Social enterprise strategies

Social enterprises are businesses that prioritise positive social or environmental impact alongside financial sustainability. By aligning their operations with a larger social mission, these organisations have the power to drive meaningful change – while still generating revenue.

However, developing a successful social enterprise strategy requires a different approach to other businesses. To support founders on this journey, this page compiles a list of valuable resources for building robust social enterprise strategies.



  1. The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook: How to Start, Build, and Run a Business That Improves the World by Rupert Scofield – In The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook, Rupert Scofield gives you a practical plan for doing what you might have thought wasn’t possible: becoming a driving force for good by using business practices typically reserved for amassing personal wealth.
  2. Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus – In Building Social Business, Yunus shows how social business can be put into practice and explains why it holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free-market enterprise.
  3. The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook, Expanded Edition: Pressure Test, Plan, Launch and Scale Your Social Enterprise by Ian C. MacMillan and James D. Thompson – Professor Ian C. MacMillan and Dr. James Thompson provide a tough-love approach that significantly increases the likelihood of a successful social enterprise launch in the face of the high-uncertainty conditions typically encountered by social entrepreneurs.


  1. How to start a social enterprise by Social Enterprise UK – There’s a lot of information out there for startups, and this guide takes you through the essentials focusing on the parts that are most important in a social enterprise.


  1. All about Social Enterprise by Social Enterprise UK – This article details what a social enterprise does, how they’re defined and answers common FAQs.
  2. How To Create A Business That Does Good With A Social Enterprise by Forbes – Social enterprises are on the rise, creating many job opportunities and contributing to the economy. Forbes shares some tips on how to build one yourself.
  3. How to set up social enterprises in the UK by British Business Bank – This article breaks down how to set up a social enterprise, from deciding on your legal structure to how to run it.


  1. The State of Social Enterprise 2024 by The World Economic Forum – The State of Social Enterprise 2024 is the first, comprehensive global data set to estimate the size and scope of social enterprises worldwide.
  2. Social Enterprise Barometer – Financial Performance by Social Enterprise UK – Based on a quarterly survey of Social Enterprise UK’s members, this insight paper gives us a snapshot of sector conditions and expectations.

You can also find further reports from Social Enterprise UK on their website.


  1. Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs Podcast – On the Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs podcast, they talk to experienced and successful social entrepreneurs and change makers, committed to building a better world.
  2. Do More Good Podcast – On this podcast, you will find light-hearted conversations on professional development, the charity sector and interesting individuals who are ‘Doing More Good’.

The strategies and resources outlined above offer a comprehensive toolkit for entrepreneurs and organisations looking to develop and implement impactful social enterprise models that drive positive change.