Our Executive Director, Jack Glade, was very busy this spring recruiting presenters and reviewing nearly 100 proposals from international leaders in the cutting edge movement known as “social enterprise,” as part of his role as program co-chair for the Social Enterprise Summit and 3rd World Forum, held in San Francisco April 28-30, 2010.
“A ‘social enterprise’ is an organization that blends non-profit and for-profit business practices in order to tackle a social problem such as illiteracy, hunger, unemployment, or disease,” explains Glade. Growing numbers of leaders all over the world are seeing social enterprise as an important tool for improving the lives of people living in hunger or struggling with illiteracy.
The Tutorial Center is a good example of a social enterprise, says Glade. The Tutorial Center is a non-profit organization that uses a core of strong business-based practices – market research, client satisfaction, cost-effective services, fee-for-service products, financial management, research-based methods, and focus on outcomes – to tackle illiteracy through high-quality literacy instruction, accessible academic tutoring, work-readiness training, alternative high school education, and college access.
“Our outcomes of helping children succeed in school, increasing the literacy levels of adults, decreasing the high school dropout rate, and helping those who have dropped out to earn high school diplomas and go on to college and jobs are very strong,” he says.
Internationally, there is a growing awareness of how the social enterprise approach often provides higher-impact solutions to social challenges than traditional nonprofit and charity methods. The Social Enterprise Summit and 3rd World Forum engaged non-profit and for-profit leadership from all over the world in building the capacity of social enterprises to tackle the social, environmental, and economic challenges of our time.
Details can be found at www.se-alliance.org or call Jack at 447-0111.