Tips and inspiration for changemakers from the social impact crowdfunding website, StartSomeGood

10 Awesome Social Enterprise Business Ideas

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How would you define philanthropy? Is it about giving back and lending a helping hand to others? This concept actually has no common definition because everyone understands it in their own special way. If you are a philanthropist looking for more ways to solve social problems, you will like the idea of starting a company in the field of social entrepreneurship.

There are dozens of opportunities waiting for someone to take them on and turn into something that offers value. And today literally anyone can do it. Even if you were doing your school homework using assignment writing service or have been expelled from college, you are still able to help the world.

Have a look at the list of the most inspiring and innovative social enterprise ideas and start making a difference today:

  • Social goods marketplace
    You can sell charity-made products and let people on one side of the world help those on the other side. Buying the items produced by disadvantaged craftsmen, you offer the latter a unique opportunity to get a fair reward for their work; meanwhile, selling these products to the world, you allow end consumers to do good and at the same time get some useful nice items for their homes.


  • Used textbooks for change
    You can promote an alliance between some students that come from wealthy families and students in need. The state of education, unfortunately, is poor in the developing countries, so getting young people donating their textbooks to those who don’t have the same access to educational resources is a worthy idea. Some textbooks can still be sold and the profits can be used to promote and support education programs in those countries.


  • Socially conscious products
    You can develop a new device made of conflict-free materials or which are fair trade. This will ensure a better working environment, such as increased safety and wages, for people who produce it. Besides, such projects involve avoiding dishonest practices and selling the products for a reasonable price. This business idea would also allow other people, the ones who purchase the device, to feel they are doing something great.

Tiffany Tsang

  • Purified water
    You can establish water purification stations in the regions where water sample testing has shown poor results. The stations don’t have to be large – you can buy ready-made devices. This can seem a rather small contribution but you will still help many people get access to water. This social enterprise business plan is good because it requires neither high maintenance nor large staff to be involved. All the expenses can easily be covered by selling water to people in need even at a low cost.
  • Microlending
    You can create a safe and inspirational environment where beginner entrepreneurs can receive small loans for developing their enterprises. Many people around the world have brilliant minds but no possibility to implement their ideas. Why not give them a platform for sharing thoughts with potential investors, filling out project plan templates, arranging conference calls to discuss details, and finally getting funding for their startups?
  • Helping homeless
    You can reduce homelessness by organizing various social activities aimed at helping people living in the streets get access to food and medical aid, find real jobs, and get back on their feet. Swipe and Beyond the Cardboard are excellent examples of successful projects running for the benefit of the community. Think of the possible improvement programs you can engage the homeless in, and you will increase chances of getting them off the streets.
  • Cooking for unemployed
    You can open a diner, restaurant, or café and hire unemployed people, like former drug or alcohol addicts, for the purpose of developing their employment skills. This enterprise may cost you a lot to establish (which crowdfunding can help with), but it will give you an opportunity to positively influence people’s lives and offer brighter future. For example, imagine seeing one of your employees working at a prestigious restaurant after he or she have worked a few years for you.
  • Education books on a social topic
    You can create some educational content containing information that could be useful for the reader and have the potential to improve our world and society. Be it a recipe book promoting a healthy lifestyle or a periodical nature publication uncovering the world of extinct species, it should be easy and interesting to read anyway. The profits from sales can be used to promote awareness about the same topic.


  • Small contributions
    You can choose a few enterprises, like shops or restaurants, and agree on small donations of either some products or some amounts of money from every transaction to charity programs. For instance, working with a toy store, you can have it donating a toy to a local orphanage for every 10 toys it sells.
  • Volunteering platforms
    You can start a company that would serve as a platform for exchanging services. The key point would be that you don’t pay the volunteers directly. Instead, they ask you to donate some amount of money to the charity project they choose.

To sum up, there are many interesting ideas for setting up a social enterprise. You just have to be organized, stay focused on your good intentions, and you will be able to change lives. However, if you feel you are not ready for your own business yet, you can always choose one of the great social enterprises out there and find a job in this growing sector.

Post by Jeremy Raynolds, a blogger and freelance writer whose favorite quote is Bill Drayton’s “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionised the fishing industry.”

Author: StartSomeGood

StartSomeGood is the crowdfunding platform for social enterprise, non-profits and community groups. We've funded projects in 35 countries and have one of the best success rates in crowdfunding.

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