A social enterprise is typically understood to be a for-profit business or a business within a non-profit organization that has a specific social or environmental mission included in the business plan. U.S.-based Social Enterprise Alliancel defines social enterprises as: “Organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social or environmental problem through a market-driven approach.”
This definition is left intentionally vague, as it must cover a wide variety of approaches and structures. Some operate within traditional structures and follow traditional exit paths, whereas others opt for alternative structures.
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