Select Page

Behind every successful social enterprise there is a foundation of hard work and thorough research. Fiyaz Mughal is the founder of two UK-based social enterprises – Tell MAMA and Faith Matters. From experience, Mughal has learned that whilst a good idea is an important starting point, it is also essential to have the structure and resources around an enterprise to ensure that it can grow steadily.

Furthermore, a successful social enterprise will require the following:

A Strong Team

Having a passionate team that is equally as invested in the enterprise’s mission is very important to its success. Very often when investors are looking to make an investment, they will want to understand the structure of the team; investors will look for a team with individuals that have complimentary skills. Social entrepreneurs must therefore find a way to prove that the team behind the enterprise is both passionate and capable.

Strategic Advice

It can be difficult to run the administrative aspects of a social enterprise whilst also having a solid strategy; it can therefore be very beneficial to the venture if a strategic adviser is brought into the project. An advisor could be an investor, a mentor or even an executive from the business world; but in any case, they will be able to take a general look at the business to assess where the areas of high potential and opportunity for growth are.

Social enterprises can also sign up to incubator programmes or accelerator programmes, which are set up to help with early growth, as well as creating a structure for sustainable long-term growth.

Funding Source

Social enterprises can be funded by any number of sources, including grants, bank loans and personal savings. A number of grants have been set up in order to provide funds for social initiatives and community projects. Grants might come from charities, foundations or trusts, and in the UK some of the most well known include Comic Relief, The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust, and the Vodafone Foundation.

Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be paid back to the lender, and as such they come with strict terms and conditions. Applying for a grant requires in-depth research, as the grant provider will fully assess the enterprise before awarding it any funds. Generally speaking, grant funders will require more detailed measurements of the social benefits, the level of community involvement, and the enterprise’s structure.