Starting a social enterprise? Here’s how to choose its legal structure

A woman holds up a solar-powered LED light, a project of Angaza Design, an Echoing Green fellow. Photo by: Echoing Green NYC / CC BY-NC-SA 

The role of social enterprises in reaching the bottom of the pyramid and helping close the inequality gap has been receiving increased prominence through the years.

Since the start of the year, social enterprise has been broached as one solution to a better future for Haiti, as a way to strengthen South Korea’s position in the international development community, and a means to address poverty and inequality in South Asia.

And with increased attention on the power of social enterprise comes increased interest, especially from the more socially aware entrepreneurs, to set up their own social enterprises.

In the United Kingdom alone, the number of social businesses has grown over twelvefold from 5,000 to about 62,000 in a span of half a decade. This growth, according to Social Enterprise U.K. chief executive Peter Holbrook, is mainly due to three things: social responsibility, public accountability and necessary adaptability.

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About the author

  • Lean 2

    Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Prior to joining Devex, he covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics. Lean is based in Manila.