Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon in Lithuania. Yet it has already shown great promise in transforming lives and communities, with the number of social enterprises (SEs) growing annually. Without entering the debate over the definition of a social enterprise, we can still agree that there are many challenges and barriers facing the development and growth of these types of organisations.
This report is about the untapped potential of ‘entrepreneurs with purpose’ working together to help create a sustainable future. This untapped potential includes existing social entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and businesses. Using their combined skills, they can design startups that have:
- the potential to scale positive impact,
- innovative solutions at their heart,
- and financial sustainability built into their business models.
The report, and the desk-research and interviews it is based on, aims to present a new way of thinking about the development of new businesses that can contribute to the sustainability agenda and generate profits at the same time.
We start by developing a model for understanding and describing the range of activities, projects, initiatives and organisations that exist within the ‘social economy’. We follow this with an analysis of yesterday’s social enterprises. We then conclude this report with a series of recommendations for the development of businesses with purpose by adopting a startup approach and a focus from the outset on ‘People, Planet and Profit’.