Social businesses are business models with the primary mission of having positive social impacts. In a social business, investors/owners can gradually recover the money invested, but they cannot take a dividend beyond that point. The purpose of the investment is to enable the enterprise to achieve one or more social objectives through the activities of the enterprise: no personal gain is expected by investors.
The company must cover all the costs generated by their activities, while making a profit, but with priority given to the achievement of its social mission (e.g. health, housing, financial services for the poorest, nutrition for malnourished children, energy, etc.).
It is the positive impacts of the enterprise on people or the environment, rather than the amount of profit made in a given period, that makes it possible to measure the success of the social enterprise. In addition, the operation of the enterprise must be sustainable, and the aim of creating positive social impacts must be clear.
[Traduction libre de l’anglais, source Yunus Centre]