Comparison between social enterprises, businesses and charity organizations

Comparison between social enterprises, businesses and charity organizations

  • End goal: For the business enterprises, the main aim in production is profit maximization, for social enterprise, the main goal is to create a sustainable impact on society and make the world a better place. However for charity organizations, their act is always kindness and good will.

  • Time frame: For a business organization, their results are achieved immediately e.g. increasing profits by 5% every year. However for social enterprises, they achieve their results after a long period of time.
  • Types of enterprises: For business is purely for profit enterprises while social enterprise are either for profits or nonprofits or hybrid enterprises.
  • Rewards: For business enterprises, the main reward is profits or money returns for private investor which motivates them to undertake more risks. However for social enterprises, the reward is to have a better community i.e. it is social and environmental benefits for communities.
  • Target markets: For business, the target market is for potential customers described in terms of men, women, children, elder, those who are in working class etc. while social enterprises, the target market is the disadvantaged, vulnerable and underserved communities.

  • Customer orientation: For business enterprises, customers expect to get superior services that meet their need and also the worthy money spent on the goods and services. However, for social entrepreneurs its focus is of empowerment for partnership in development such that each member becomes part of the program or enterprise.
  • Impact area: For business enterprise, the impact is to create customer satisfaction through providing new products and services. However for social enterprises the impact area is social, environmental and economic outcome of the whole community.
  • Perceptions of value, for the business enterprises, value lies in the profit the entrepreneur and investors expect to reap as the product establishes itself in a market that can afford to purchase it and business entrepreneurs are accountable to share holders and other investors for generating these profits on the other hand social entrepreneurs lies in the social benefits to a community or transformation of a community that lacks the resources to fulfill its own needs.

Traditionally, charity workers who viewed people as beneficiaries instead of people who have the power to have an impact therefore social enterprises view people as partners because they work to use the power and potential of the people they work with to make sustainable impact.


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