What is Social Enterprise?

Social Enterprises are businesses that trade for good.

They can take many forms and span between charities and for-profit enterprise on the business spectrum. Social enterprise use a business model as a tool to help solve social and environmental issues. Basically, they are purpose-driven organisations that trade to deliver social and/or environmental impact. Think – the heart of a charity with the mind of a business.

In the absence of a formal legal definition, the Ākina Foundation uses the following three key areas to define what a social enterprise is:


The social, cultural and/or environmental mission provides a public or community benefit and that is the primary purpose of the organisation;


The majority of income is derived from trading a good or a service;


The majority of either expenditure or profit is spent in the fulfilment of the purpose of the organisation.