Click anywhere on Our CI4SI Model to learn more and to see examples of each business type within the continuum!

What is a Social Enterprise?

A Social Enterprise is a business that exists to solve a social issue. It also combines commercial and social goals, but with emphasis on a social mission. This is oftentimes a nonprofit, but it can also be a for-profit entity.

TOMS is a great example of a Social Enterprise for many reasons.

The founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie, did not get into making shoes because he wanted to be a shoe designer. Blake Mycoskie got into making shoes because he wanted to save children's lives since they were ingesting toxins into their feet without being able to afford shoes for themselves.

Tom Shoes

The 'Why' of TOMS existing is an excellent example of a Social Enterprise. TOMS didn’t get into business to make shoes... TOMS got into business to save kids. A Social Enterprise creates its business model to solve an issue.

Now, TOMS mission has expanded to programs that save sight, provide antibullying programs in high schools, and restore vision.

Here is some recommended reading to help you along the way!
Mission Inc

Our Mission & Vision


Harness Social Impact to accelerate the evolution of business


The Social Impact Economy powers a new business definition for success