A Social Good Brand or a Social Enterprise is an organized entity that primarily works towards solving a social problem through proactive positive intervention and sustains itself by raising funds or by generating profit. It focuses on improving the status quo of specific disadvantaged sections of the society by providing them sustainable livelihood opportunities, improving their access to basic facilities like education, health, energy or bringing victims of social ills back to mainstream. It’s the zeal and the burning desire to make a difference in lives of people that forms the core of a social good brand’s existence.
The term ‘social good brand’ or ‘social enterprise’ should be distinguished from private businesses that operate in an ethical way, or simply trade in ethical products or are charities, investors or incubators that spawn the ecosystem of social entrepreneurship.
Social Good Brands can be broadly categorized on basis of the impact they create and the way they operate.
Way Of Creating Social Impact
I.Social Good Brands creating products or services for BoP
These brands make products or deliver services that are specifically designed for the benefit or consumption of people at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Generally, brands active in education, healthcare & clean energy space, microfinance organizations, Supply cooperatives to name a few fit the bill.
At Tanapalli, a small village 140 kms from Chennai, SustainEarth has reintroduced Biogas among the local farmers as a better alternative to traditional polluting chulhas and expensive LPG. Low cost, user-friendly and reliable, this new age Biogas plant supplies clean fuel for their daily domestic usage.
II.Social Good Brands creating products or services from BoP
These brands employ persons from specific sections of society or community to make products or deliver services to the general market place. Primarily, these brands aim to address livelihood issues through economic activity. Brands promoting handicrafts, indigenous arts and creating employment for the disadvantaged in the mainstream make up this group.
Dharavimarket.com is bridging the gap between skilled artisans and their market through an e-commerce platform. By eliminating intermediaries and their exploitative practices, this social enterprise guarantees fair pay, more income and innovative social credits to artisans from Dharavi- One of the India’s biggest slums.
Nature Of Operations
I.For profit Brands
These brands operate as commercial entities that create social impact while simultaneously pursuing profits. They create innovative, ethical and sustainably made products. Their business involves community participation in production process or sharing proceeds for social good causes.
21fools.com is a social startup creating seed paper products. This paper is made using seeds, which when planted after use grows into a plant resulting in reduction in the volume of waste paper garbage lying around and also adds to the depleting green cover.
II.Non profit social brands
Non-profit social brands have a very clear aim of dedicating their resources fully to a social cause that lends itself to a humanitarian solution than an economic one.
charity:water, a non-profit, works on a global level to provide clean drinking water to people in rural Africa who have to walk for miles to fetch water, exposing themselves to life threatening situations.
What’s your Social Good Brand about? I would love to know your story.