Biz Tips: Social businesses get a boost from the corporate world

Biz Tips: Social businesses get a boost from the corporate world


Social businesses get a boost from the corporate world

Any business needs some level of profit margin to thrive or at least survive in the long term. The same thing is true for social enterprises that are operating mainly for the purpose of improving social conditions. Unlike charity organizations, social enterprises do not rely on private donations and government grants. However, these enterprises also need capital infusion when they are starting or when expanding.

Here are a few big global corporations are extending their corporate social responsibility thrust beyond the confines of their own operations. These corporations are helping social enterprises to be established and thrive. They provide an accelerator, incubator, mentorship and capacity-building support for budding or existing social enterprises.

GE corporate program for healthcare

Instead of donations or grants, social enterprises rely on the marginal profits that they generate from their business operations. On the other hand, these enterprises may hit market barriers because of technical and financial issues. This is where corporate programs and private investments may provide assistance. Case in point is the program of General Electric to help social enterprises in the health sector in Africa.

Through its Healthymagination Mother and Child Programme, GE is empowering healthcare-related enterprises through an accelerator, capacity building, and mentorship. The program has helped 11 social enterprises across the African continent so far. Two groups were able to graduate and apply the things they have learned on their work.

Aside from mentoring the managers and staff of social enterprises, GE’s program also helps in securing investments from various global development partners. For instance, more than $2 million worth of investments was raised by HewaTele after completing the program. The company expanded its operations by acquiring two additional oxygen plants. Its main mission is to provide a regular supply of affordable medical oxygen for sub-Saharan African countries.

DBS Bank program for social good

DBS is a Singaporean bank that has more than 280 branches with particular interest on social enterprises. It founded the DBS Foundation (DBSF) in 2014 for the purpose of helping solve various social ills in the Asian region. It initially committed $36 million for the foundation in support of enterprises that are promoting communal welfare, addressing various problems including poverty, education, food security, health and environmental issues. The bank itself also grants special loans for social enterprises.

DBSF focuses on capacity building through knowledge sharing. It has partnered with several social development institutions to help startup social enterprises achieve economic sustainability. The foundation and its partners provide incubation assistance and training for the budding enterprises.

Some of the well-known partners of DBSF are NUS Enterprise, HUB Singapore, Village Capital and Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India, SE Insights in Taiwan, YouChange Foundation in China and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

Bain & Company pro bono

Bain & Company is a top management consulting firm that made a pledge to invest $1 billion worth of pro bono consulting service for a decade. It is now committed to helping nonprofit organizations and social businesses to address the problems that they encounter.

The consulting firm will leverage its efforts through its 55 offices that have expertise in various fields. It offers consultancy services for the aerospace industry, defense, agribusiness, airlines, automotive, consumer products, mining, oil and gas, private equity, media and consumer products.

Its wide range of expertise and connections will be essential in helping social enterprises address many of the challenges that they face. As a consulting firm, Bain & Company can provide mentorship and bridge the gaps between the enterprises.

The partnership between social enterprises and profit-oriented corporations is a welcome global trend that is fueled by the need for greater socioeconomic justice. Promoting equitable distribution of resources is also beneficial for for-profit companies because it would mean market expansion and sustainable demand from consumers.

Social businesses get a boost from the corporate world was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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