In a recent report by REDF - A California-based nonprofit, who has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for young people who are facing the greatest barriers to work - has uncovered the impact of the impact economy.These findings suggest that the traditional narrative around social enterprise is changing and that companies can do well - for themselves and their communities - while doing good.
In sum, REDF has aggregated outcomes and impact evaluations from over 400 individuals affiliated with their organization. Thie work allows all of us to understand more about the impact that is possible through social enterprise. The organization has defined social enterprise as "mission-driven businesses focused on hiring and assisting people who are willing and able to work but have the hardest time getting a job,"
Among other findings, the study showcases a reality that social enterprises are contributing greatly to the economies and communities in which they are immediately serving. The majority of the individuals benefitting from the services that the social enterprises who were surveyed provided did not have stable housing the previous year (85%). Also, a whopping 71% of a monthly income of individuals supported through social enterprise came from the government.
As the world continues to experience social problems on a scale never before seen, how can social enterprise be leveraged as a way to curb the tide in favor of our environment, our underserved and marginalized populations, and our communities?