Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why we should be skeptical about "social enterprise"

The concept of social enterprise has found its way into the centre of debates about the future of the not- for-profit sector in Australia and is viewed as a policy panacea for the sector.

Here in West Australia, the Barnett Government's Economic Audit Committee, which has been accepted and endorsed by large segments of the WA not-for-profit sector, has a vision to make all not-for-profits into social enterprises.

A UK study by the Third Sector Research Centre shows why we should be deeply skeptical of claims about social enterprise. The UK study found that social enterprise approaches are poorly defined, and they exclude black and ethnic minority groups as well as small not for profits that serve disadvantaged groups and communities.