One of the great things about social enterprises is how seemingly limitless their scope is. There’s an opportunity for positive change in every sector of our society, whether it be increasing environmentally friendly practices in the tech industry or employing previously incarcerated prisoners in meaningful employment. Although incredibly diverse, all successful social enterprises owe their success to driven and informed social entrepreneurs. Thankfully, some of those individuals have written incredibly informative books on their social enterprising experiences.
If you’re considering social enterprise, these 6 books are all must-reads:
Mission, Inc. by Kevin Lynch & Julius Walls, Jr.
An amazing read for understanding key concepts regarding social enterprise. The book focuses on the authors’ personal experiences with ten paradoxes that they came across when building their social enterprises.
Venture Forth! by Rolfe Larson
A valuable resource that goes through all the steps necessary to create and launch a successful nonprofit organization. Larson provides worksheets that identify your venture’s strengths and weaknesses, and helps you to make smart business decisions based on your own data analysis.
Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneursby J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson & Peter Economy
Mainly focusing on the business practices used by modern nonprofits, this trio of highly qualified authors shows you how to complete the transition of becoming a social enterprise. It really is a toolkit – you’ll be using concepts learned in this book right away.
Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs: Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit by J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson & Peter Economy
A great continuation on their first book, former to this one on the list, Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs offers guidance on how to keep improving your social enterprise. It’s jammed back with hands-on exercises and tidbits of practical wisdom.
Social Entrepreneurship by Peter C. Brinckerhoff
Brinckerhoff’s book is one part personal skills development, and one part risk management. It teaches you how to think like a social entrepreneur and gives you tips and tricks to deal with all the risks associated with creating a social enterprise.
Building Social Business by Muhammad Yunus
From Nobel Peace Prize-winning author Muhammad Yunus, Building Social Business is an engaging read and insight into why social enterprises are key to solving world issues. An inspirational book that serves as a reminder on the importance of social entrepreneurs.
That should keep you busy for a while! And if not, there are plenty more readings in our Resources section. And you're hungry for more practical guides, subscribe to a course - we have courses related to every topic on social enterprise.