Discussion Paper Social Enterprise and its Impacts

Discussion Paper Social Enterprise and its Impacts

Alan Kay




This Discussion Paper presents a new way of thinking about social enterprise.  It suggests that we can change the dominant culture of exploitative, so called high growth business, to a fairer way of exchanging goods and services for the benefit of all – with social enterprise leading the way in that transformation.   This paper will show that social enterprise provides an alternative way of exchanging goods and services and that social enterprise has an impact on people (social), the planet (environment) and the society structures in which it operates (culture).


Social enterprise can be regarded as an alternative way of using business methods in order to change local and global communities for the better.  Social enterprise is not just a business with some social objectives, but rather a way in which people can work together in order to create more equal, fairer and sustainable communities.  However, social enterprise does not only function within small and limited geographical communities.  Often people within communities are not always open to the difference and diversity which comes from taking a more global perspective. Businesses now operate on a global scale and often exploit other people and the environment around the world.   We need to be aware of both global and local impacts of our economic culture.  This paper argues that it is about breaking through our current cultural norms of doing business and creating a new culture for exchange of goods and services between people and communities.  


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