There's been a lot of attention over the past few years given to new structures for nonprofit organizations that facilitate the creation of business entities. Similarly, we have seen the creation of a number of for-profit entities with a social purpose. The terms "social enterprise", "social entrepreneurship", "socially responsible businesses" have been bandied about. There was also a new legal structure that was created recently -- the L3C -- that allowed a sort of hybrid form to exist.
The Axelson Center's Fall 2010 newsletter featured interviews with several Chicago area nonprofits that have social enterprises as part of their work, including the Cara Program with Clean Slate, Open Books, and Inspiration Corporation. There are many others in Chicago, like Sweet Beginnings at North Lawndale Employment Network and Seguin Services.
Want to find out more about these alternative structures and forms for generating revenue for a social purpose? Here are some resources for you if you're interested in exploring the topic of social enterprises. This list is not exhaustive, by any means. Please offer other resources to add to our list.
The Fatal Design Defects of L3Cs - Nonprofit Quarterly, June 2010
Hybrid Model for Nonprofits Hits Snags - New York Times, Oct. 25, 2010
University of Maryland, Project of the Democracy Collaborative
Harvard Business School, "Working Knowledge" article series on Social Enterprise and Nonprofit
Duke University Law School, Community Enterprise Clinic
Skoll Foundation (invests in social entrepreneurship)