44% in 2015 and 48% in 2013. One of the main obstacles when you are looking for funding is that investors need to know that you exist! Again, SEB can improve your visibility, enhancing your chances of enriching your network and make your business more noticeable.
Adopting new technology
Keeping your business up to date with technology enables you to be more efficient, work faster and serve better your cause. However, while, most social entrepreneurs feel comfortable in developing business plans and strategies, 43% of them stated that they are not really tech-savvy.
With its expertise in IT combined with experience in the social field, Strillobyte can help your social enterprise embrace new tech and become more successful. We can help you identify the best tools for your business, or craft new ones if they don’t exist.
And for you, what are the hardest issues you are facing running a social enterprise?