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Social Enterprises

Increasingly, the social and environmental context influences the business environment. It is increasingly clear that the cost of not taking action to deal with issues affecting the entire planet is high. The irresponsible exploitation of natural systems, the violence generated by the lack of opportunities and the lack of access to education are some of the issues that can hinder economic and social development in the future, also hindering the prosperity of companies from different sectors. This scenario generates an extremely volatile and uncertain dynamic for companies, where the pressures of the internal and external publics demand a more coherent and proactive attitude of the companies in relation to issues of collective interest.
In addition to the sustainability and inclusion agendas, there is space to intentionally strengthen the impact chain of organizations as a way of generating and protecting their value. The social enterprise field has already experienced this new logic for more than a decade and offers a broad field of learning opportunities for creating a new logic that generates collective value rather than exhausting it.

     Social enterprises are ventures that create social or environmental value through a business logic."

According to the definition established by the Social Finance Task Force through a dialogue with more than 50 organizations active in the field, there are four principles that differentiate Social Enterprises from NGOs or traditional businesses (regardless of the organization's legal constitution):

They have the purpose of generating explicit positive socio-environmental impact in their mission;

They know, measure and evaluate their impact periodically;


They generate their own revenue through the commercialization of products and services;


They have a governance that takes into account the interests of investors, customers and the community.

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Sense-Lab acts in the field of social enterprises by developing approaches, testing tools, mapping the different actors involved in the issue, supporting intermediary organizations and advancing the frontier of knowledge in a variety of ways.

We also have a strong presence in both open and on demand training, as well as in supporting companies, institutes, foundations and other organizations in the search, selection and support of social enterprises, or even in structuring incubation programs and business acceleration.


Structuring of Social Enterprises 

Training in Social Enterprises and for Entrepreneurs 

Development of Acceleration Programs 

Research, Mapping and Knowledge Development

Social enterprises can take different legal formats: non-profits, foundations, cooperatives or companies. In addition to thousands of businesses that work with this logic, a whole field is being articulated, including investors, intermediary organizations (such as accelerators and incubators), educational institutions, among others.

Some references

Here are some clients and projects in which Sense-Lab has worked with Social Enterprises:

Training of business incubators

Consulting process for 5 out of a total of 23 incubators from all over Brazil, chosen by ICE, Sebrae and Anprotec to incubate social enterprises. The work consisted in supporting the incubators in the structuring of action plans for awareness raising, prospecting and incubation of businesses with positive socio-environmental impact. The work was repeated the following year in the second edition of the program.