Social enterprise examples

(Examples are arranged in alphabetical order)

Allen Carr’s Easyway ( The Allen Carr Easyway makes money from providing therapist services to help people quitting smoking. By helping smokers get rid of their desire to smoke, the company aims at improving people’s health and alleviate problems caused by cigarettes.


Andela ( Andela selects the top 1% of tech talent from the largest pool of untapped talent in the world — the African continent, and integrates them into international business enterprises.


Angaza Design ( Angaza Design’s “Pay-As-You-Go” technology allows base-of-the-pyramid customers to pay for clean energy products in small increments over time, using cash-in-hand. The system “talks” with a solar unit that Angaza has developed. To scale up, Angaza is also licensing its payment model to companies that produce competing solar units.


B1G1 ( B1G1 helps businesses around the world give back in meaningful ways so that they can create measurable, long-lasting impacts and an even greater sense of purpose in their businesses. Since 2007, they’ve worked with more than 1,500 businesses from all industries creating more than 74 million giving impacts to date. It means businesses with a real sense of purpose can change our world.


Barefoot College ( ): Barefoot College is a non-governmental organization that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities for more than 40 years, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorized into the delivery of Solar Electrification, Clean Water, Education, Livelihood Development, and Activism. With a geographic focus on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), we believe strongly in Empowering Women as agents of sustainable change.


BiddingForGood ( BiddingForGood makes money from its auction management services which help schools, nonprofits, charities and for-profit organizations running charity auctions increase their fundraising revenues. Its aim is to create a virtuous circle whereby the (1) organizations that are doing such important work in the world can find new fundraising opportunities and tap into the discretionary spending of generous consumers; and (2) businesses can donate products and services to amplify their charitable impact while helping its customers raise more money.


BioLite ( ): Creating access for a growing world population has become one of the biggest opportunities of our time. Nearly half the planet lacks clean, affordable household energy, cooking meals on smoky open fires and having little or no electricity in their homes. BioLite develops breakthrough technologies and deliver them through a market-based approach, empowering people to power themselves.


Bridge ( Bridge International Academies mission is to provide every child with the chance to have a high-quality primary education regardless of their family’s income – in a nutshell, “Knowledge for all.” They academies leverage world-class pedagogy and school management and are able to sustain themselves on fees that are lower than 70% of the other low-cost private schools in local communities. At an average cost of just $6 a month, 90% of families in communities can afford to send all of their children – both boys and girls – to their academies, plus they have a sponsorship program to provide additional support to high achievers. Ten years from now they plan to be the global leader in providing education to families who live on $2 a day per person or less. They will be operating in at least a dozen countries, and have 10,000,000 pupils coming to class every day.


Chef’s Collaborative ( Visionary chefs founded Chefs Collaborative and vowed to use their influential restaurants to educate the public about a better way to nourish ourselves, a way that would be better for the planet, for our health, and for our communities. Their goal: Support small farms, healthy food, and sustainable agriculture for everyone. They do so through research and educational programs, but mostly by cooking delicious food that shows America that eating healthy, sustainable food is not only good for us and the environment—it is also pure pleasure.


Cleaning Solution ( The Cleaning Solution is a Vancouver-based, socially progressive contract cleaning company that provides high quality, professional services established since 2004. The social enterprise has a mandate to help individuals recovering from mental illness who are ready and able to return to the workplace.


Community Shop ( Company Shop stops good food going to waste. Founded by John Marren over 40 years ago, they are now the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus products. Surplus stock is inevitable in the food supply chain and they work with Britain’s biggest retailers, manufacturers and brands, to ensure that wholesome, surplus food reaches people’s plates. They redistribute surplus through a national network of staff shops, standalone stores and ‘click and collect’ services, providing great offers to members that work in the food manufacturing industry and emergency services. They’re stopping over 30,000 tons of food going to waste every year and delivering great value to customers, colleagues and food industry clients. In December 2013 Company Shop also launched Community Shop: to ensure even more people, in disadvantaged communities, can benefit from the model.


d.light ( d.light makes money by delivering affordable solar-powered solutions designed for the two billion people in the developing world without access to reliable energy. By providing distributed solar energy solutions for households and small businesses, d.light hopes to transform the way people all over the world use and pay for energy.


Ebatuta ( Ebatuta helps you find directly near your location the closest places where you can shop for local handicrafts, without having the hassle to be lost looking for THE piece you wanted (even if that is part of the charm, we agree). Without having to worry about the authenticity and the quality of your purchase.


Edgar and Joe’s Cafe ( A social purpose enterprise of Goodwill Industries, Edgar and Joe’s Café is a gathering space and food operation in London, Ontario’s SoHo district – ‘south of Horton’ – just south of the City’s downtown area. Edgar and Joe’s makes fresh and local food available, affordable and approachable with healthy choices from a wide variety of foods made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. They provide people, particularly those who face barriers, access to good, nutritious food and knowledge to improve health and well-being.


Embrace Innovations ( Embrace Innovations is a healthcare technology company that provides a line of innovative, affordable and high quality medical devices for emerging markets. Its mission is to provide disruptive healthcare technologies focused on reducing infant and maternal deaths in emerging markets.


FairBnB ( FairBnB offers a community-centred alternative that prioritizes people over profit and facilitates authentic, sustainable and intimate travel experiences. Its online platform allows hosts and guests to connect for meaningful travel and cultural exchange, while minimizing the cost to communities.


Fairphone ( The smartphone with social values. They want to integrate materials in our supply chain that support local economies, not armed militias. We’re starting with conflict-free minerals from the DRC to stimulate alternative solutions. They’re using design to change the relationship between people and their phones. They’re focusing on longevity and repairability to extend the phone’s usable life and give buyers more control over their products. Factory workers deserve safe conditions, fair wages and worker representation. We work closely with manufacturers that want to invest in employee wellbeing. They’re addressing the full lifespan of mobile phones, including use, reuse and safe recycling. We believe that our responsibility doesn’t end with sales.


Feed Projects ( Lauren founded FEED in 2007 with the simple idea of creating products that would engage people in the fight against hunger in a tangible way. Every one of their products has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. Nine years later, they’ve built a movement connecting their customers to the cause, one bag at a time.


Good Eggs ( Good Eggs is an online grocery that brings the farmers market to their customers’ front door. While giving people access to local, fresh, sustainable foods, Good Eggs aims at growing and sustaining local food systems in a socially responsible and environmentally optimal way.


Husk Power ( Husk Power Systems is a rural empowerment enterprise. It focuses on inclusive rural development on the backbone of electric power. Unlike any other effort in the world, it creates a self-sustaining ecosystem in the villages it serves, enabling economic development along with environmental protection, physical well-being and strengthening of the rural communities.


IGNIA ( IGNIA is a venture capital firm that provides investment in areas with high impact on the lives of low income families, such as healthcare, housing, financial services and basic services (water, energy and communications). Its mission is to support high growth enterprises serving the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Mexico.


Jamie Kennedy Kitchens ( Since 1989 Jamie Kennedy has been instrumental in shaping the culinary landscape in Canada. His commitment to sustainable agriculture & advocacy of local food continue to inspire progress in agricultural & gastronomical communities across Canada.


KickStart ( KickStart’s mission is to lift millions of people in Africa out of poverty, quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably. KickStart makes money from designing, promoting and mass-marketing simple tools that small-holder farmers buy and use to start highly profitable family enterprises.


Lively Hoods ( In the slums, young men and women struggle to find a source of income. Some youth sell their bodies, rob their neighbors, or are recruited by Al-Shabbab to launch grenades into neighborhood markets. The problem is worsening quickly as the slum population is expected to double by 2030. An entire generation of productive young talent is being lost. LivelyHoods is building a world where ambitious, talented and creative youth have the chance to earn an honest living, achieve their potential, and contribute to the economic development of their communities.


Lush ( Lush believes in making effective products from fresh organic fruits and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics. We believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not conduct or commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans. They invent their own products and fragrances. They make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients and tell you when they were made.


Malô ( In Mali, 81% of children under 5 are anemic and half of deaths are attributable to malnutrition. Malô confronts this problem by providing fortified rice at a cheaper price than non-fortified rice. Malô is able to do so thanks to its innovative rice mill in Ségou (which is in the heart of one of Africa’s biggest rice growing regions).


Off.Grid:Electric ( ): The company distributes clean energy and its mission is to light off-grid Africa within a decade by providing power to 10 million households benefiting 50 million people within 10 years. The idea is applying the mobile phone industry’s business model to the provision of electric power – customers pre-pay for electrical services (e.g, light, TV, mobile phone charging) weekly via mobile money.


O-Net ( Canada’s first community owned Fibre-to-the-Premises network. O-NET offers Internet, Phone, and Television services.


Newman’s Own Foundation ( Using the power of philanthropy to transform lives, Newman’s Own Foundation is all about supporting people doing great things. The Foundation uses all profits and royalties that it receives from the sale of Newman’s Own products for charitable purposes.


RE:CHAR ( re:char uses biochar (which is made from crop and animal waste) to help farmers in East Africa fight climate change and grow more food. For a $60 investment, a farmer saves $200 annually while crop yield boosts 26% and chemical fertilizer consumption is reduced by 80%.


Rubber Banditz ( Making the world stronger since 2009, Rubberbanditz is a quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit, power) resistance band (fitness accessory) innovation company based in Los Angeles.


Sanergy ( They design and manufacture low-cost, high-quality sanitation facilities. Developed by they engineers, the Fresh Life Toilet is pre-fabricated at their local workshop. Our FLT features qualities users value most: Hygiene: FLTs are made of high-quality materials that are easy to keep clean and maintain. Accessibility: FLTs have a small footprint that enables Sanergy to install them close to homes. Affordability: FLTs are cost-effective and include essential features like hand-washing facilities.


Seventh Generation ( Seventh Generation provides plant-based solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within homes and for the community and environment outside of it.


Ten Thousand Villages ( Thousand Villages is the oldest and largest Fair Trade organization in North America, selling artisan-crafted personal accessories, home decor and gift items from around the globe. Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.


Textbooks for Change ( for Change is a social venture and B Corp that provides affordable and accessible educational material to students both locally and abroad. They repurpose used textbooks to create social impact and improve the educational landscape for students around the world. They do this by: Donating thousands of post-secondary textbooks to East African universities annually. Selling affordable used textbooks to North American students and using proceeds to help fund student-led impact initiatives. Diverting thousands of textbooks from landfills by recycling them efficiently.


TerraCycle (http:// TerraCycle is eliminating the idea of waste by recycling the “non-recyclable.” Whether it’s coffee capsules from your home, pens from a school, or plastic gloves from a manufacturing facility, TerraCycle can collect and recycle almost any form of waste.


The Information Blanket ( Infant mortality can be reduced by adopting a series of interventions that target specific risks of newborns. Because the factors that underlie infant death are multiple and complex, education is vital. The Information Blanket product aims to educate and empower parents through easy-to-understand iconography, graphics and information about the health of their newborns.


The Paradigm Project ( Pneumonia from lower respiratory disease is the number one killer of children under five years old globally — and it’s often related to indoor cooking smoke. The rural poor generate 25% of C02 emissions. To address these problems, The Paradigm Project brings $40 clean-burning cook stoves for people in developing countries: 36,340 stoves so far, with a goal of 5 million by 2020. Surplus proceeds support clean water, health clinics, and schools.


The Valhalla Movement ( Valhalla is a growing tribe of storytellers out to proliferate freedom culture by igniting a global passion for sustainability, self-reliance, and collaborative action.


VerTerra Dinnerware ( VerTerra Dinnerware manufactures stylish, sustainable and compostable disposable dinnerware made from banana leafs. Its goal is to conserve resources for future generations by using an agricultural byproduct (fallen palm leaves) and turning its wastes to compost.


Zipcar ( Using car-sharing concept, Zipcar makes money by providing its members 24/7 access to thousands of cars around the globe. The company’s goal is to help reduce cars on the road, and thus less congestion and less pollution.